Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:
Arriving in Ubon Ratchathani, a town on the Thai-Lao border, I was greeted by Beer, Program Director, and Cookie. I had already visited the Goodwill Group Foundation office in Bangkok with Jay and witnessed the self-defense and English classes, but now I would see services and workshops for women at the source. Here, Goodwill Group Foundation can provide trainings to increase income and self-confidence to women before they migrate to the big city, Bangkok, giving options for women to stay close to home with their families.
The program began by providing English and computer training, but now it has expanded to include personal and career development. A majority of the women in Bangkok that come to GGF are nannies and domestic cleaners. In the rural communities, many are housewives of farmers and work in the rice fields, but when farming season is over they have nothing to do.
At the GGF office in Ubon Ratchathani I was able to observe the sewing workshop and jewelry-making workshop. One of the women attending the training shared with me that she decided to join GGF in order to improve her skills and income for her family. After this, we went out to the villages and met the women and their families receiving training and support from Goodwill Group Foundation. One woman was handicapped from an accident falling from the stairs of her house and now cannot use her legs. She knits purses and wallets to sell in the community. Another woman sews masks for the field workers to protect them from the sun, and others make decorations and handicrafts in the off-season. We then joined some of the women in the rice fields - I learned so much about all the work and patience it takes planting and harvesting rice.
Goodwill Group Foundation is addressing a serious issue where women, who are the main providers of families culturally in Thailand, have to migrate to Bangkok to make a living and are put into dangerous risky situations, or just separated from their families. With the support of GGF, women can make educated decisions on the jobs they take, can take higher level jobs, and even return home with new skills learned.
Happy June to All Supporters,
We are very pleased to update you on our ongoing activities: “Sewing skill workshop” and “Jewelry making workshop”. These training workshops took place at our second office in Ubon Ratchathani.
Sewing skill workshop
This workshop is aimed at training disadvantaged women and girls in Ubon Ratchathani on how to use a sewing machine to make products and increase income. The workshop provides basic sewing skills to make products such as shoulder bags, pencil bags and wallets in various styles. The workshop also aims to encourage disadvantaged women and girls to use their sewing skills (gained from this workshop) to make products from local Isaan fabric, which is easy to find in their communities.
So far we have organized 4 workshops already. We have received very good feedback from the trainees. The majority of them have never used a sewing machine before. Through this workshop we are giving them new skills and inspiring them to continue to learn more. The hope is that they will do this in their free time to earn supplemental income.
Some of the women who participated in the workshop have already started making fabric bags to sell. Even though this is done by hand and earns them a small amount of money, it’s the start to something they are interested in and want to do.
Jewelry making workshop
This is one of the vocational training programs we provide at our second office. The aim of this workshop is to provide women and girls with jewelry making skills so they can start their own small business after the farming season has ended. We expanded this project to offer help with marketing and developing their products to sell in various markets.
We would like to hear any suggestions or concerns you may have about our projects. Please feel free to share at email@example.com, as every comment will help us in developing better programs.
We will continue to keep you updated on all our projects in the next report. As always, we would like to extend a warm invitation to visit our offices should you ever visit Thailand. It would be our pleasure to welcome you and show you all our activities.
Have a great week!
Sarochinee and The Goodwill Group Team
Dear all supporters,
Our most recent series of successful workshops in our second branch in Ubonratchathani "How to survive in Bangkok" was largely supported by a grant received earlier this year from The Canada Fund. We completed eight workshops with a total of 453 attendees. We've received a lot of very good feedback from our students, most of whom say they want to come back and spend more time with us.
The workshops went hand-in-hand with our recently published book ‘Goodwill Guidebook for Women: How to Survive in Bangkok’. Free copies are available to all of our students. The majority of our students leave/left their homes in poorer provinces, where opportunities are scarce, in order to find jobs in the city and financially support their families back home. It's important to reach these women prior to their arrival in Bangkok because life in the city is completely different than life in rural Thailand. Our studies show that women are much more likely to avoid the potential risks and hazards of living and working in Bangkok if they arrive with the proper information, education and skills.
Starbucks “Life Inspiration” Project a Robust Success in Bangkok branch
The main objectives were to inspire and teach young disadvantaged Thai women about better career paths and skills development. The first two activities (Career Path Talk 1 & 2) inspired participants to choose new and suitable career paths as well as imparted knowledge on job application preparation. The third, fourth, and fifth activities were about small enterprise development.
These activities aimed to inspire young disadvantaged Thai women to start their own sustainable small enterprise and to provide knowledge and information on how to develop their own potential. Participants made products and presented them in the final workshop titled Product Contest: The winning team was awarded THB 5,000. The second place team was awarded THB 3,000 and the third place team was awarded THB 2,000. The other three teams were awarded THB 1,000.
The list of products included a fashionable bag, decorated basket, crochet-decorated t-shirt, healthy pillow, Pa kao ma fabric bag and trendy button shoes. Congratulations to all of our entrepreneurs! Thanks to Starbucks and our guest speaker/trainer Mr. Kittirat Pitipanich, Director of Thailand Creative & Design Center’s Design Advisory Department. The project could not be so successful without all kind support from supporter, trainers, and participants. Thank you so much again.
Goodwill plans to organize many new projects within this year. We will keep you updated in the next report. Please visit us at our offices if you come to Thailand. It would be our pleasure to welcome you to our offices.
Beer and Goodwill Group Team
Season’s Greetings Friends,
On behalf of Goodwill’s students and staff, I would like to wish you and your family a joyful holiday season and New Year.
As we approach the end of what has been our most rewarding year, we want to thank those who have contributed to our success - particularly, the opening of our second Goodwill branch, in Ubon Ratchathani, the second poorest province in Thailand. 2011 also marked our tenth anniversary; we partnered with Starbucks on a six-month Life Inspiration project; and many companies, such as Shisado, KAO and Dasy Design provided intensive training and scholarships to our students.
In the coming year, we plan on launching law and health clinics where students can seek free consultation from lawyers and basic treatment from doctors. We will continue offering English classes, job preparation and placement programs, domestic violence workshops and sewing training workshop, among many other things.
During this season of giving, we ask you, once again, to please think about our less fortunate students and make a donation. If you've already donated but there's someone on your gift list who is hard to shop for, you can make a donation in their name and, in return, they will receive a holiday card mentioning your kind gesture. By making a donation (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/train-7000-disadvantaged-women-in-thailand/) today, you can help us spread the gift of hope to the hundreds of disadvantaged women who will come to us in search of a better life in 2012.
Most of our students are high school dropouts who are either single mothers taking care of their children on their own or migrants from poor provinces supporting their entire families. Our programs strengthen their capacities, empower them and improve their self-esteem.
On behalf of all of the students and staff, I want to thank you for supporting our cause and bringing joy into all of our lives lives, as well as our families'. May this holiday season and New Year be a bright and cheerful time for you and yours.
Ann and the Goodwill Group Team
Everyone at the Goodwill Group Foundation extends their deep sympathies to those affected by the flooding throughout Thailand.
We are happy to report that our Bangkok branch wasn't flooded, although we closed in order to move everything upstairs and prepare for a the worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, however, practically everyone in our offices and classrooms has either been directly affected or knows someone who has been, in such ways as displacement, loss of property and work/school closures.
Learning English is a bright spot in many students' days and the flood has taken even that happiness out of their lives.Many roadways used by our students and staff to get to Goodwill remain only passable with military vehicles and many public transport routes aren't operating in parts of Bangkok. We know Thailand and its people will come together and overcome this disaster. Our thoughts and hearts go out to all of the victims.
If you have any questions regarding Goodwill Group's status thoughout this crisis, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 66.2258.9346-9
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