A Global Friendship (AGF) would like to thank all its Global Giving donors for contributing to the "Help us bring our Thai artisan to safety" campaign. Thanks to the contributions that we received we were able to help our artisans re-start the production of their handmade bracelets.
The recent floods in Thailand affected the areas where some of AGF's artisan families are based. The floods, said to be the worst in 50 years, lasted from July to December severely affecting many areas in Thailand including the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai from where AGF artisans source the raw material supplies for their products. Due to the floods many of the shopkeepers shut down their shops to move to higher and safer grounds. Due to this the artisans could not source any raw materials and were not able to earn any income from their handicrafts.
Around 12 artisan families that work with AGF were affected by the floods. These families survive on income partly from their artisan work and partly from farming. Continued floods would have destroyed the harvest and make the families even more dependent upon their income from the weaving work. The restoration of the income through AGF was increasingly important in this scenario. With the Global Giving donations, AGF sent a team of two people to Thailand to assist in procurement of raw materials and to design bracelets in new color options. This resulted in a new order for the artisans and immediate income as AGF gave the artisans a grant of $600 for procuring supplies to restart work. A travel grant was also given to Chanoknun, the main artisan who had trained the others in the weaving work. Chanoknun was able to travel between Chiang Mai, where the domestic market and the supplies were, to Khonkean, where the artisan families lived and re-establish the supply of raw materials to the artisans.
Since January the water levels have come down and the supply lines have been restored. The donations received through the "Help Us Bring Our Thai Artisans to Safety" has helped to restore the incomes of 12 artisan families and help them get back on the road to economic recovery. AGF welcomes any suggestions and feedback from our donors on this report.