"Our mission is to help women develop job skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient and help prevent children from being abandoned."
Baan Unrak can be translated as the "Home of Joy." Located in Western Thailand, Baan Unrak is a non-governmental, non-religious, non-political community development project founded by Donata Dolc in 1990.
"One of my missions is to help women and children,” Dolc explains. “I was approached by an abandoned woman who asked me to help take care of her child. Many villagers live in harsh conditions and, after seeing what I was doing with the children, they trusted me. Mothers were asked to stay with their children which was impossible in any other place in Thailand.
"As the home grew, so did the need to provide jobs for the mothers. We felt it was important to keep families together, so we established a weaving project in 1995 to provide stable employment for pregnant women and mothers. They are able to learn job skills, the traditional art of weaving, earn a fair salary and stay with their children.
"Our mission is to help women develop job skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient and help prevent children from being abandoned. We are located near the Myanmar border and this area suffers from instability as families are destroyed by disease, poverty and a lack of economic opportunity. We are currently providing a loving home, education and healthcare to more than 130 children.
"Our major challenge is finding shoppers for our weavings and understanding what designs, patterns and colors customers want. We give the women a fair salary and they have the opportunity to earn more based on their productivity.
"Our village is made up of people from many cultures, but our traditional style of weaving actually comes from the Mon and Karen ethnicities from Burma. The women who do this weaving are primarily Mon, so they bring their own knowledge to these designs.
"We incorporate elements of Thai, Mon and Karen designs, patterns, clothing styles, dyeing, weaving and embroidery. We also adapt these into modern apparel or household decor.
"Your support will help to keep our organization running smoothly and encourage us to create more designs for you."