Women Eco-Weavers project launched in Xieng Khuang province of Laos
XIENG KHUANG, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Mulberries company in collaboration with Maybank and the Maybank Foundation on Wednesday launched the Maybank Women Eco-Weaver Laos Programme in Xieng Khuang province to encourage the preservation of weaving crafts.
Chairman of Maybank and the Maybank Foundation, Mrs Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin, said she was delighted with the launch of the programme.
She said the initiative was one of the Maybank Foundation’s flagship programmes.
It was designed to promote commonalities in Asean countries by enriching and promoting traditional woven textiles in a sustainable manner in various communities as well as helping underprivileged women to become economically independent.
At the same time, the project advocates for the financial inclusion of women and targets eco-weavers from poor and marginalised communities.
The founder of Mulberries, Mrs Kommaly Chanthavong, who is based in Xieng Khuang province, is a good role model for the improvement of the lives of women weavers and mulberry growers in Laos.
The programme started in the middle of last year. It was found that trainee weavers needed accommodation so programme staff decided to build a hostel for them, at the Mulberries farm.
The Women Eco-Weaver programme falls under the sericulture programme, which supports Mulberries farmers and trains women weavers.
The Women Eco-Weaver programme has been set up in Cambodia, Indonesia, and Laos.
Maybank is delighted to support the project. The creations of women weavers have long been appreciated by the Maybank Group, and Maybank Asean such as in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Mulberries has worked for 20 years with women weavers in Laos. In one year they trained 30 new weavers, had 50 households growing mulberry trees, and built a hostel for the trainees.
The ancient art of textile weaving cuts across the borders of the 10 member nations of Asean. While the textiles are works of art that represent these countries’ heritage, the women weavers, who alone can sustain this traditional craft, struggle to survive in modern times.
Mrs Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin said Maybank had made a commitment to make a difference to the lives of women weavers.
CEO of the Maybank Foundation, Encik Sharril Azuar Jimin, said the Maybank Foundation reflected the desire of the Maybank Group to provide financial services in Southeast Asia and work with Maybank Laos to help developing communities everywhere that Maybank has branches.
In Laos, 15 new weavers are given training in one year and there are 50 on-site training programmes for mulberry tree growers.
Ambassador of Malaysia to Laos Mr Encik Mohd Aini Atan, Deputy Governor of Xieng Khuang province Ms Outaine Phasysonxay, and officials from Maybank, the Maybank Foundation and Lao ministries attended the launch.