Monday, March 28, 2011

A silk weaving group in Prey Cherteal Village, Takeo Province

by Ms. Daneth
Prey Cherteal is one of the villages in Prey Kabash district, Takeo province. This village is known for people who are good in silk weaving. The whole family is helping each other to do weaving, though mostly women and girls do the actual weaving. They learn from one generation to one generation. Most of the girls learn to weave starting about 12 years old. Nowadays the grandmothers and mothers are passing on what they know to the next generation so that this skill will not be lost from their community in the future. Additionally, people in this village are also able to improve their life through this skill. It provides them with a good income and the children don't need to look for job outside the community. It is living skill.

The weavers in Prey Cherteal could earn more from this work, but unfortunately they don’t have enough capital to own their own business. One of the most labor intensive parts of weaving is putting the thread on the warp. Therefore, they need to buy enough silk to thread their warp for 3-6 months of weaving at one time. This costs about $250, which is more capital than most families have available.

The rich business middle-men take this opportunity to cover the capital for them to buy the silk thread and dyes needed. When the middle men provide the thread and dye and the women only do the weaving, they get less benefit. Our people borrow the money and the raw material from the middle-men. The middle-men calculate the interest more than helping people and giving them benefit.

Our Methodist Church is working with this community through the church. There are some people also believe Christ, most of them are women. CHAD takes time to learn the situation of this village from day to day then we started to give the seed money to help the women to start Silk Weaving group with six members. Through this project three women were able to get loan first in September 10, 2010. Through this help the member of this group are able to earn more if we compare when they work under price control of middle-men.

Nowadays, they are able to earn profit of $ 20/set after they pay back their loan to their Silk Weaving Group. Before they were able to earn only $ 7.5/set. There are 4 meters/set for one warp and they also can finish 1 set in 15 days to 1 month. The 3 members give back the money with interest through the policy they made as part of the Silk Weaving Group. They keep this money in the village bank. This helps them feel safe and earns more interest from the bank.

Through this money that was paid back, on February 2, 2011, the group was able to give a loan to the next woman. Now 4 of the 6 members in the group have received a loan. They also plan to reach out to new member in the future after all the 6 member get a loan. In order to be chosen, the new members have to be kind, generous, ability for weaving, not default on another loan, to be patient and work hard. Another plan is that they want to start a saving group from the silk weaving group.

Through our monitoring visit we learned that this group is responsible, work together and also help one another in order to reach the community need. This is the vision of CHAD to see, after we help people and people can help themselves and reach out to their community.

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