By reading this we hope you can understand and appreciate why our key mission is improving the future of our village lifestyles.
In particular, Thai Silk Magic and our other online businesses are dedicated to helping our village children to have better education opportunities and in so doing be able to break the “vicious cycle of poverty” experienced by the parents and previous generations.
Our small village of Ban Dong Yang is located in the rural north east of Thailand called “Isaan”. Although it is one of the poorest regions, the people who live here represent the heart and soul of Thailand. It’s also the “rice bowl” of Thailand.
We SHARE ALL OUR PROFITS from all our businesses in our passionate belief that Our Mission can, must and will succeed!
If you have a map of Thailand handy, you will probably not find our little village but if you look at the far north east corner of the map maybe you can find our nearest town called Si Sa Ket, which is about 15 miles away.
Climate extremes and poor soils continually make life tough for our people but these challenges must be balanced against an infectious smile and a real sense of generosity. The people may be poor but they also have the desire to give what ever limited resources they have plus their time and attention to others, just because of the good feelings this generates in both.
Every day without fail, our neighbors come to our home with food they want to share even though they have limited amounts themselves. They just love to give. This is the spirit of “nam-jai” that literally means “juice of the heart” or generosity.
Si Sa Ket Province
Rice farming is the major rural activity along with maize, sugar cane, absolutely delicious fruit and a wonderful range of exotic vegetables. However, our province is most famous for the resilience of its people, Thai silkworms and onions!!
The average family monthly income is less than US$250 – many have less than US$100. As a result, nearly every household needs to borrow money and be in constant debt just to meet even the basic essentials of life. This is a real problem but it still does not deter them from being “sanook” or having a sense of fun in absolutely everything they do. Being happy and having fun permeates all aspects of their lives despite their economic challenges.
Multi Day Events
Births, deaths and marriages are all 3 or 4 day events in our village. It does not matter what you may have been busy doing, at times like these you stop and get together with everyone to share joy, excitement, sorrow and support.
The Importance of “Sanook”
“Sanook” even occurs at funerals once the body has been cremated, with the sounds of loud Thai country style music coming from giant loudspeakers, reverberating throughout the entire village. Don’t even think about sneaking off for a quiet sleep! People eat and dance to all hours of the night and look to the future with renewed hopes and dreams of a better life.
The women of Isaan not only do the family chores, but help the men during rice planting and harvesting. They also artistically hand-weave Thai silk fabrics for relaxation, and sometimes for the chance to earn some extra money at the local markets.
Enthusiasm and Pride
The region, villages and the homes of these people are very poor but their enthusiasm for life, closeness to nature and great pride in their long heritage, are clearly seen in their superb Thai silk fabrics, using methods handed down from great grandmothers.
Rural Debt Problem in North Eastern Thailand
Rural debt is a major problem in Isaan and the farmers borrow every year from the government agricultural bank. They often have to borrow elsewhere to pay the bank back. People do not give up easily and try to earn enough money to repay the debt by selling their rice and working long hours in construction or other activities during the breaks in the rice farming cycle.
Despite their resilience and inspiring survival instincts, the rice prices are low; the jobs available are very poor paying and the cost of even basic living conditions are increasing every year.
Educating our Children is VITAL
However, the resulting ever-increasing burden of debt does not diminish their hopes for a better future for their children. Teachers are highly revered in our village as they represent an opportunity for the children to achieve opportunities that their parents could only dream about.
That is why this year we were so upset when we saw tears in the eyes of parents who were forced to take their children out of our village school because they could not pay for the uniforms or the small school fees.
At Thai Silk Magic we know that there is no future in being a rice farmer and one of the driving forces of Our Mission is to make sure all our kids get the chance to have a better future.
Many of us have not had the opportunity of a good education and we do not want our children to face this situation.
We are dedicated and passionate about using what ever funds we can generate to help each and every child in our village to be able to look to the future with a smile!
Our Key Mission
·This life-cycle of debt is the key motivator of Thai Silk Magic.
By reading this we hope you can understand and appreciate why our key mission is improving our lifestyles and education opportunities for the children of our remote Thai village.
The pride, generosity, determination and sheer artistry of the weavers, enabled us to make the very easy decision to establish our Thai Silk Magic group.
It’s both a pleasure and an honor to work with our wonderfully resilient people; and to increase the awareness of their magnificent Thai silk fabrics. We know our village people can weave their way out of their economic woes. We just want to be there with them, working hard together, having fun and sharing their dreams.