Saturday, January 22, 2011

Centuries old Craft

Kiva, 'Letters from the Field' is an interesting blog written by the field workers who administer the loans provided to small businesses in challenged countries.

One letter provides a reflection of the silk weaving industry in Cambodia. Due to rising prices of silk, the centuries old craft is threatened.

"55 year old Ny told me that the women of her family have been weaving for generations, since “ancient times.” She taught her five children to weave, including her three sons. But when I asked why her loom was dismantled and now being used to prop up a bicycle she explained that it just wasn’t lucrative enough anymore, and that she had switched to farming vegetables. She’s kept the loom rather than selling it in the hopes that she will be able to start weaving again in the future.

Most weavers in Cambodia are women–the craft is passed down from mother to daughter. They usually start weaving when they are in their early teens and continue until their eyes give out. Many of them are subsistence farmers during the rice season, and most have one or two looms set up in houses that lack running water."

Letters like this provide a vivid portrayal about life going on globally. Often they provide a poignant picture of a hopeful people seeking a meaningful livelihood for their families within the community.

Kiva (loans that change lives) is one way in which help can be provided to fulfill their dreams.