WDREC was founded in 2008 by a group of people from a Karen community in Mae Klong Khee, in the Tak Province of Thailand. WDREC aims to support women in their community by finding markets for their handmade products, helping to improve their skills and encourage young women to continue traditions in their culture, while promoting the use of natural products and farming methods that are friendly to environment and people.
Between 2006 and 2007, locals were facing problems in the village due to the price of corn rising, and issues concerning the land. At the time they realised the negative impact this could have on the community, and therefore resolved to protect their culture and traditions. It was then that the decision was made to set up a weaving group, since most of the women already had weaving skills, although they didn’t quite appreciate their knowledge of this handicraft. WDREC believes in the importance of preserving their own cultural heritage and safeguarding the natural environment they live in. They strive to go back to their own cultural roots, re-establishing a sense of pride and union within the community, reconnecting to nature and re integrating a mindful way of living.
The direct beneficiaries of WDREC
In the next few years, the group is interested in focusing on building a sustainable environment for the community, running an organic farm which would provide food as well as growing their own cotton plants.
Collaboration with Borderline
Besides selling the products from WDREC, Borderline assists on organising weaving workshops and natural dye workshops. Also the community grows some organic products and Borderline’s organic peanut butter comes from Mae Khlong Khee.
In Mae Khlong Khee, the community focuses on their culture and environment. Organic production is encouraged.