Ying Yun Wan is a small group of women weavers who live in a Shan Refugee Camp in Wiang Haeng district in the north of Thailand. The group was officially established in 2010, with a total of six members. They received financial support from a Canadian individual who initially provided some weaving materials to help them start off. He encouraged them to weave as a means of creating some income for the women who at the time were struggling greatly to find work outside of the camp. Their unique array of patterns are based on traditional patterns, passed on from weaver to weaver- although over the years the patterns of their scarves have gradually developed and changed.
All items are handwoven by the Shan Women’s Cooperative in Koung Jor Camp. This project has been form to promote self-sufficiency of the women and to improve the education of their children.
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
Collaboration with Borderline