Yadi is an artisan weaver living in rural northern Thailand. She is a member of a marginalized hill tribe community known as the Mlabri.
For almost 1,000 years, the Mlabri lived as a gentle, peaceful hunter-gatherer society, secluded from the outside world. Rapid deforestation, reckless development and warfare in the mid-20th century robbed them of their jungle home and nearly destroyed the tribe's unique lifestyle- they were forced to labor in toxic slash & burn agriculture as indentured servants. Malaria and malnourishment decimated the tribe- they are listed on UNESCO's endangered languages list with just 300 Mlabri left in the world.
Yadi was born in the jungles to a traditional Mlabri family as the world around them fell apart. She spent all of her growing up years working as a laborer in the fields, feeling that she had no options to take control of her future. When the opportunity to weave hammocks came along, she leapt at it! She was among the first group to learn and perfect hammock weaving and she has never gone back to being a hired hand again.
Yadi would like to improve her home-based weaving operation, where she can watch over her younger children, and invest in raw materials so she can secure consistent weaving work and increase her income potential.
Yadi is married with six children and she has helped ensure each of them receives the formal education she was denied. The healthy, stable income from weaving hammocks has helped Yadi engineer a turnaround and pull her culture back from the brink of extinction. She looks forward to a brighter future for her family and community.
About Yellow Leaf Hammocks
Yellow Leaf Hammocks is a for-profit social enterprise that trains and supports artisan weavers as they create high-margin luxury hammocks. By laying the foundation for a sustainable micro-economy, the organization is helping alleviate poverty, social injustice and environmental degradation for rural hill tribes in northern Thailand. The enterprise is a wholesale hammock seller that distributes its products through retail boutiques and e-commerce websites.
Kiva lenders’ funds are used to help artisans buy the raw materials to make hammocks. Additionally, the funds are used to expand the distribution network to increase hammock sales globally.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks joined Kiva through our Experimental Partnership Program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner carry a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.