Eet and her husband are both members of the Mlabri tribe, and they are two of the Mlabri who feel most strongly about education and the opportunity to provide a strong foundation for their children.
Eet always had great potential as a student and fought to be able to study through part of secondary school, but her family’s immediate needs won out over her long-term education. Even as a child, her hands were needed in the fields to ensure that the family escaped malnourishment.
As a member of the Mlabri, Eet has faced an uphill battle for her entire life. The Mlabri and other hill tribes had been denied citizenship, making it extremely difficult to obtain schooling, healthcare, and even basic civil rights. Because the Mlabri only recently transitioned from their reclusive past as hunter & gatherers, they have been taken advantage of by stronger, more modern neighboring tribes. Eet and many of her fellow Mlabri were forced to work in slash & burn agriculture as indentured servants without hope of escape from a life of back-breaking field labor.
Despite this tragic history, weaving hammocks has created a new path for Eet- she and her fellow weavers are some of the first Mlabri to escape the cycle of false debt and begin to build a brighter future for their children. Eet and her husband have kept up their studies and they are one of the few Mlabri couples who can speak, read and write in the Thai language. They are devoted to their children’s education and wellbeing and are working hard to improve their lives. This loan is a part of their long-term plan to stabilize their income and expand their opportunities.
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.