Mang was born and raised in a Hmong village in Payao, a province in northern Thailand. After her marriage, she moved with her husband and extended family to a large village called Khunsatan in Nan Province. Unfortunately, they were soon forced to migrate again. There was not enough land for their family to farm, so her husband helped lead a group of Hmong to settle further south, in Phrae Province. Over the decades, this settlement grew into the village of Huay Hom and hundreds of Hmong people made homes there.
A few years ago, Mang’s husband passed away. Like many older Hmong people, she faced a difficult adjustment due to changing cultural norms and the impact of the outside world. In a society that values hard work throughout life, older women would traditionally have home-based roles (sewing clothes, preparing food, etc.). Factory-made clothing and premade foods have eroded their roles, leaving women like Mang without a clear role to contribute to the family.
Hammock weaving created a new opportunity for Mang to earn her own income and continue to contribute to the extended family's household she lives in. Hammock weaving has made her a financial leader among her relatives! This loan will help Mang provide for herself, manage her finances and enjoy a home-based job that allows her to work on her own schedule and spend time with family.
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.