New initiatives

  • BraceLove 

In 2016, friends of Sarnelli House, Weena and Khun B Plus, had an idea. Both had been to Nongkhai on numerous occasions to help the children of Sarnelli House. They invited Khun Rudee, one of Thailand’s top modern jewellery designers to come and teach the girls at Vienghuk some simple designs made out of naturally dyed cotton and rice stalks from Jomp’s Farm. The girls began to work on the designs. It was hard work at first, winding the not so pliant dried rice stalks into small tight balls and using needle and cotton to sew them to keep their shape. Designs included traditional sticky rice containers made into a pendant, rings and earrings and lovely brightly coloured necklaces.  Thanks to Khun B Plus’ marketing skills and with the help of the Co-Incidence Team from Bangkok, who also came to teach the girls, the BraceLove product was developed. The Co-Incidence team provided product packaging, as well as their design work for the product logo.  A whole product display stand was also developed and supplied free of charge by the Co-Incidence team. Now, the girls work on the unique designs in the evenings and weekends. They aim to sell them at fairs and festivals and enjoy learning how to deal with people and make a sale. So far, they have travelled as far afield as Bangkok to sell.  The girls really enjoy making the jewellery together and keeping in contact with Khun Rudee, Weena and Khun B Plus. One of the challenges is transporting the product and all the displays to the different fairs. So far, the girls are treading water and are not making great profits as the travel, food and accommodation overheads all add up. In 2018, we hope to make a big push to sell more products. Even with the disruption that moving to a new house will bring, the girls are keen to continue their work.  All the thanks for the ideas and development and continued support goes to those already mentioned, who have mentored the girls since 2016 all for free and as an add on to their busy working lives. Ms. Lek and Ms. Dak have also been a wonderful support and encouragement to the girls, giving them the time and place to work. Although this project is being managed by Ms. Dak and her creative fingers, Ms. Lek has other projects she is helping the girls with. 

  • Bags for all occasions 

Ms. Lek has taught the girls how to weave bags for all occasions out of plastic strips. There are handbags, containers for the bathroom or kitchen, place mats and coasters all in vibrant colours and of different shapes and sizes. The girls make them in the evenings and on weekends and love to sit on the floor talking and watching TV while they make them. Visitors to Sarnelli House are all very impressed and almost all have returned home having bought some of the handicrafts.

For information on any of these products please e-mail:  volunteer@sarnelliorphanage.org

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