Mae Sot, Thailand
Partners since 2019
There is a beautiful phrase spoken as a blessing over youth in Myanmar. Lay le ya is a Pwo Karen saying that means hope-filled forward motion. Sojourn Studio’s mission is to make that phrase a reality for migrant women along the Thailand-Myanmar border who would otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation.
Since 2017, Sojourn Studio has been empowering women to earn extra income while discovering their immense value through ceramic training and social programs. Through their apprenticeship program, teens are able to establish savings to expand opportunities for their futures, while the workshop’s day program gives mothers and young women the chance to earn extra income that enables them to make safe choices for themselves and their families.
Mae Sot, Thailand
Thailand is a country located in the tropics of Southeast Asia and is composed of a diverse array of ecosystems, from dense forests to fertile rice paddies to beautiful coastline resorts. This makes the country an ideal home for an incredible number of animal species–in fact, it’s estimated that 10% of the animal species on earth can be found in Thailand. The Thai people represent dozens of ethnic groups, each with unique cultural traditions and ways of life. Ancient temples and ornate golden palaces dot the Thai landscape, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Flourishing World Initiative Grant Recipient
During the COVID pandemic, Sojourn Studios was forced to temporarily close its doors without profit. But a Flourishing World Initiative grant helped them continue paying their Artisans until the workshop could reopen.
In addition, a $4000 grant is enabling the workshop to invest in mental health services for their Artisans, including individual counseling sessions and training.
For many, this is their first time having access to mental health professionals who are helping them cope with past trauma in healthy ways and develop positive self-esteem.
Stories of Flourishing
San AyeSan Aye once struggled to support her two children–but today she is earning a sustainable income, and even receives special wages for savings and education. She is also enrolled in literacy classes and is learning to read and write in her own native language. With the additional income Noonday's business has provided, she is able to make wise decisions that will keep herself and her children safe and together. San Aye loves her work and says, "It's a wonderful feeling to have created something so beautiful."
Gold RainGrowing up, Gold Rain and her family were often forced to leave their home due to civil war violence. This instability made her determined to build a stable life for herself, and to become the first in her family to finish school. After graduating, Gold Rain was hired as Sojourn’s first-ever Studio Director, a position made possible by Noonday customer orders. Today, she leads a team of Artisans and works to create a supportive workshop community where other women can find security too.