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What is the project about?

There are more than 10,000 Burmese refugees in the Manipur state of India since the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar. Around 300 of them have skills in handloom weaving and now they have the opportunity to work at handloom weaving centres in New Lamka town; 70% of them are women and they can support their families with their daily income, but they have to work for the whole day. They need to prepare for their future, for example, by creating social enterprises so they can start their own businesses online and physically in India. They can also bring experiences and skills back to Myanmar when the political situation is calm and stable once again.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols, at the present time, it is not possible to organise face-to-face training and workshops in India. At the same time, the weavers cannot interrupt their working hours to learn new things, because survival is essential for them. Therefore, the ASORCOM team is planning to build a community network to support them with affordable unlimited internet access to make it possible for the weavers to listen to community radio programmes over the network while they are working and without disturbing their daily work. In turn, they can learn something useful and meaningful for their future, which can empower them to become social entrepreneurs.

Institution involved:

Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)

Project representatives:

Dim Khat Pau (Lydia Dim Dim)

Michael Suantak

Meet the rest of the 2021 grantees!