August 28, 2008
by Canadian Architect
American Express is currently offering $2.5 million in funding to support exciting and innovative ideas that make a difference in the world. They will be selecting 5 “Members’ Projects” for funding.
In many parts of South Asia, young women are left with little options in gaining employment. Unfortunately, thousands some are as young as 12 are being trafficked and lost into prostitution every year. Last month, Architecture for Humanity’s Executive Director Cameron Sinclair was in Bangkok with Eve Blossom of Lulan Artisans to find a way to help scale her successful model of local empowerment through social enterprise. By expanding her fair-trade weaving cooperatives throughout South East Asia, collectively we can affect the lives of thousands of families.
Architecture for Humanity (AFH) is partnering with Lulan Artisans, for a Members’ project entitled “End Human Trafficking Through Sustainable Livelihoods.” Please help by nominating AFH’s project and encourage others to do the same.
Please visit www.membersproject.com/project/view/JAO706 and click the “Nominate this Project” button on the centre of the page. Follow the directions to either log in as an American Express card member, or sign up as a guest member. You will be directed back to the project, at which point you should be able to click the Nominate this Project button again.
Utilize the Architecture for Humanity network by forwarding this information to as many people as you can – the more people that nominate the project, the better chance AFH has to allow them to partner on this incredible project. They are only 2,000 nominations short!
Lulan Artisans is a locally driven social venture that creates an alliance between textile designers and gifted artisans to produce hand-woven fabrics through-out South Asia. By providing economic opportunity and stability this project helps preserve the art of hand-weaving in Asia while creating environmentally sustainable fabrics. Collections include fabric by the yard, as well as home and fashion accessories are already marketed through select retailers and outlets.
Now Lulan Artisans is ready to expand, hire thousands of weavers and build innovative off-the-grid weaving centres whose profits will support these artisans but also provide health care and schooling for their children.
Architecture for Humanity and its designers will provide innovative off-the-grid weaving centres that respect tradition but which represent a new way forward. Each building will not only be an anchor for these artisans but will signal that change has arrived. Building designs will share openly with anyone wanting to replicate them through a Creative Commons licensing mechanism on the Open Architecture Network. This way innovation is shared and more communities can benefit.
On a local level, Lulan Artisans currently supports over 650 weavers, spinners, dyers and finishers using a holistic approach to produce fabrics that are better for the environment. These centres are in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. AFH’s goal is to produce additional weaving centres to increase the number of artisans to over 6,000, thus increasing production and expanding reach to many more weaving families and communities. Architecture for Humanity is building a more sustainable future by bringing professional design services to communities in need. They believe that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable and collaborative design can improve lives.