Laos, the home of JungleVine® and Nature Bag products, is a tiny and stunningly beautiful country in Southeast Asia. We would like to take this opportunity to promote other organizations that are working hard and making a difference in our dear homeland.
Legacies of War -- During the Vietnam War, more than two million tons of unexploded ordnance were dropped on Laos. An estimated 30 percent of the ordnance did not explode on impact, leaving much of the countryside contaminated by deadly tennis ball-sized bombs. The threat of deadly unexploded ordnance limits Laotian people’s ability to cultivate enough land for food and to maintain secure livelihoods, exacerbating the nation’s extreme poverty. Legacies of War has raised awareness about UXO contamination in Laos and their work has led to a tenfold increase in funding for UXO clearance and victim assistance in Laos.
Article 22’s PEACEBOMB collection is jewelry handcrafted in Laos using bomb shrapnel found throughout the Lao countryside after incessant bombing raids from 1964 to 1973. Each piece helps clear unexploded ordnance and benefits the artisans who craft the pieces using wood and ash molds in remote villages.
Halo2Go empowers young women in Laos who aspire to get an education and learn business skills. Entrepreneur artisans create purses, clutches, and small totes for carrying water bottles. The project is named for uniquely-designed infinity scarves that feature hidden pockets to conceal valuables.
COPE, founded in 1996, has helped thousands of people with mobility-related disabilities, including UXO survivors, to receive prosthetic and orthotic services free of charge, allowing them to regain mobility and dignity.
Her Works promotes economic growth and a better quality of life for Lao women artisans from many ethnic groups, including Hmong, Lue, Khmu, Katu, Yao, Akha, Karen, Lawa, and Naga. Her Works has retail shops in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Laos.
Women's Business School of Textile Arts offers farming women the opportunity to study the traditional crafts of weaving and embroidery. Similar to our project, they are working to preserve ancient crafts. The school opened in the fall of 2018 and is the most recent in a series of projects in Laos coordinated by two Australian journalists. In 2019, they released an outstanding 50-minute documentary about fiber artisans all over Laos.
This list is a work in progress. If you know of an organization that should be included, please email us at email@example.com.