Unrest situations in the 3 southern-border provinces have been continued for 12 years, and they considerably affect living way of local people. The group with most impacts includes women and children. Around 2,800 women had to lose their husband and become a widow while approximately 8,000 children became an orphan. These women changed their role from being a housewife to be an economic leader to earn a living for their family members. Moreover, they have to do more duties than before and lack capitals, business and marketing knowledge
“The business center for Wanita Society” is originated from cooperation of Oxfam Foundation and local networks. The term “Wanita” is Malay language meaning woman. Therefore, it is clear that this group aims to enhance potentials of the woman career group and be a link between areas and sectors to provide support and help building area for communication. This reflects stories of the women’s life that they have to stand to fight, get stronger, and persevere to have a better life amidst unrests in the areas.
The business center for Wanita Society co-works with women in 56 groups from 56 communities in the 3 southern-border provinces and four districts of Songkhla Province. They gather and present products of the women career groups that have good quality and uniqueness in the 3 southern-border provinces to be widely well-known. They do marketing through online channels including www.wanita.in.th and via Facebook: www.facebook.com/wanitase for outsiders to understand and perceive stories of the local people. Moreover, it is the area for promoting products to be better known and accessible to more markets.
The group’s products include local products such as Kue Poh Fish crackers, fried bananas and handicraft products, with sponsorship from British Council, seeing channels of potential development for members in Wanita Community Enterprise. Thus, it cooperated with experts in the business sector and local educational institutions to provide a lecture and training and co-work with the community with focus on the villagers putting community’s identity in the designs with outstanding characters. As a result, there are 4 new collections of the wickerwork reflecting identity of the 4 communities.
After registering as a community enterprise in 2018, the team arranged the first general meeting for Wanita members on 18th February 2020 to report the members of overall operation of the business, profit allocation plan, member’s quality of life development plan, and marketing plan. In 2020, the members intend to market fried banana products and provide a website http://www.talesfromthesouth.shop particularly for handicraft product marketing.
All of these is growth with pride with sustainable development by supporting women to be able to operate the business to grow along with community and society. When having more income, the women can manage their lives, and take care of their family members to have better quality of life. They can also develop the business and believe in their potentials. Furthermore, they can access resources in the area making economy of the communities in the 3 southern-border provinces better. Their households and communities have current money from selling products and expanding markets, and local people will have a job to do with no need to work outside the area. The women can lead changes, leading to participation in peacemaking process as the foundation of solving problems in the areas