Sowing SEEDs

Fellow Award Winner visits BTN

Jagriti is a community-based organization empowering poor, disadvantaged hill women in India through the sale of locally-produced herbal and organic goods. Mimi Chueng of Andaman Discoveries met force behind the venture (and fellow 2008 SEED Award winner), Mamta Chandarat, at the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in New York last June.

“We strive to improve livelihoods by increasing social, environmental, and economic sustainability,” said Mamta of her project. Seeing the obvious parallels between her work and that of the Ban Talae Nok women’s soap group, she visited Andaman Discoveries in November to see the operation firsthand and share her advice.

“Mamta is an expert in handicrafts, and gave us many ideas to improve our process,” said Ladda “Pink” Aharn of Ban Talae Nok. Mamta also participated in a village homestay, where she fell in love with the people, natural surroundings, and especially the food. The Ban Talae Nok soap cooperative is making substantial progress in domestic marketing, garnering increasing interest from hotels and crafts shops in Bangkok, Khao Lak, and Phuket. “Now we can be more efficient, and this will benefit the village,” added Pink.

Andaman Discoveries gratefully acknowledges SEED for sponsoring Mamta’s visit.