July 2021 marked the graduation of 16 women and 13 men participants from the Fairtrade NAPP Gender Leadership School from 5 countries; Indonesia, Thailand/Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines. To support the participants, and take on Leadership and Management roles in their communities, organizations, and households, Small Entrepreneurships Projects (GLS Mini Projects) grants were provided through the GLS Platform after graduation.

Under the grant, the proposals of  07 small producer organisations were selected for piloting Projects on Income diversification and enhancing the members’ leadership capacity to improve the livelihood of women and young people.

The Projects are in different rolling stages across 05 countries in Southeast Asia and will cover 173 beneficiaries’:

  • Kerawang Gayo Openwork Handicrafts Project for women and youth economic empowerment at Permata Gayo Coffee Cooperative in Indonesia

Bener Meriah district in Aceh province, Indonesia is one of the regencies that has abundant natural resources in agriculture and tourism that spoils the eyes. The Gayo community also has a lot of traditional arts and handicrafts that are the pride of the Gayo community’s artistic identity. The “Kerawang Gayo” craft involves making handicrafts in the form of bracelets, skullcaps, sarongs, bags, and even clothes.

Post the impact of COVID-19 on the economical aspect of the Gayo community, starting from tourism to agriculture export, many young people and women craftsmen found their passion and enthusiasm in making local Gayo handicrafts. Therefore, identifying the needs of the community, Permata Gayo selected the Kerawang Gayo Openwork handicraft as a project under GLS for empowering women and youth in the community. The training was provided by the Cooperative to 16 participants (13 women and 3 men) from March 9th to March 18th, 2022.

As the export of Gayo coffee was also constrained causing a decline in the price of Gayo coffee, the aim of the training was to support the women and youth to improve their skills and knowledge in diversifying their income.  As per the Cooperative, the participants were enthusiastic to attend the training as Kerawang gayo craft has a high potential for export in the overseas market thus creating a promising business model for the youth and women. The Cooperative is optimistic that the project will continue and lead to a new and creative model for income.


  • Digital Marketing on Lazada and Shopee for coffee products in Vietnam 

The project was implemented by 5 GLS participants from various coffee producer organisations in Vietnam. The Project idea came from the fact that COVID-19 had made the cooperative’s goods sluggish, there were coffee backlogs, fewer export demands, and a shift in consumers’ shopping patterns to e-commerce platforms.

The solution found by a group of young cooperatives was to learn about digital and eCommerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada in order to reach a wider market to promote and sell their coffee, to create new job opportunities and increase income and knowledge for women and youth.

Through the Digital Marketing course, the participants learned about the core index of the E-commerce market and the LAZADA floor, market research and decoding of the customer file LAZADA update 2021, choosing products with high profits for business, building product brands and booths to create competitive barriers and sustainable profits, posting standard SEO products on LAZADA and occupying the top search, increasing conversion rate, optimizing traffic for revenue and saving money on advertising, mastering the LAZADA marketing tools for driving internal and external traffic, customer retention and increasing the return on investment.

Post the training, the account and product profiling of coffee cooperatives have been created on Shopee- an e-commerce platform in Vietnam.  The group found they still lacked a lot of knowledge about promoting the domestic brand and they need to start learning and joining many prominent e-commerce sites in the country to approach domestic customer channels and find ways to sell products on international e- commerce.

  • Awareness raising on chemical hazards to farmers health Project at Sisakate Farmers Groups in Thailand

A training on chemical hazards to farmers’ health was organised by Sisakate farmers groups on October 20th, 2021.  76 participants attended the training out of which 70% were women. The training was aimed at improving the participant’s knowledge and understanding of chemical hazards and how to protect themselves while working in the field. The training made the participants aware of how to use good protective equipment available in the village to protect themselves from chemical contamination thereby saving themselves from any health risks.

  • Soap and tea production from coffee grounds and coffee pulps at CPC-Laos

The project for making soaps from coffee grounds and for making tea from coffee pulps was implemented by CPC from February 2nd-9th, 202 to help the young women members of the Nongchua village group with an additional source of income. The objective was to create products by adding value to the unused waste at the coffee farm and to generate a source for a revolving fund. As soaps and teas are daily life products, they can help generate income locally. 37 members out of which 13 are women have completed the project in February 2022. The knowledge and lessons learned by these members will be shared with other groups who are ready to implement the project.

  • Provision of Carabao and Sacks of Rice for MACFAWA women Project at MACFAWA-Ma. Cecilia Farm Workers Association in Philippines

The project was implemented by MACFAWA from January 23rd to April 29th, 2022 to help their women members with an additional and alternative source of income to improve their economic capacity and social equity and strengthen their participation in the organization. The target beneficiaries were 22 women members.  Under the project, provisions are made for carabao and sacks for women to re-sell the rice benefitting not only the members but the community as well due to the cheaper price of rice and lesser expense in transportation costs.

Currently, the project is ongoing and the income generated by the women is being added to their capital. Though the income is not huge it still provides the members and the community an assurance of a regular supply of rice at a cheaper cost in comparison to the market.

  • Turmeric Tea Production project at NAFWA-Nakalang Farm Workers Association   NAFWA-Nakalang Farm Workers Association in the Philippines

Under the tea production project, a turmeric processing center was constructed by NAFWA in the first quarter of 2022 for 17 members, who are the direct beneficiaries. Approximately 3 kilos of turmeric were processed and this will be sold among the members and the community as a part of the quality assessment. Post the assessment the members will connect with friends to help them sell the product in the community and the local market. The turmeric being produced is 100% organic, of good quality, and known for its many health benefits.

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