Seeds of Change was officially welcomed to its new home in Koh Sirae, east of Phuket Town, as the Phuket Governor and local dignitaries visited the property this morning.
Governor Narong and Mrs. Boonwandee, the President of the Phuket Provincial Red Cross, attended the official ceremony which kicked off at 9am this morning. Shaun Stenning, the Founder Living Waters Phuket, welcomed the special guests and explained how the charity had now become a sustainable business model that could now be exported beyond Phuket as an example of a sustainable “double win” charity.
Shaun explained that Seeds of Change had morphed from simply teaching sewing skills to migrant mums into a workable and self-sustaining charity project.
“Eco- friendly Seeds Of Change recycle and upcycle materials to create culturally-appropriate products. The products themselves are symbolic of Thailand. Eco chic and desirable, they provide a positive image of the country and help promote tourism in Phuket.”
Headed up by local Sam McCue, Seeds of Change was an early project for Living Waters Phuket to support. Shaun says that there is nothing more important right now, than to enable people to support themselves.
“Seeds Of Change has been one of the most successful projects Living Waters Phuket has supported. We are so proud of Sam and her team. They have worked tirelessly towards making this project into a self-sustaining, training, educational and support system for the disadvantaged in our community. As a project it ticks every possible box.”
Sam and the Seeds of Change team, are now making toy elephants, and a host of other boutique gifts and toys, from recycled and re-purposed fabric. So popular were the early samples toy elephants, that there’s now demand from many of Phuket’s best hotels to provide them in their souvenir shops or as gifts for special guests.
“Once only sold in Phuket, now Seeds Of Change are receiving orders for their products from around Thailand and overseas. The project is becoming financially self sustaining with every single baht from purchases of going back to helping those who the program is designed for.”
The success of Seeds of Change has now reached beyond the island’s borders and other charities are looking to repeat the model in other parts of Thailand. The upskilling of their community, recycling fabrics and successfully retailing the results is a potent business model that could work anywhere in Thailand.
Phuket’s Governor congratulated everyone involved with Seeds of Change and wished the project well in its new home on Koh Sirae. The Governor also awarded new scholarships to community recipients who will now work with Sam and her team, learn new skills and help put some natty new toy elephants and other souvenirs onto shelves around the world.
“Today, we celebrate the past achievements of Seeds Of Change, the move into this new property and the awarding of scholarships to 5 new students. This is an exciting time for Seeds Of Change and we are proud to see it continue growing.”