Less than a year ago Chawsu was deciding whether or not to send her small children away in order to be able to work longer and try to make ends meet.
Thanks to a business loan from The Charis Project, she was able to start a small business instead. But Chawsu didn’t stop at one business. She’s been busy.
Last month when it was time for her loan payment she asked us to come and join her for lunch. She wanted to show us what she had been up to. Chawsu and her husband started a grocery delivery service, to families in the migrant camp where they live. Since she had so much extra food at her house she decided to take advantage of it. For no extra cost to herself, except time, she started a hot meal service for some of the single men in the camp who don’t like to cook. For a monthly fee, they come to her house at meal times and eat her delicious curries. They pay more for this than they would for grocery service, and she’s already cooking for her family so it’s easy for her.
This little side business is adding even more to their family’s savings.
Thus encouraged she started a laundry service also.
Her daughters have now begun Thai preschool and on those half days Chawsu takes other jobs to bring in an income.
She asked us to help her find yet another job, maybe cleaning houses.
In our opinion another job is beneath her abilities, and we’ve offered to partner with her in another business venture if she would like.
This woman’s energy is incredible. She is dreaming of being able to buy land in Burma in a few years, and hoping, as everyone here is hoping, that the democracy that is spoken of is real, and that she will be free to go home with her children.
*Just FYI, regardless of what you see in your media sources, Myanmar is still far from being a safe place for refugees and displaced persons to return to. We who work on the border between Thailand and Myanmar are quite concerned with what is going to happen to the migrants and refugees here, following recent developments.