Other Social Businesses

Myanmar Garment Industry

Garment manufacturing has been the back bone industry for emerging Asian economies and will play a vital role in Myanmar’s fledgling economy.  Since international sanctions have been lifted Myanmar’s once thriving garment industry is reawakening, providing 300,000 women with steady factory jobs.  Typically these women are young, single and recent migrates to Yangon industrial zones from rural villages. They earn $80-$120 a month, working 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Most of their hard earned income is sent home to support their families.

BusinessKind Supports Women Garment Workers

BusinessKind engages in a multi-faceted approach to support women garment workers by establishing businesses that provide them with practical and affordable services.  We understand what our GoodSleep Bed Net employees need to thrive at the work place and we can facilitate these services to many more women who live and work in our community.

swiss-house

BusinessKind received a generous donation from a Swiss supporter to buy a house in August 2013. SwissHouse is a two-story 1500 square foot house located in the heart of one of Yangon’s industrial zones and close to our GoodSleep Bed Net and GoodNight Candle factory. The purpose of SwissHouse is to be a venue for community services with a specific focus on sustainable programs that help women work their way out of poverty.

 

Thone Pan Hla members participating in a BusinessKind sponsored healthy living workshop at SwissHouse Hall

 


thone-pan-hla

Myanmar’s Women Garment Workers Association

Thone Pan Hla is Myanmar’s first and only women garment workers association. It was initiated by BusinessKind with a grant from the Global Women Issues Fund in Sept 2013. Thone Pan Hla’s home office is located on the ground level of SwissHouse. The association seeks to be a self-governing organization that provides its members with practical and affordable services outside the factory and advocate for fair jobs inside the factory.

Thone Pan Hla Membership

A modest membership fee gives members access to Thone Pan Hla services which include educational and social events, GoodJob , Our Home Hostel and Sunday Café services. More than 2,000 women have joined Thone Pan Hla and membership is growing rapidly.

View Thone Pan Hla Pamphlet


good-job-logo

GoodJob is the communities “Go To Place” for garment factory job training, posting, vetting and peer mentoring. Its main office is located on the ground level of SwissHouse. It was started by the nonprofit BusinessKind in Oct 2012 with a onetime grant from a San Francisco donor. Women entering a factory workplace for the first time can thrive if they have peer support. Not all garment factories are “sweat shops”. Many of the 200 garment factories in our community provide safe decent jobs for women. GoodJob’s endeavor is to provide women workers with skills to thrive at these “Fair Factories”.

GoodJob graduates

Garment workers sharing their factory job stories


Our Home Hostel is a residential facility located on the upper level of the SwissHouse. The nonprofit  BusinessKind in partnership with Thone Pan Hla Association established the hostel in September 2014. Its recent renovation includes space for 18 women, 5 toilets, shower, prayer area, outside terrace, common area and large kitchen. Our Home Hostel is a temporary home for single women who need support from peers as they transition from village life to work in the factory. In addition, it is a safe haven for extremely vulnerable women who need extra emergency support.


sunday-cafe

Sunday is the only day off for women factory workers. They need a place to relax and meet friends. Sunday Café, located on the lower level of Swiss House is such a Sunday haven. The nonprofit BusinessKind in partnership with Thone Pan Hla Association created Sunday Café in August 2014. Thone Pan Hla members and their friends can enjoy a library of magazines and book, Videos, TV, and music at Sunday Café. While relaxing they can utilize the clothes washing, drying and ironing equipment and benefit from all the services of GoodJob, which is open every Sunday at the Sunday Café . Light snacks and teas are available for a modest price.

How to Donate

Swiss House, Thone Pan Hla Association, GoodJob, Our Home Hostel and or Sunday Café

or contact us directly at helengunthorpe@gmail.com, thandarko.BKM@gmail.com

Support  women in finding a safe garment factory job and housing 

$40 Supports housing and job mentoring for 1 woman for 6 months
$200 Supports 5 woman for 6 months
$400 Supports 10 woman for 6months

Community Healthy Living Workshops

$100 Supports a 4 hour workshop for 80 people
$350 Supports a series of 4 workshops