Focus Area: Handicrafts
Year Founded: 2013
Helping Hands is a gift shop in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. They sell fair-trade, locally-produced handicrafts from Myanmar artisans. They partner with local organizations working on community initiatives such as health care, housing and education. All net profits go directly back to the producers and their communities. Every Yangon expat knows the formidable Annie who runs Helping Hands; helping street kids, the unemployed, the underprivileged and vulnerable men and women build a new life by training them to restore amazing teak furniture or teaching sewing, design and tailoring. This project was started two years ago with four women and it now involves 24. The aim is to work with marginalized urban women and youth, their families and communities to assist them in becoming productive and independent, as well as allowing them to maintain their dignity and provide a support network. They have several varieties such as cushions, kids’ clothes, bags and much more. While you are there, have a peek into the sewing room where all the machines have been donated by satisfied customers.