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Unilever continues partnership with Oxfam in Thailand to help women in the deep South gain food security and income

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Unilever signed a contract on 11 December 2013 with Oxfam and Deep South Coordination Centre (DSCC) of Prince of Songkhla University, to continue the second year of the partnership project to Scale up Women Leadership and Market Development in Deep South of Thailand.

The project aims to increase food security and income of 1,300 poor women who are affected by the unrest in the Deep South provinces by 2016. The project runs from 2013 – 2016 and covers the areas of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwas and Songkhla Provinces.

Unilever has shared its expertise in business planning and marketing with the local women who struggle to understand business and raised public awareness promoting corporate social responsibility and investment to reduce poverty at the national level. Over the last year, the project has helped 375 women to increase food security and earning more income through growing and selling organic vegetables and fruits, training in small business development, marketing and selling skills. 

Orn-Uma Thani, one of the women benefited from the project.

Orn-Uma Thani, one of the women benefited from the project.

“This project has helped me build confidence and opportunities. As a widow who lost a husband, I was fully obligated only with household chores, no work, no network and few friends. After my husband died, I was so depress and didn’t know what to do and where to go. Most of the women in the deep south are like this. I would like thank the project for giving me lots of knowledge to move on in my life. Nowadays, I am able to strengthen my career and even be a role model for other desperate women to have hope and never give up”. Mrs. Orn-uma Thani

The “Women’s Career Development Fund” has also been set up as a long-term mechanism to assist the women in economic empowerment. This is a revolving fund which the women can use to strengthen their small business to support family, and later on return their loans so the fund is available for other women.

In the second year, the project aims to reach new 300 poor women who are affected by the unrest with psycho-social support; gender & business plan, production, marketing and leadership training; organic vegetables supplements; soft loans for fishing gears, and linking women occupational groups with 7 local public agencies to ensure occupational funding and support.

DSCC, Unilever, local government agencies, and Oxfam will continue to work together to demonstrate high commitment to long term development as great potential for alleviating poverty.

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