YMCA of Chiangmai has been working toward human development in mind, body and spirit regardless of the difference of sex, age and religion in the Northern region of Thailand for 40 years. We experienced that women have taken not less important role than men in social and economic development. However, women are less recognized as leaders comparing to men. This is mainly caused by unequal opportunity given to women. The YMCA of Chiangmai, thus, has provided leadership and skill training to women.
Working in the rural area, we observed that the villagers needed more additional income. They have attained certain skills on handicraft. There are some available natural resources to be used as raw material. Some of them could produce crafts for sell, but some products generally do not meet the market demand and numbers of products are less quality.
The YMCA of Chiangmai then set up the Y. Development Cooperation Company Limited, know as YC in 1986 to promote village handicrafts. YC choose products which have an international appeal and YC helps design the products for this particular market. We ensure that all products exported are of high quality. Export markets are encouraged only as a supplement to the local markets.
Profits from the exported products go into the YMCA's rural development program and are shared among the producers in a way that will benefit their community. Majority of our producers used the shared profits for children education. Some donations were used to improve infrastructure of the villages. Others were for social welfare of the poor in the villages.