Letter from the Director August 2008
The Pansy Ho Hong Kong Federation of Women Handicraft Center has completed its second year. We have remained busy and continue to expand our range of service to the community. This fall, YMHC focused on marketing local crafts. Our Buy Local Campaign has been put into action with our promotion of artisans featured in the Center. We have opened a craft table in the Gyalthang market place. We launched the new holiday season Beijing craft table at several international bazaars. Our volunteer program continues to grow. There were a number of very talented volunteers who worked in Shangri La Center nearly all year round. The English Corner and classes, honey bee project, the yak butter tea, and weaving for tourists are a few of the initiatives run successfully this year. These and many more interesting initiatives are covered in the annual report.
The Handicraft Center has become a familiar fixture in the Old Town and is widely known for its contribution to preserving and promoting local culture and heritage. The Handicraft Store at the Center is one of the few places offering authentic local crafts and introduction to local traditional lifestyle. Workshops for women entrepreneurs, artisans, and tourists are hosted at the Center. The English Language Corner and tutorials attract local youth. The Center is open six days a week to friends and neighbors who regularly drop by to see our latest crafts and discuss projects.
Despite a dramatic drop in the number of tourists visiting Shangri La this year, YMHF pursued a number of projects and new initiatives at the Handicraft Center. Drawing upon the creativity of our staff, volunteers and partners, the Center was open to the public projects continued as planned.
In September, I was proud to be honored with the award, “Honorary Citizenship” to The Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Shangri La at the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the prefecture. This is a credit to the partnerships I have formed during my visits to the area and to the warm reception and support that YMHF projects have received in the community. It is a credit to the trust of the HKFW in our ability to partner and work effectively in this rural corner of North West Yunnan. The Pansy Ho Hong Kong Federation of Women Handicraft Center has become an enduring asset for the preservation of this lovely community and for the projects it provides for the vulnerable and poor women and families of the area.