Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Canadian artist sets out to create jobs for low-income parents

Dec 25. 2019
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By The Nation

Faisal Malik, a Thai-based Canadian designer and furniture maker, in partnership with Camillian Home for Children Living with Disabilities, is providing training workshops to Thai mothers raising children with disabilities.

These woodcraft workshops have been organized since July 2019 and aim to provide the participants with skills to earn an income for families living in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district, whose disabled children receive daily physical therapy and medical assistance at Camillian Home.

“This isn’t charity, but the beginning of a sustainable small social enterprise,” Malik said. “Everyone is well paid during training and they are able to take care of their children at all times. I felt this is the right time to move forward, give back and add value now that my business is well established. Every business operating in Thailand owes it to give back to local communities.”

Faisal Malik

Malik goes to Camillian Home on a regular basis and conducts the workshops while providing all necessary materials. From day one they learn craftsmanship, including hours and hours of hand sanding on vertical flat and countered surfaces. Techniques taught include hand position, applied pressure, grain direction, different sandpaper grits and how to anticipate wood hardness plus much more. 

“There is very little opportunity for low income families to find work that is also dignified. Often the parents must stay home full time to care for their child. By conducting workshops at Camillian Home the parents can remain close to their children. It provides a source of much needed income for the families as Thai social programmes are limited in assistance,” Malik said,

Before being a full-time woodworker, Malik spent 6 six years working with Father Giovanni Contarin, a founder of Camillian Home for Children Living with Disabilities, by volunteering at the home.

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