The Norwa Fund was established to further support the hill tribe communities whose craft we rely on to produce our unique jewelry. The problem these individuals face range from lack of education and discrimination to indentured service. We’ve found, sadly, that the relevant Thai authorities have done little to help, so we’ve partnered with local organizations who we believe can truly make a difference.
Organizations In Thailand
Baan Huai Tom
Established by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Baanhuaytom Chaiyawongsa Ooppatham School serves to educate the Karen people in the area with a formal primary school education. Today, about 1,500 students attend the school and have developed basic skills they otherwise would not have.
However, the school faces underdevelopment issues. Its lack of funding has led to a shortage of teachers, which means students often cram into classes of over 70 students, sometimes with more than three grades in one group.
It’s evident that primary education is crucial, so we’ve been been working closely with the school and greater Baan Huai Tom district for over two years to develop new curriculum and teaching plans. Besides granting scholarships, we’ve also created a channel for volunteer teachers to serve at the school, with over 15 volunteers having participated.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to learn more about the Karen communities in Thailand.
Bangkok & Chiang Mai, Thailand
Founded by a group of past sex workers and activists in Patpong, Bangkok, the Empower Foundation provides a community where those working in the prostitution industry can relate their experiences and navigate the difficult realms of education, health, and policy, to better their conditions. They have a network of advisors in over 11 provinces, and a membership base of over 50,000 people.
Seeing the plight of the Karen women with prostitution especially, we at Norwa fully support the Empower Foundation and believe our jewelry-training classes, which help provide an alternative income, complement the work they’re doing. The activities also provide the sense of community for the women to come and share their own life experiences and seek solutions to their problems.
Empower also partners with various organizations worldwide, including
Stella, Montreal, Canada
Sex Professionals of Canada
Desiree Alliance USA
Sex Workers Project New York, USA
Network of sex workers Projects, Scotland, UK
International Union of Sex Workers, London, UK
The Xtalk Project, London, UK
International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), the Netherlands
SWAN Network, Budapest, Hungary
Danaya So, Mali, Africa
SWEAT – Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce, South Africa
Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Kolkata, India
Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters, Taiwan
ZITENG, Hong Kong
SWING – Service Workers in Group, Bangkok & Pattaya, Thailand
M Plus+, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Scarlet Alliance, Australia
New Zealand Prostitute Collective, New Zealand
For more information about Empower Foundation, please visit
Pratthanadee is an award-winning Thai and US registered charity, established in 2000 to empower women. The organization currently offers intimate guidance to over 3,000 socioeconomically-disadvantaged women and girls living in rural Bangkok and Udon Ratchathani, equipping them with skills vital for succeeding in our modernised world. Pratthanadee offers a welcoming community, 25 comprehensive English lessons, and 30 hours of career and personal development training, all of which help set the foundations for success. Over nine months of weekly training, the program guides women who were previously trapped, dependent, and hopeless to take charge of their own future.
At Norwa, we strongly believe in Pratthanadee’s capability to effect change for these underprivileged women, and have partnered with them to ensure that change becomes a reality. In addition to providing media and financial support, we teach jewelry-making to offer these women an alternative income source, as well as jewelry-selection, so these women can feel more confident of themselves.
For more information about Pratthanadee Foundation, please visit https://pratthanadee.org
Take a look at our activities here
Upland Holistic Development Project (UHDP)
Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Upland Holistic Development Project (UHDP) works directly with the Karen groups Norwa partners with. These Karen communities face testing issues, including poverty, lack of citizenship, and abuse by neighboring communities. Working under the Christian Service Foundation, the UHDP seeks to aid these Karen communities in transforming for the better by providing them access to communities with resources to aid their plight. Additionally, the UHDP has educated the Karen on issues surrounding sex and gender, including the current patriarchal structure.
We help fund the UHDP because we believe that it preaches and practices the shared values of good for others so necessary for building communities.
For more information of UHDP, please visit
At Norwa, we believe that our social enterprise is stimulating organic change in the Karen communities to whom we owe so much. However, we realize the systemic issues of sexism and barriers to youth opportunity extend beyond Thailand. We want to play our part in combatting these global issues, and have thus partnered with several international organizations whom we know are truly making a difference.
The Karen Hilltribes Trust
Founded in 1999, The Karen Hilltribes Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to working with the Karen people of Northern Thailand to help them build a better future for themselves.
The Karen Hilltribes Trust is a community led organization working with the Karen in Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s poorest province. Through the help of the organization, communities design, build, and maintain projects that invest in their future. The Karen Hilltribes Trust has since helped improve the livelihoods of the Karen on three fronts: Health, through implementation of clean water systems and latrines; Work, through installments of irrigation systems; and Education, by providing school buses, meals, and scholarships.
We share the Trusts’ mission to help the Karen people become self-sustaining. We’ve engaged with the Trust as a partner in the Norwa Fund, and provided custom-designed jewelry for them to raise funds.
To find out more about how our projects are helping the Karen to achieve this visit https://www.karenhilltribes.org.uk
GLOBAL WOMAN P.E.A.C.E. FOUNDATION
The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women and eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM).
FGM is an outdated, cruel tradition that involves removal of either part or the entire female genitalia for non-medical reasons. FGM can cause severe bleeding, psychological shock, infections, and even death. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that this malpractice has affected over 200 million girls and women living today, with 500,000 living in the U.S. according the Population Reference Bureau.
We believe in The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s commitment to eradicating FGM and other gender-based violence. Their comprehensive rehabilitative and prevention programs include what victims deserve: training, counseling, restorative surgery and more. We’ve thus partnered with G.W., helping fund their initiatives through the Norwa Fund, and are humbled to have a selection of our jewelry presented as awards in the 2018 Global Woman Awards.
For more information about The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, please visit
Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD)
Galkayo, Puntland State of Somalia
The Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD) is a non-Governmental Organization that offers educational opportunities to support women and girls. Founded in 1999, the organization is currently led by woman rights activist Haha Aden Mohamed.
GECPD currently offers many programs to uplift the opportunities of women and girls, from class sessions for both girls and adults, to vocational skills training. The organization is perhaps most known for their activism in various movements, including the “Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation,” “Prevention of Sexual Gender Based Violence,” or “Promotion of Peace” movements.”
Norwa shares the same vision to build a society where girls and women are free from all forms of discrimination and can become the masters of their own destinies. Norwa has engaged with GECPD through the Norwa Fund and provided the organization with handcrafted Karen silver jewelry to raise even more.
For more information, please visit https://gecpdsomalia.org/
Tanzania Media Women's Association (TAMWA)
TAMWA Zanzibar is a group that advocates for women’s and children’s rights. Since its establishment in 1987, TAMWA has since become a self-governing organization in Unguja and Pemba, and has helped made significant strides towards attaining equality in those regions.
Tanzania faces many issues concerning equality of the sexes. This includes gender-based violence, discrimination socially, economically, and politically, and modern forms of enslavement. TAMWA’s philosophy is to use media in an effort to expose and change this unjust status-quo in Tanzania.
With a team of 40 professional journalists, TAMWA has brought to life the horrors of sexism in the region. Their work has resulted in major changes, including the reversal of the Spinsters, Widows and Female Divorcee Act 1985– a discriminative law which imprisoned women who fell pregnant under wedlock.
We fully support TAMWA’s message and are proud to provide our specialty beads as an alternative source of income in an effort to uplift the women in the region.
For more information, please visit tamwa.org
Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development (FORWARD)
The United Kingdom
The Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development (FORWARD) is a UK based organization committed to safeguarding the rights of girls and women in Africa. Women in these region face atrocities from female genital mutilation (FGM) to gender based violence (GBV). Since its founding in 1983, FORWARD has used modern research and analysis to solve the systemic issues of sexism in many communities.
FORWARD’s vision is to create a world where women and girls can live the lives they choose. They engage all community members, from prominent village leaders to common housewives, to propose feasible solutions. We fully agree with FORWARDS’s comprehensive approach to tackling the issue, and understand that only such an approach can address the problem long-term. We’re proud to support FORWARD through the Norwa Fund and jewelry they can sell for extra funds.
For more information about FORWARD, please visit www.forwarduk.org.uk
The Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK)
Kenya, South Africa
The Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) uses media to bring light to issues in marginalized communities. Established in 1983, the group has since grown to include public relations professionals, freelance producers, communication specialists and journalists, all with the shared goal of bringing equality to women in Kenya.
AMWIK recognizes that the public must be informed about problems in order to address them. As such, they have covered various issues concerning women in Kenya, including an ongoing coverage of sexual reproductive rights and job opportunity discrimination. The group has taken action to address some of these issues as well, running programs to help educate vulnerable women and mentor them through the various issues they have looked into so deeply.
We believe in AMWIK’s potential to bring about change, and share their goal to bring about urgent change to the status-quo that condones gender based violence, insufficient women’s rights, and gender based violence. AMWIK is a partner of Norwa Fund. In addition, we also support them in terms of jewelry for fund raising.
For more information about AMWIK, visit http://amwik.org
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
KMG Ethiopia has a vision: to create a society in which women are free from all forms of discrimination and violence. Ethiopia is a dangerous region for women, where sexism is pervasive and sometimes deadly. KGM recognizes that these issues are rooted deep in existing economic, social, and political structures and addresses them with an accordingly comprehensive approach.
As a result, KMG takes victims through a program that encompasses many facets to ensure holistic recovery and long-term success. It educates women on the entrepreneurship, vocational training, and cooperative development to help foster livelihoods. It invests in infrastructure such as rural roads or basic bridges to ease the daily lives of rural women, and educates and treats women on important health issues such as HIV/AIDS, sexual health, and maternal and child health.
KMG’s motto, “Change Takes Commitment To Action, Not A Miracle,” aligns with our philosophy and how we address the needs of the Karen people in our own community. We have partnered with KMG through Norwa Fund and also supported them with our jewelry.
For more information about KMG Ethiopia, visit KMGEthiopia.org
Equality Now, an organization based in Kenya, uses litigation to address the plight of women both regionally and internationally. Since 1992, its network of lawyers, partners, and supporters, has worked on litigation cases to protect the rights of women and change existing, unjust laws.
Equality Now sees the entrenched practices in many governments that condone sexism. They’ve thus litigated individual cases with greater bearing on issues to change the norms that these governments go by. These include court cases on employment inequality between the sexes, sex trafficking, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Their work has inspired groundbreaking changes, including the adoption of a landmark 2012 UN resolution set on elimination FGM.
At Norwa, we understand that sustainable change requires the support and enforcement of powerful bodies like governments. We know Equality Now is keeping such governments accountable through their constant efforts, and so we’ve partnered with them through the Norwa Fund.
For more information on Equality Now, please visit https://www.equalitynow.org/
Terre Des Femmes (TDF)
Founded in 1981, Terre Des Femmes (TDF) is a German non-profit women’s rights organization committed to ensuring that girls and women can live their lives as they choose, protected by equal and inalienable rights regarding all aspects of life. Through education, advocacy, campaigning, lobbying, and international networking, TDF’s has raised public awareness of pertinent women’s rights issues.
TDF deals with five focus areas: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), honor crimes, domestic violence, women trafficking, and virginity myths. They’ve hosted annual film festivals (“FrauenWelten” or Women’s Worlds), and the “flag campaign”, a nationwide initiative for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Based in Berlin, TDF maintains a nation-wide support network including 3,500 members, patrons, and groups. We believe in TDF’s mission and capability to raise awareness in the western world – where issues of women’s rights abuse seem too often forgotten – to motivate others to take action. We at Norwa Jewelry are proud supporters of TDF through the Norwa Fund.
To support TDF, please visit https://www.frauenrechte.de/
Wadi is a Middle Eastern organization that runs various projects that help empower women and youth. Founded in 1993, Wadi has since helped thousands of individuals reach their full potential through their comprehensive program which includes reading and writing courses, legal consulting, and tailored personal finance plans.
What makes Wadi stand out is the continuity they bring to each case – victims can easily reach a mobile team to discuss issues from medical care to crisis intervention. We believe in this sustained approach to change, and are a proud partner of Wadi through the Norwa Fund. In addition, we have provided raw materials like silver beads from our Karen craftspeople to bolster the existing jewelry business of many women in the area.
For more information about WADI, please visit
National Human Trafficking
Approximately 12 million people lack citizenship and one out of five live in Thailand, where there are about 1 million hill tribe members. About 500,000 hill tribe members do not even have rights to apply for citizenship. Many cannot speak the national language and are rejected and viewed as undesirable by some nationals.
Having limited choices, most of them move to the city in hope for a better life. But with little education and no knowledge of the Thai language, most hill tribe city dwellers find urban life terribly difficult—and dangerous. Children are forced to work at night and this often prevents them from being able to attend school in the morning. Some of them do not even dare to think about education. The vicious cycle of poverty continues.
May of the hilltribe girls and women have to resort to sex trade, Thailand’s world-reknowned professional. They are exploited by human trafficking, prostitution, and the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
Learn how to recognize and report a potential trafficking case to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) Hotline here.
Don Chan Temple, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Norwa team went to Don Chan Temple to provide meals and snacks for over 700 disadvantaged children aged 6 – 18 years old. Food provided includes more than 1,000 cup of homemade noodles, biscuits, and ice-cream.
About Don Chan Orphanage
Don Chan Orphanage was founded in 1985 by Monk Pramote who aimed to help young generations grow to be good citizens who contribute back to the society. Children will receive education at Don Chan temple school from primary to high school and then go to state universities nearby. Majority of the children experienced sorrowful events; for example, their parents passed away, their parents got divorced, their parents are imprisoned, etc.
If you wish to donate, please contact
+6653-240184 or +6693-2843700
How to donate
Bring goods to the temple
Food such as rice, instant noodles, eggs, cooking oil, condiments, etc.
Necessity goods such as soap, shampoo detergent, clothes, books, lights, etc.
Account Name : โครงการพัฒนาการศึกษาเพื่อเด็กด้อยโอกาส (Development project for disadvantaged children)
Bank Name : กรุงเทพ สาขาเมืองสมุทร เชียงใหม่ (Bangkok bank Muang Samutr Branch)
Account Number: 561-0-17722-1
For more information regarding Don Chan Temple and Orphanage, please click http://www.watdonchan.org
Pha Nham Temple
Lam Phun, Thailand
Norwa team went to Pha Nham Temple to set up booths in the almshouse event. This event targeted at the poor of a locality including may group of hill tribes such as Karen, Hmong, Akha. We gave away food (noodles, Thai rice menus, meat balls, etc.), snacks (Thai traditional desserts, jelly, ice-cream, etc.), and drinks. The give accounted for over 5,000 servings in total.
About hill tribes in Thailand
Approximately 67 million people live in Thailand, but several hundred thousand ethnic minorities lack Thai citizenship. These people, concentrated in the northern region are collectively known as the Hilltribe people. Many cannot speak the national language and are viewed by some nationals as unwelcome and undesirable.
Six major tribes (Karen, Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Hmong, Mien) or ethnic minority groups comprise what is collectively known as the “Hilltribes”. Hilltribes have inhabited the border lands of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and China for centuries—providing for themselves through subsistence farming and livestock raising. However, it wasn’t until this past century that many of the groups began migrating to Northern Thailand to escape ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Now, because of land loss due to deforestation and the Thai government’s recent forest preservation movement have made subsistence farming both impossible and illegal for many of the Hilltribe people.
With limited choices, many move to the city hoping finding work, and a better life. But with little education and no knowledge of the Thai language, most Hilltribe city dwellers find urban life terribly difficult—and dangerous. To survive, many Hilltribe people have no choice but to sell trinkets and souvenirs on the streets. To compete in a densely crowded marketplace, many have learned that it’s more advantageous to put their own children to work. Tourists and wealthy locals have trouble saying “no” to child vendors, so despite dangerous conditions, parents often put even their youngest children to work. Too often, tribal children living in the cities can be found selling flowers and crafts at night in tourist hot spots. These late hours often prevent these children from being able to attend school the next morning, adding one more barrier to the education they so desperately need—so the cycle of poverty continues.
Poverty, limited education, and a general hopelessness, have opened the door to other problems like drug abuse and domestic violence. Meanwhile, Thailand’s world-renowned professional sex trade has left Hilltribe women and children vulnerable to exploitation, human trafficking, prostitution, and the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
How to donate
If you wish to participate in such events, please contact us For more information about Pha Nham Temple, please search for วัดพระพุทธบาทผาหนาม or send us an email for more information in English