H’Yam Bkrong is not only a prestigious village head but also the founder of the brocading weaving cooperative which has generated jobs for more than 100 local women.
Born and raised in Tong Ju village, Ea Kao commune, Ms. H’Yam Bkrong has experienced the ups and downs of her village’s traditional brocade weaving.
In the changing reality of modern life, this traditional craft has fallen into decline.
In 2003, Ms. H’Yam, along with some women in Bong and Tong Ju villages, established the Tong Bong brocade weaving cooperative to revive the craft.
At first, the cooperative faced many difficulties due to a lack of finance and the lack of demand for their products.
With great determination, Ms. H’Yam Bkrong asked for the province’s financial support, and learned her weaving knowledge from local artisans and passed her knowledge on to the cooperative’s members.
She also searched for outlets for their products at tourist fairs and exhibitions.
She said, “Our first products were not popular due to the limited quality and patterns. We then improved them and promoted them at fairs and exhibitions to attract more customers”.
The cooperative has grown to include 42 members, receiving an average of 100 contracts every period, and generating an income of around US$150 per person every month.
The operation and development of the Tong Bong Brocade Weaving Cooperative have also helped to preserve this traditional craft. Ms. H’Bluen Nie is a member of the cooperative.
She said, “Ms. H Yam is a dedicated person and teaches us enthusiastically about how to weave the brocade. She is also a thoughtful person and cares for the others”.
Mr. Pham Van Truong, Chairman of Ea Kao commune’s People’s Committee, said Ms. H’Yam Bkrong has made a great contribution to economic development and preserving the cultural values of the locality.
Tong Ju village has more than 380 households, 80 percent of whom are Ede ethnic people.
In past years, the village used to have a high poverty rate, but now this has been reduced to only 8 poor households, making Ea Kao the first commune in Buon Ma Thuot city to fulfill the criteria of the new rural development program.
Mr. Pham Van Truong said, “H’Yam Bkrong’s cooperative has generated many jobs for local people, which contributes to reducing the rate of poverty in the locality. Ms. H’Yam Bkrong is a determined and energetic woman”.
For her great contributions, Ms. H’Yam Bkrong was presented with a golden cup by the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance and the third class Labor Order by the State President.