Plymouth College of Art has been working in Myanmar in Southeast Asia as part of the British Council’s Crafting Futures programme, which supports the future of craft around the globe through international collaboration, by strengthening economic, social and cultural development through learning and access.
Crafting Futures Myanmar is supporting the transformation of Saunders Weaving and Vocational Institute (SWVI) in Amarapura, Mandalay, into a Centre of Excellence through an innovative pilot model, which will be adapted to 13 other schools in Myanmar.
Working with the college, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Small Scale Industries Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, the project is developing the skills of teachers, young women and professionals, working towards the sustainable growth of the textile sector through education, cultural revitalization and a social business approach. With integrated project research and learning, this project aims to effectively overcome barriers preventing the textile industry in Myanmar from providing inclusive economic opportunities.
As part of the global Crafting Futures programme, in 2017 the British Council commissioned a research project and report addressing the role of Women's Empowerment Through Craft in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Plymouth College of Art was the lead UK organisation for the research study, which was conducted by a consortium also composed of Fair Law Organization for Women (FLOW) from Afghanistan, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) from Bangladesh, and Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) from Pakistan.