One of my earliest dreams was to return to Laos, the country of my ancestors, to help improve the lives of the Lao people. 

As professional ballet dancer, I knew that with age, I would have to end my dancing career. I began to learn the craft of jewelry making in my free time and in 1991I started my own jewelry label ‘Suzette, One of a Kind Jewelry’ (www.suzette.eu).

Visiting Myanmar and Laos, I was shocked by the standard of the jewelry and the workshops of the craftsmen.

I decided to use the knowledge of my jewelry business, bringing tools and my experience from Germany, and since 2011 I return consistently to the country of my ancestors to work in the jewelry trade and craft.

 

Using the materials from the area and the local craftsmen, the project would stay under my supervision until the Lao people could take over the business for themselves.

‘Hoi Sang, Unique Lao Jewelry’ (www.hoi-sang.com) is a thriving business. The craftsmen have improved their jewelry work and the pieces are sold in chosen hotels.

 

With the income from the sales the craftsmen are able to better care for their families and have even built better homes. 

While running this project I have been fortunate to meet and now also work together with others dedicating their lives to helping others.

I was asked to negotiate the contract between the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital, Government officials and German doctors from Interplast, Munich, (www.interplast-muenchen.de), the worldwide non profit organization of surgeons operating in the third world.

 

A first team of doctors from Interplast, Munich has just finished performing 50 medical operations, changing the lives of just as many families.

This was the pilot project. We can now plan for more! A team will be returning to instruct and operate in the Luang Prabang area.

I was also introduced to the non-profit organization, Bambusschule (www.die-bambusschule.de) a privat German organization bringing education and medication to the same area in the north of Laos.

We will work together to set up hygiene and medical first aid but also vocational training for the surrounding villages. The future lies in the hands of the next generation. Young student designers, nurses and doctors are volunteering. A very positive environment! 

I believe in ‘Sustainable’ work. In our world today, more than ever before, I believe everyone has something to give and can make a difference!

Every drop fills a bucket!