Church World Service Christmas Ornaments this year are from Myanmar Social Enterprise, Hla Day, which provides a sustainable marketplace along with design and business training to support the livelihoods of Myanmar artisans, many of whom are struggling to overcome disability, exclusion, and poverty. Hla Day aims to capture the uniqueness of Myanmar design by celebrating traditional skills and locally sourcing all materials, enabling both customers and artisans to enjoy and benefit from unique and quality Myanmar handicrafts.
The CWS ornaments were made in Yangon by a community of makers coming together to produce 500 spheres. This project was led by 29-year-old Elizabeth, along with a community of women from her church who came together to accomplish the task of crafting the Christmas ornaments to the highest quality standards.
Made of various layers of recycled Myanmar newspapers, the ornaments were crafted in one week from three different locations in Yangon: Elizabeth’s parents’ house, from Elizabeth’s own home, and finally, from the Church of Christ, where Elizabeth’s spiritual community came together to help craft the ornaments. Each Christmas sphere takes around 30 minutes to make. First, the newspaper is sorted and cut, then the layers are glued progressively, making sure the string stays properly and securely attached. Elizabeth and her sisters have supported their family since their father retired a few years ago; the extra income from this large order was happily welcomed and cherished by her extended family and church community.
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