Name: Cynthia Smith

Favorite Charity: The Akha Women's Foundation


My mother founded this organization to help women by teaching them skills that can improve their standard of living and to help eradicate human trafficking. It involves the people who need help in finding solutions to a better way of life. It uses regular people who share their talents to help lift others to a healthier place, such as jewelry-making, but also other trades, such as massage and ceramics.

I went to visit the Akha Hill Tribes people in Thailand with this organization, taking my skills and supplies to teach the women how to make jewelry that I was already marketing. The women made beautiful pieces, very original in their color combinations, and they even incorporated some of the beads found in nature from various plant seeds to work into their designs. We paid the women for their work with the hope that they will use some of the money for new supplies to keep the trade going, as well as pay for necessities that otherwise they could not afford, such as health care, school uniforms, etc. It is a great thing that the women can do in their villages without expensive equipment and without leaving their villages. We all enjoyed working on the projects together very much.

If you would like to share your talents or learn more, please visit or visit for an interview with Winnie Cain and Athu Pochear on the needs of the villages.
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