BAN NAPHIA & NO WAR FACTORY
by Massimo Moriconi on June 29, 2018
During the war, the villagers of Ban Naphia began collecting, selling or using scrap metal from bombs as a means of generating income. Villagers dedicate the metal to creative uses, as seen in monuments, building materials and household items.
Ban Naphia is a traditional Lao Pouan village of 69 families. Immediately after the war, the villagers began collecting aluminum from the exploded bombs and turned it into spoons. The villagers were taught this skill by a family who moved to Ban Naphia from the province of Houaphan further north. Initially, five families produced recycled bomb spoons. Today, there are about 13 families producing more than 150,000 spoons a year from war-torn aluminum scrap that is sold to restaurants in the nearby town of Phonsavan. The production has expanded to include bracelets, earrings, pendants and souvenir items such as key rings.
The aluminum is recovered, in complete safety, in the areas previously de-mined by the MAG association without endangering any life.
In 2016, after distributing 69 filters that will be used to make drinking water for the families of the village, we decided to start a collaboration with the artisans and to commission them with items that they can revisit and resell in Italy. This is where the No War Factory jewels are born, unique and made entirely by hand using the "stirrup" technique. By purchasing these products, you will contribute to the village's economy and part of the profit, each year, will be used to purchase and distribute filters to purify water and in donations to demining associations operating in Lao territory.