Stories from the inside - One
When you meet One you will be met by a beautiful woman with clear skin and a smile on her face. Her age is hard to define, but the gravity in her eyes tells of a tough past.
AGE: 30 YEARS OLD
YEARS SPENT IN PRISON: 4
ARRESTED WITH 200,000 PILLS
30-year old One is not much for talking but she is curious and observant by nature. A car full of 200,000 pills put her in prison – a strict place, according to One, but also a place that teaches you about a minimalist lifestyle.
One grew up in a small village in the Phayao province where her parents had a corn-processing factory. She went to high school until her second year. She never finished. Instead she married and had a child. Today, her son is 12 years old. With her husband, she was making enough money to make a living, but One loved to travel so she wanted to find a way to earn more money.
A friend was dealing methamphetamine and One decided to get involved. The job entailed picking up large quantities of pills in Messai, by the Myanmar border, and delivering them in the Tak province. A car without drugs would drive in front of her warning her about police checkpoints. One early morning, after a year of smuggling, the police got to her. One and her three friends all received life-long sentences for smuggling 200,000 pills.
Outside the prison walls a lot has happened – One has separated from her husband and her son has become a monk. A life after prison seems far away for her at times, but she knows the importance of developing her working skills for a second chance in life when she eventually gets out. She is ambitious and curious by nature; she once studied Christianity just to learn if it was similar to Buddhism in any way. Her eagerness to learn and her positive approach to prison’s lessons of a restrained life truly makes her an inspiration to us.
One joined the training in May 2018 at the Carcel workshop. Initially, she was very quiet and only engaged in embroidery, which she does exceptionally well. But soon, as her confidence grew, she started approaching her teacher to learn every single style. Today, she is specialised in our silk trousers and twill top.
We share this story for you to learn a little about who is making your clothes. Some of the women we work with have pleaded guilty to their charges – some have pleaded not guilty. We do not judge and it is not our agenda to investigate the women’s cases. Our mission is to give the women an opportunity to get a better life during and after prison.