Cecily Pouget who had moved to a small village with her husband, an EU worker and their two young sons, started the Akha Biladjo project in 2003. Cecily wanted to do something that was both fulfilling for herself and entertaining for her sons. Working with the Akha women in a nearby village they collectively started stitching childrens toys and books using fabrics on hand. The designs took off and local markets were found. That is how the Akha Biladjo project was born and it became a self-sustaining way of using traditional skills to generate a steady income. Cecily now lives in Cambodia but the project is self-managed and is one of the success stories of handicraft development in Laos.