We’ve been working with the women from the community of Bagad for almost two years, and we are so excited to announce that we have finished building a new artisans centre in Bagad! This centre provides a clean, bright space for women who are part of our artisans’ program to work in. Previously, the women met in one of their houses for training, so this new artisans’ centre provides a much larger space for them to work and to receive skills training.
Over the last year, we worked with these women to determine what type of products they will be working on and what training would be the most useful for them. In consultation with them, Free The Children selected a teacher to conduct training sessions on quilting, beading and bangles. Though this project had been planned for a long time, it was only in the recent months that we began to ramp up its implementation. While the training session provides new skills to work on these three products, the women are also learning how to create a concept for a product, to take it through its development stages, to access the product and then to finalize it.
The first day of training started with an exercise in cushions-making, which was a great way to learn about measurements and stitching techniques.
As our training sessions continued, the women began to work on their beading projects. They were provided with techniques and equipment, and they were able to use the raw material more effectively— to make more finished products from the material than before. They were also able to complete these products within a shorter period of time.
Through this ongoing training program, the women feel as if they are part of a team with a common goal to work towards, as they share their challenges and showcase their talents. These women are really committed to the project and have been surprised with hidden talents they are now able to show. One project that demonstrated this developing sense of community was the quilt project that the women worked on together, where they learned to quilt by working all together on one large quilt.
As the training progresses, we are excited to see what products will eventually become part of ME to WE’s Artisans products and we will keep you updated on the progress!
Learn more about the Alternative Income and Livelihood pillar of our Adopt a Village development model here