By Kame Westerman, Project Coordinator, Andavadoaka. Thanks to a generous donation by a former Blue Ventures volunteer, members of the women’s association in Andavadoaka are currently receiving training in embroidery and tailoring. For four weeks, the women are spending several hours a day at the local elementary school (closed for summer recess) to learn from two experts from Tulear.
After several days of theory on the blackboard the women practiced measuring and cutting skirts out of poster paper, and are now using sewing machines to make several different clothing designs. At the same time, other women are learning new techniques and practicing embroidery on napkins, tablecloths, and wall hangings.
The women in the Andavadoaka women’s association have historically made items such as clothing, hammocks, and souvenirs for sale to Blue Ventures volunteers. The intention of this training is to improve the women’s skills so that they are able to provide higher quality items for sale to the volunteers and other tourists that come to Andavadoaka, and even look towards exporting to the capital city. The new women’s association building will be completed shortly, where the women can showcase their new wares and prepare food for visitors.
This training reinforces Blue Venture’s work with the women’s association to increase and diversify livelihood activities, ultimately reducing reliance on natural resource exploitation.