Through their partnership with Village Earth, The Organization of Mothers craft cooperative was able to receive a small materials grant from Aid to Artisans. The women were able to buy materials in bulk that could be shared between them and also a semi-industrial sewing machine to increase production. They felt that increasing craft production and making it a legitimate business activity is the best way in which they can increase their income but at the same time assert their right to cultural self-determination through their highly symbolic craftwork. The group has not only increased their sales and income, but the group has also doubled in size with many more women seeing the benefit of working together in a cooperative. The women also created a “materials bank” in which they must reinvest 30% of their sales back into their materials fund. Because the women use many natural materials in their art, they have a program of reforestation to cultivate and replant plants that provide natural fibers, dyes, and seeds that they use in their craftwork.
The most important impact the grant had is that the women are really at the point to take off in their business. They just need access to markets and they are ready to start selling and increasing production. They’ve got their cooperative procedures down, a materials fund, and a critical mass of women to really make a big impact in the well-being of the community. Everything is ready; it is just access to markets as the necessary next step.
Village Earth has been connecting the Organization of Mothers little by little to different national and international markets. If you would like to help the women by selling their crafts, please contact [email protected] or +1-970-491-5754.
The women can arrange for international shipping of bulk orders.