Artisan Crafts and Women
This line of work seeks to enhance the protection of cultural heritage in the oasis of Mhamid, helping to improve the quality of life for women and their families through the support of craftswomen, so that they are the agents of their own development and contribute to the relief of poverty and to sustainable development.
In 2015, several women’s cooperatives dedicated to the production of handicrafts were established. After a period of identification and meetings with members of the community and women’s groups, we jointly reached the following conclusions:
• Basketry techniques and other traditional works have been lost and the objects made with them are being replaced by imported plastic products. Younger women no longer know of some of these techniques.
• Difficulty has been noted in commercialization and in accessing the tourist market.
From Terrachidia we decided to support this local initiative with various promotional and training tools, thus contributing to the achievement of the goal they had set: to improve the economy, personal and collective empowerment and their position in the community.
The work with them has begun in workshop format, following the same methodology used for the construction workshops, making them masters to the participants of the craft workshops, to promote their empowerment and for them to directly witness travelers’ interest in traditional techniques and natural materials. This experience has made a great impact and has helped diminish certain cultural barriers. In addition, new products have been tested, which could have a better outlet for commercialization beyond the local market.
Finally, participants have been involved in several sales experiences, as a practice experience.
The project is in its development and the strategy is already in place; it will continue by supporting the organizational structures and, finally, it will face the marketing strategy.