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Coronavirus/COVID-19: Currently we are continuing our programmes in Madagascar, but we need your support. Coronavirus Appeal

Friday, 15th May 2020

Studio construction has begun!

By Joe Caspersz-Loney

In a very exciting update, construction of the Weavers’ Studio in Sainte Luce has begun! The Weavers’ Studio is a vital component of Project Mahampy and is greatly anticipated by the Weavers’ Cooperative. Fortunately, the majority of materials were already in Sainte Luce before COVID-19 restrictions came in place, allowing construction to continue with only minor delays.

The studio will have areas for weavers to display their products and to store dried unwoven reeds. Mahampy reeds need to be dried before they can be woven. When it rains, reeds cannot dry and hence, weavers cannot earn an income. A place to store dried reeds will enable weavers to continue weaving, and so earn an income, even when rain stops them from drying new reeds.

 The studio will also provide a focal point where resellers and buyers can purchase products, instead of haphazardly visiting weavers separately. Weavers will be able to prepare for these visits and have products ready, hopefully allowing them to negotiate a better price.

In addition to providing a focal point for resellers and buyers, and a storage and display space for weavers, the studio will also have solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system. Once these are installed, the Cooperative will have access to a sustainable source of power and clean water.

Whilst it is too soon to have a confirmed date, we expect that the studio will be complete in May. This is a very significant development for the Cooperative and we wish them and the construction team the very best in completing this major milestone.