The traditional handicrafts made by the nomadic communities used to be a major source of income in the Chengduo County. Today, however, the county is going through a difficult economic situation: the recurring snowstorms and the progressive deterioration of the soil have had a strong impact on agro-pastoral activities, forcing young people to leave the rural villages of origin and find work in the big cities.
We decided to intervene in Chengduo to support women: the rate of female illiteracy is very high (around 60%), their mobility is practically non-existent, especially for widows and women with young children. The project involves the training of 60 women on sewing and traditional crafts techniques. The women who take part in the course will be able to transmit the acquired skills to family members. Through the facilitation of ASIA, the women can create micro-enterprises and sale their production in the local market.
Each participant received the equipments used during the training (a sewing machine, a machine for the hems, an electric iron, scissors, an aluminium ruler, needles, buttons, zips, etc). A tailoring hanbook has been produced.
We decided to pursue this goal with the help of the Finnish Embassy, through the training and creation of 10 new micro-enterprises and 3 stores. Together with the beneficiaries of the project, we identified entrepreneurial strategies to fulfil the market demand and create new techniques for the production of handcrafts and cultural goods whilst increasing the families’ income.