Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, Int

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, International, a US-based 501(c)3 organization, helps subsistence farmers displaced by the formation of national parks establish new livelihoods that restore and sustain protected habitats.
Jun 11, 2014

Lalaina Leads the way --- 60m of textile and 6 new hat styles

Lalaina and textiles for DWELL product debut
Lalaina and textiles for DWELL product debut

Meet Lalaina Raharindimby - Lalaina heads the SEPALI Madagascar women's team.  Her work includes organizing workshops for women to make textiles and hats, traveling to their villages to oversee their basket production, encouraging them to strive and thrive.  Lalaina is also SEPALI Madagascar's financial officer - and in  her spare time, she is raising Ravu, her 2.5 year old son.   

Since Lalaina has been working with SEPALI Madagascar, they have developed a presence in the lives of the women who live in the villages.  The textile workshops are not only a chance to earn a salary but a time to meet with others from neighboring communities.  The women are building new social networks that and artisan groups that may be useful to them when they begin working indepenently.  

At the most recent workshop, the women made 60 m of sewed textile that CPALI hopes to sell on their behalf at the Dwell on Design tradeshow, 20-22 June in Los Angeles.  In addition they made 6 new hats of unique styles - the hats are from wild silk, embroidered with rafia and decorated with beautiful hand-made flowers.  Lalaina and the SEPALI team are planning more workshops to produce another 60m of textile by the end of August.  With each workshop the women work a little faster and more effectively under Lalaina's guidance. The new training center, which we hope to break ground on in September, will not only secure a working site for the women's group but will also include facilities for overnight stays.  Today, many women are camping out on site becuase travel back and forth to their villages takes one day each way.  

Just in time for summer - 6 new beautiful hats
Just in time for summer - 6 new beautiful hats
Night work in preparation for DWELL
Night work in preparation for DWELL
New training center will replace need for camping
New training center will replace need for camping
Ravu - SEPALI
Ravu - SEPALI's secret weapon

Links:

Apr 24, 2014

Fatty and delicious!

Its fatty and delicious!
Its fatty and delicious!

After finding beetle larvae under a piece of dead wood that he consumed, Bertrand began searching for more insects to sample.  He found another species of Coleoptera larvae that Mamy identified as Oryctes (rhinoceros beetle) inside the "trunk" of a Ravanala tree. To collect the larvae, he had to cut down the tree. This is not a good way to preserve the Ravanala trees. So SEPALI will initiate research on growing the trees to feed the larvae without having to destroy the trees. SEPALI's demonstration site is a perfect spot to raise potential host plants and then to “ask” the grubs to "taste-test" them. A range of acceptable host plants can then be compared and those that produce the healthiest grubs will be gardened.  This is the same approach the SEPALI team uses to identify caterpillar host plants.

Ravanala madagascariensis (Traveller's "Palm") is an iconic species for Madagascar gracing many postcards, paintings and even currency.  It is not a true palm but actually a bird of paradise from the plant family Strelitziaceae.

"It has been given the name "traveller's palm" because the sheaths of the stems hold rainwater, which supposedly could be used as an emergency drinking supply for needy travellers. However, the water inside the plant is murky, black and smelly and should not be consumed without purification. Another plausible reason for its name is that the fan tends to grow in a north-south line, providing a crude compass." (Fresh from Wikipedia)

The beetle grub, characteristic of beetle larvae from the family Dynastinae, are among the largest beetles.  Some adults reach over 6 inches in length. These wonderful animals can live as adults up to 2-3 years. The larvae feed on rotting wood and can take several years to reach adulthood.  We can't wait to learn more about raising them on the beautiful Bird of Paradise!

Bertrand has devised 2 "recipes" for GG readers. 

The recipes:  

1- Add salt on the larvae and roast it for 5 minutes using firewood.  The grub is ready to eat.

 2- Try snacking on an uncooked larvae “au natural”. The larvae are delicious and crisp as is.

In the picture, there are one-roasted larvae and one uncooked larvae. So both larvae are ready to eat.

Enjoy!!!

Visions of a delicious snack
Visions of a delicious snack
Roasting beetle larvae
Roasting beetle larvae
Ravanala palm (credit http://www.palmtalk.org)
Ravanala palm (credit http://www.palmtalk.org)
Iconic palm (http://www.palmtalk.org)
Iconic palm (http://www.palmtalk.org)

Links:

Mar 13, 2014

Seventy-nine meters of textile produced to date!

Meet Marie Jean - SEPALI
Meet Marie Jean - SEPALI's top textile producer

Data! Data! - Read all about it!

Sepali is assessing its impact and the results so far are great.  Although farmers only started producing cocoons in 2012, farmer numbers trippled between 2012 and 2013

Three hundred farmers from 13 communities have joined SEPALI Madagascar and planted over 30,000 trees on 120 hectares of degraded land or on existing farms.

Farmers have produced 22,765 cocoons and the number of cocoon deposits in SEPALI’s cocoon bank tripled between 2012-2013.  A total of thirty-one farmers have made 130 deposits into the cocoon bank and earned between $13-$54. 

Twenty-four women have participated in workshop training and earned between $15-$48 and produced 79m2 of textile.  SEPALI has recently begun monitoring how textile producers are spending their workshop earnings. Initial results show that 80% of the women spend the majority of their earnings on school uniforms, school supplies, and tuition. Remaining funds are spent on food and household supplies. One woman will use the money to pay a day laborer working her land.

And now let us tell you about Marie Jean - Marie Jean is the first, female leader of a farmer's group.  Also, she has become the most skilled among women textile producers.  After about 5 trainining workshops she has doubled her speed and can produce 2m of textile in the time it takes other women to produce 1m!  We have high hopes that the others will soon catch up and congratulate Marie Jean on her achievements.

The results above bode well for SEPALI's effort to increase cocoon production in time for textile sales in the spring.

We are excited to announce that CPALI will be showing its textiles and representative products at the "Dwell on Design" tradeshow in Los Angeles, June.  Please plan to visit.  Our booth number is MH42.

SEPALI team sewing their textile
SEPALI team sewing their textile

Links:

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