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.
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