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.
Mar 22, 2016

Dye, Designs, and Dragon Flies

Design Team!
Design Team!

CPALI supporters,

The workshop last week was a tremendous success! As you may know, CPALI director Catherine Craig and design consultant Docey Lewis traveled to Madagascar last week to run an intensive design workshop with our team in Maroantsetra. The workshop ran for 10 days and covered a myriad of new techniques, cost of production analyses, designing new products and mastering new silk processing techniques.

The workshop was designed to include many different groups of farmers working with our project. Silk production farmers from both Ceranchia and Antherina communities contributed cocoons and got to see the design team in action. SEPALI artisans worked closely with Docey Lewis and learned gorgeous new dyeing techniques and product design. Insect-rearing farmers showcased their dragonfly rearing program with a surprise insect lunch for the whole team!

All and all, the team was able to dye more than 30 meters of fabric, master 6 new shades of dye, learn new techniques like shibori, fades and color mixing, and make gorgeous new products from combinations of dyed silk and embroidery. You’ll have to wait to see our secret new product line at the NY NOW gift show in August!

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support! This workshop means so much to us and to our team and will hopefully change our market options for the better. While Cay and Docey stop off in Paris on their way home to investigate market leads there, our team in Madagascar has already jumped right into the next mission. This week they will travel with international artist Kevin Ohanlon to assist with 4 environmental art workshops for kids in the rural communities surrounding Maroantsetra. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Dragonfly lunch snacks
Dragonfly lunch snacks
Dyeing workshop with Docey
Dyeing workshop with Docey
Fixing the colors
Fixing the colors
Shibori Reds
Shibori Reds
Wild Blues
Wild Blues
SEPALI farmer with his cocoons
SEPALI farmer with his cocoons
Feb 17, 2016

Plane Tickets and bright colors!

Artisans Learn a New Pillow Product
Artisans Learn a New Pillow Product

The tickets are purchased and the creative wheels are turning!

It's a new year at SEPALI Madagscar's Artisan Training Center and we are starting out strong by designing new products that we hope to sell at the New York Gift Show this August. Docey Lewis, international design consultant and CPALI advisor, will be traveling to Madagascar in March to hold an advanced design workshop. The intensive, 10-day workshop will train senior staff and senior artisans in new dyeing techniques, processing skills and new product design. We won't tell you what they are yet, but they represent new directions for the team, the women and our marketing approach. Creativity is on the front burner!

A glance back and a look forward

We would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who supported this project. Together, we raised over $8,000 on Global Giving for artisan training and it goes a long way in Madagascar. This past year, we doubled the number of workshops held from the year before, we were able to support our artisans though inflation in Madagascar, we invested in natural dyes, developed new products and increased the skills of our artisans.This year, we hope that Docey Lewis, with her extensive experience in developing products and markets with rural artisan groups, can help us get to the next level! 

While the team is gathering supplies and preparing for the workshop, they also have their eyes on the future of textile production. In January, the team purchased five manual sewing machines that will be transported to village work centers. While the artisans will still travel to SEPALI House for training, they will be able to work at home on textile production where it is more convenient and can be worked into their daily schedule. That, of course, translates into more revenue returns for the community and increased access to the project for rural farmers.  The artisans and SEPALI team produced 490 square meters of textile in 2015 - a record production! With women able to work at home in the future, we hope that production will exceed this amount. Anything you can do to help us reach our goals this year would be greatly appreciated!

Docey Lewis, Design Consultant
Docey Lewis, Design Consultant
Silk Collage by Docey Lewis
Silk Collage by Docey Lewis
Four of the Senior Artisans
Four of the Senior Artisans
Natural Dyes
Natural Dyes

Links:

Dec 21, 2015

Project Successes and a Holiday Surprise

Holiday Fun by Cartoonist Tim Whyatt
Holiday Fun by Cartoonist Tim Whyatt

A Big Thank You:

We'd like to start out with a big thank you to all of our generous, forward-thinking donors, our hard-working, inspiring team in Madagascar, and our creative, dedicated team of volunteers! This year, we increased farmer earnings yet again, expanded our Ceranchia program in Belanana to two sites, produced over 500 meters of wild silk textile, and increased sales by 5-fold. All of our success was made possible by your support!

News from the Bugs:

While many of the SEPALI staff are on holiday vacation, Fenozara Justin, the Lead Farmer spearheading the Fulgoridae and Orcytes programs, is entering his most active rearing season for his projects (see chart below). His land, now boasting a large population of host plants for Fulgoridae, ideal habitat for the Orcytes beetle and fish ponds for the giant water bugs, was able to attract larger populations of all three species this year. He is continuing his lifecycle research program through the holiday season and training Tsoly, a SEPALI staff member, to begin a similar project at a second research site near Vodarina. 

The SEPALI demonstration site in Maroantsetra will also have an active rearing project during the holiday season including Oryctes and cocoon-producing wasps. For now, the team is conducting their rearing work in a small enclosure, but hope to expand their operation to the larger moth garden in the spring. The moth garden is shaping up to be a tremendous asset as we expand silk and insect programs in 2016. The team will temporarily store the construction equipment in a secure location during the holiday break and complete the structure in February in time for the spring silk rearing season. 

A Holiday Surprise: 

As an exciting holiday surprise for the team in Madagascar, the famous and rare Malagasy Hawk Moth emerged from its pupal phase this month. The rare moth was originally predicted to exist by Darwin based on an orchid specimen with an exceptionally deep nectary. Darwin predicted that the plant would need a large moth pollinator with a long proboscis. Sure enough, the moth was discovered in Madagascar many years later.

Our own team was lucky enough to come across the larvae of this rare moth on a recent field mission a few months ago and labor-intensively reared the larvae by returning to the site every few days to collect fresh host tree leaves. The moths successfully emerged a few days ago and thrilled the whole team! 

 Looking Forward:

We have many exciting new plans in store for 2016 including training workshops by an international design consultant, participation in our first Malagasy trade show, the introduction of a formal monitoring program for Ceranchia, education and outreach opportunities in partnership with WCS and the expansion of our insect program to the rural communities. Thank you again for your support and we hope that you will consider supporting our projects again for 2016!

All the best and happy holidays,

CPALI/SEPALI team

Insect Timeline by Mamy Ratsimbazafy
Insect Timeline by Mamy Ratsimbazafy
Fulgoridae
Fulgoridae
Dragonfly Larva
Dragonfly Larva
Giant Water Bug
Giant Water Bug
Orcytes Beetle Larva
Orcytes Beetle Larva
Bunea Larva
Bunea Larva
Hawk Moth Newly Emerged
Hawk Moth Newly Emerged
Hawk Moth Proboscis
Hawk Moth Proboscis
 
   

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