Training Center Design by Boston A4H
Each year, CPALI takes a good, healthy look at where we stand in relation to our goals. We evaluate each project's successes and shortcomings and revisit long-term targets. At our annual review this year, we decided that is time to make a minor strategy change in relation to the Wild Silk Training Center.
For the past two years, the CPALI staff and a team of consultants have been hard at work designing and preparing for the Wild Silk Training Center. A plot of land was purchased in Maroantsetra, Architecture for Humanity volunteers drew up the designs for the training center, and SEPALI staff transformed the land into a functional demonstration site including planting native silkworm host trees, building a moth garden, an artisan house, a watchman's house and a bathroom. Today the site stands ready for construction with one hurtle left to overcome: electricity.
The electrical grid in Maroantsetra, powered by a local hydroelectric dam, is currently limited to a small section of Maroantsetra and falls about 2km short of our proposed training center site. Investing in the expansion of the grid as a solo endeavor will be extremely expensive. After extensive research into alternative energy sources by the team and consultants in both the US and Madagascar, we finally decided that the smartest and most cost-effective option is to wait for electricity to come to us. Natural pressure from the community is causing the grid to expand at a steady rate and we expect it to reach our demonstration site, or come within a reasonable distance of it, within the next three years. If the expected expansion does not occur by that time, we will again consider purchasing land in an area that is already on the grid.
For this reason, we are planning to put this project on hold until 2018. In the meantime, the demonstration site will remain active and training workshops will continue in the facilities that we already have at our office. This coming year, we will bring national and international design consultants to our artisans, education and outreach opportunities and many other exciting developments. In response to requests from our farmers and artisans, there will also be a new push for designs and equipment that will allow home-bound artisans to make silk products and earn a living without having to travel to the demonstration site as often.
We sincerely hope that you will continue to support these efforts as we move forward with the communities in Madagascar. If you wish to discuss this change or offer alternative solutions, please feel free to contact us anytime. Thank you for your patience and ongoing support! We are thrilled to have you with us!
Inside the Moth Garden
Wild Silk Textile Workshop
Demonstration Site Trail through Host Trees