Halima at SAFEM, Agadez 2012
We love to share stories about how the women in our artisan cooperatives are learning and earning, but what's better is when we can share a story as told by our partners themselves. The following is from an artisan named Halima:
"My name is Halima Atchani. I was born in 1965 in Agadez, and I’m a leather artisan. I began this work when I was 12 years old. It’s traditional work that I inherited from my parents. My mother is also a leather artisan and my father is a shoe-maker. Since I have started my training with RAIN, the methods of my craft in leather have changed a great deal. As a member of the RAIN “Albaye” artisan cooperative in Agadez, I’ve been learning new designs of items I already know how to create, as well as how to make other items for the first time. RAIN provides us with precise specifications for items or sometimes with a model to work from. All the members get together and share the work, allowing us to complete our items in a short amount of time. We receive very good compensation from RAIN for our products. It is thanks to this work that I’m able to regularly support my family’s needs of food, clothing, schooling and health. I provide sole support of my six children since my husband died ten years ago. Working as a member of the RAIN artisan cooperative, I’m gaining experience and earning a living doing what I love to do. This year, I was sponsored by RAIN to attended the SAFEM, an international exhibition for women artisans in the capital of Niamey. I connected with many other artisans and discovered that my work is greatly appreciated by both natives Nigeriens and foreigners alike. Beginning this year, RAIN will help us create our own shop in Agadez, where all the artisan members can come and work together. We will have our products on exhibit for sale, and this will give us good visibility and provide increased sales. We’re so happy to have the help of RAIN to achieve these things for ourselves and our families."
You should feel great about your role in helping to facilitate the blossoming of what these women already possess: talent and determination to learn new things and support their families. Be sure to visit our new website as we add photo galleries and updates of our artisans!
Albaye Co-operative Purse