Labe of Barka/MCV co-op with her design.
RAIN founder and Executive Director Bess Palmisicano is in the field in Niger for two months, spending a good part of her visit doing what she loves best -- working with the talented and determined women who make up our ever growing artisan cooperatives. Says Bess: "We're having fun. The women here have definite tastes in styles and colors. We bring our ideas together and create different models to try out. For example, the oversized traditional hat from Burkina Faso that I modeled for the Wodaabe women in the MCV/Barka embroidery co-op drew lots of laughs. But when our resident tailor Aisha scaled it down and tried it on -- voila! An instant hit all around."
Meanwhile, the Tuareg women in the Albaye leather cooperative are just starting a joint project with the artisans of a straw weaving cooperative from Ingal. Together, they will be hand crafting striking straw tote bags enhanced with leather work featuring the saturated ochre, turquoise, magenta and black in the traditional Tuareg style. We can't wait to share our new styles with you... look for us on eBay Giving Works this spring, or directly from our website at www.rain4sahara.org.
Best wishes for the New Year and grateful tidings for all your support from the staff at RAIN and our Tuareg and Wodaabe partners!
Aisha models a new hat prototype.
New leather purses from Albaye co-op.