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Dsenyo Blog

  • Time to Celebrate! Finishing the Training Circuit.
  • Marissa Saints
  • fair tradeMalawiProductiontraining

Time to Celebrate! Finishing the Training Circuit.

"We are busy, busy with business. Busy as bees!" said the ladies at Luso la Manja with huge grins on their faces as they worked on their first Dsenyo order which they were awarded after successfully
finishing their training.  All of the groups we have worked with are expressing so much joy and gratitude for the opportunity to work in partnership with Dsenyo.  They not only get business from us and are
paid a fair wage for their labor, but they receive free training from Dsenyo which elevates their skills to the next level and empowers them with knowledge about product design and quality standards for an
export market.  As each day passes and as I spend more time training with our producer groups, I am more and more convinced than ever that Dsenyo's approach fills a much needed void.

Many women and artisans here in Malawi are perfectly capable of producing a high quality, marketable product for export markets. Unfortunately, there are some seemingly unsurmountable obstacles to people accessing those markets on their own:
1. Access to high quality materials
2. Knowledge of customer quality standards
3. Knowledge of contemporary fashion and product design
4. Access to capital for costs of exporting
5. Knowledge of marketing strategy

With Dsenyo's partnership, the groups we are working with are crafting
products at a level of quality and design not seen before here in
Malawi.  The women can hardly believe what they have made when they
see the final samples they are able to produce at the end of our
trinaing!  I am so encouraged... there is plenty of time, energy,
skills and most of all a willing and eager spirit to do the work! For
example, I stayed up unitl 11pm one night with Beatrice the leader of
Luso la Manja. We worked by candlelight and flashlight long past dark
and bedtime in the village.  Beatrice was determined to perfect the
change purse design so she could help train the rest of the group
which was struggling a bit. She said, "I will work day and night. I
don't want to miss this order!"

These groups have taken the first steps on their own - basic training
and found machines - Dsenyo now opens doors to new opportunities as a
reward for their initial efforts.

Tamara and I have now finished our training circuit.  If you look a
the attached map you can see where the groups are located in the
Central and Northern Regions of Malawi.  We have been on a 1000+KM
journey and as a result, Dsenyo is now working with over 30 women and
artisans for the production of our Made in Malawi Products!

The producer groups include and are producing the following:
1. MicroVentures Kasungu Graduates (sisal tote bags) Kasungu
2. Chiwavi Tailors (1.5" and 3" belts) Mzuzu
3. MicroVentures Mzuzu (change purses) Mzuzu
4. Ekwendeni AIDS Resource Center Youth Group (Handmade paper greeting
cards with fabric applique) Ekwendeni
5. Woodcarvers at Nkhata Bay (Handcarved wood belt buckles) Chintechi
turn-off, Nkhata Bay
6. Luso la Manja (change purses) Chifira, Kande Beach
7. Umodzi Sewing Club (market bags) Area 24, Lilongwe

  • Marissa Saints
  • fair tradeMalawiProductiontraining