Since its creation last year, the Association of Women for Handcraft Menalamba Torotorofotsy was frequently organizing several handcraft exhibitions, together with the Association Mitsinjo Andasibe. Events were held locally in their home village and also in Andasibe, which is about one hour drives from Menalamba village. They were also participating in all Regional handcraft exhibitions organized by the Regional Office of Tourism of the Region Alaotra Mangoro (ORTALMA) in Moramanga.
Interview : Angela Tarmy ( National representative FANC )
For the first time, the Menalamba women is participating in a national wide handcraft exhibition in Antananarivo, at the National Center for Malagasy Handcraft (CENAM) from November 22 to 27, 2016. Attending the exhibition events is important for Menalamba women to understand more the handcraft market at national and even at international level.
“I don’t remember the last time I got out from my hometown. Today I have discovered different techniques of weaving combining different kind of materials. Now I am full of innovative idea to improve the design of my creation,” says Mrs. Julienne, member of Menalamba women.
Nowadays, Menalamba women have joined the network of national women associations that is working closely with public and private handcraft organizations. We are also developing possibilities to export Menalamba’s handcraft creation in Finland. The idea is to improve the local livelihood in accordance with the sustainable utilization of natural resources.
“I am here to observe the handcraft market in the Capital. Lesson learnt from these great experiences will highlight me on how to adopt my product creation into the market demand,” explains Mrs. Ravao, member of Menalamba women.
Menalamba is supported by the project Torotorofotsy which is financed by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by Suomen luonnonsuojelulitto / Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (SLL/FANC) and the Association Mitsinjo.
The main objective of the project is to develop a sustainable method for the conservation of the unique Ramsar wetland site of Torotorofotsy, located in Andasibe, Moramanga District, Region Alaotra Mangoro, in Madagascar.
Torotorofotsy wetland Ramsar site was officially inaugurated in 2005. The site of 9 776 ha has an important role in preservation of biodiversity, in preventing erosion and climate change, and securing of regional water supply. However, Torotorofotsy is badly degraded but is still valuable wetland and can be restored from a local initiative.
Therefore, the project identifies with local communities the possibilities and alternatives for restoring the degraded parts of the site in a way that does not diminish the income generation of the most vulnerable groups. Also, the project helps to valorize plant materials then locals will choose to keep the natural stand of the wetland instead of converting it all into rice field. In parallel, the project vulgarizes more effective rice cultivation methods that do not require the expansion of field area. Besides concrete conservation work, the project activities are focused on promoting eco-tourism, training on sustainable farming, income generating with a sustainable utilization of natural resources, environmental education and overall public awareness.
“Strengthening rural Menalamba women by raising their capacity to understand demand and to conquer national and international market is one of the exit strategies of the project Torotorofotsy” explains Angela Tarimy, Coordinator of FANC Madagascar.
Receuilli par Nirina R.