In the Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu in southern India, ZOË Alliance is working with two incredible organizations, Mahalir Aran Trust, (MAT), lead by Mercy Abraham Imondi, and VIA Design lead by Janet Rogers.
For full background visit http://www.zoealliance.com/en/community_dharmapuri.php)
For the past few years the Flowering Desert Production Unit of MAT has been producing quality textiles based products. The women who are working have been given valuable training by VIA Design and upon graduation are gifted with a sewing machine and a pair of scissors. This is very significant, because this enables them to continue to work and create income should they marry and move to another village.
This model has been so powerful and well received that on September 23rd, 2009 it was duplicated! That day a new centre in neighbouring Krishnagiri was opened with the help of VIA Design and MAT. This new tailoring and training centre will employ 25 women and extending the opportunity for work in the region.
With 10 sewing machines from Flowering Desert and one supervisor travelling out 1 day per week to help, this new centre began working on projects October 1st. This is a fantastic achievement, and the women are very proud of their accomplishments and eager to work.
The women at the Flowering Desert produced the limited edition Nambikai Throw, the first item made for the ZOË Alliance collection. As we look to future products and projects, it is exciting to see the multiplication envisioned by this regenerative business model of micro-enterprise development begin so soon. With 84% of those who are unemployed in India living in the villages, this is an effective way create steady and profitable ongoing business and employment opportunities in the villages.
Congratulations to Mercy, Janet and your teams, we’ll keep working at our end to send more business your way!