Maeva is a group of women from the village of Sahavondronina. They specialize in weaving baskets, floor coverings and home goods out of grasses that are amazingly durable. The brilliantly vivid dyes are made from fruit peel, roots, plants and tree bark, ensuring the end product is both locally sourced and natural. This village has limited resources with agriculture as their main source of sustainability. Many of the children do not go to school beyond the 5th grade because of the schools are far away and the parents cannot afford the costs of transportation and boarding. Through this new business venture the young girls are learning weaving skills from their mothers. It is exciting to see innovative new designs being produced by the young weavers.
When Susan Cummings-Findel first met the group in 2011 the products were simple and utilitarian. To expand the product line Susan suggested adding color and design to the weavings. The women applied their knowledge of local dyes to transform the products into works of art. The creative freedom spilled into their personal lives as well, strengthening the women’s confidence to explore possibilities that they did not think possible before. The income generated from their broader product line opens up opportunities like sending their children to middle school and beyond.
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