Field Stories

30 Rural Women Sell Hand-made Handicrafts in Europe and Train Peers

30  Rural Women Sell Hand-made Handicrafts in Europe and Train Peers

Ms. Suad Derwish looks confident as she explains ways that have enabled her to make European women in fashion capitals, such as Berlin and Paris, buy handbags that Suad has made manually.  Before she joined the training program, Suad had felt that this was an exaggerated fact when she was listening about the program’s outputs. Suad, coming from the rural Tehama area, says "We learn how to meet the demands of distant markets based on the modern and fashionable tastes by inserting local and natural materials and designs to the items made."

A couple of female trainers (from Africa and UK) to hold a ToT training to 30 rural skilled makers of palm frond handicrafts, including Suad, to make similar products with specifications required in the world markets. This was also the professional dream reached by the Briton Philipa Thorne, working in basket designing and development and owning a center to market them worldwide, as she visited an international exhibition and saw Yemeni products that could have been marketed much better if the designs were to be improved in line with the European tastes.

The Executive Director of the SFD-affiliate SMEPS, Mr. Wisam Qaid says that the training program was build on value chain study that covered most areas where handicrafts were being made of palm fronds and points of sale. "Product quality has been greatly improved after the training, and more than 70 products were sold out in the international market at high prices,” says Qaid. “Demand therefore has increased, and SMEPS is now preparing more handicrafts to respond to four additional orders to Germany, France and Denmark.  Meanwhile, Ms. Fayzah Al Sulaimani, Communication Officer says that SMEPS' program is focusing on making these trainees accredited trainers to other peer women. Referring to the training’s economic benefits, Al Sulaimani added "The items are sold abroad five times more expensive than in Yemen, the commodity is being wider promoted so demand increases, it generates hard currency for the country and it employ more number of men and women who suffer from unemployment and poverty. "

Suad has concluded her enthusiastic comments saying "we are proud that we in the countryside of the Tihama we make such items in consistence with the international demand and as the buyer wants. We have learned what the colors and designs the European women prefer."


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