MWC Egypt: Bedouin Women’s Handicrafts
30 July 2005
par Web Team
For the purpose of creating alternative livelihoods to replace environmentally hazardous ones such as hunting and timbering, MedWetCoast-Egypt has begun an ambitious program to develop Bedouin women’s traditional handicrafts in Omayed and Zaranik.
The purpose behind this initiative is not only the environmental outcome but also the economic one, as well as the social outcome of empowering women. As for sustainability and the participatory approach aspects that the project endorses, they are fulfilled through a local non governmental organization NGO’s implementation of this program.
The idea for this program was generated by Zaranik’s Bedouin women’s excellence in embroidery. However, their lack of tailoring skills had resulted in their reliance on others for supplying ready-made garments. This had put them under others’ mercy and stripped them of vast profit opportunities. Thus, the small profit they received had discouraged young Bedouins from learning the craft, which threatens it of extinction.
This ambitious idea is being implemented by the Cooperation for Local Development of Zaranik Community, a local NGO that MedWetCoast-Egypt had participated in establishing and training. Furthermore, MedWetCoast-Egypt funds the NGO through a grant. It further supplies it with the equipment necessary for embroidery and tailoring, at focal points in four villages in Zaranik. The program started with training of trainers on tailoring and embroidery, as well as training the NGO’s supervisors on running those activities.
Webteam for Injy Galal, National Information Officer, MedWetCoast- Egypt