Written by Emma Thurley (SEED Madagascar)
For the past five years Project Stitch Sainte Luce, run by SEED Madagascar, has provided embroidery training to 21 women in Sainte Luce. By drawing inspiration from the diverse local wildlife and natural landscapes, women are able to make a living by producing high-quality bags, purses and other accessories. The transition to embroidery as a key income generating activity has provided women the opportunity to explore their creativity, innovation, and to improve their technical capacities. The embroiders create unique product designs, with large products such as cushion covers, typically taking up to two months to embroider. The passion of Stitch embroiders is unprecedented, and witnessed throughout the village as embroiders are almost never without an embroidery ring!
Project Stitch is now in its last phase which has so far seen the establishment of the association as a formal cooperative; the expansion of the cooperative from 21 members to 114 members; and a shift towards independence from SEED Madagascar. This phenomenal progress has allowed for extensive community-wide capacity development, through the imparting of knowledge and experience by original members, who have now independently trained a new generation of women in embroidery.
As a result of Project Stitch, embroiders incomes have increased by approximately 370% with numerous members now acting as the household breadwinners. The economic benefits are wide-spread, with an expected 1000 people now benefiting from the incomes of the embroiders, through the provision of food, clothes, education, and healthcare. Increased incomes have also provided embroiderers, such as Virginie, the scope to develop their own businesses within the community.
Thanks to our partnership with Operation Wallacea, Stitch’s’ scope continues to increase, and livelihoods continue to be enhanced as the cooperative moves towards independence!
To check out the Stitch Sainte Luce website click here
And to buy any of their products through Operation Wallacea click here to visit our shop