The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild has agreed to contribute $500 toward the cost of training five women to weave for the Maseru Tapestries Cooperative in Lesotho, a small, landlocked country in South Africa, southeast of Johannesburg (Google maps). The area has a ready supply of wool and mohair, and weaving cooperatives are helping many women support their families in a region that, while politically stable, has lost nearly a third of its population to HIV/AIDS.
The Maseru Tapestries Cooperative currently has a steady, low-volume business providing for a few tourist craft outlets and handling periodic custom orders. Peace Corps volunteers have been working with the cooperative to help them improve their business practices and become more sustainable. One of their limiting factors is not enough trained weavers to produce the quantity of goods needed for long-term viability. Five additional weavers will double the capacity of the cooperative, allowing it to expand its business while providing livelihoods for families in need.
The cost of a 3-month training program for five women is $1, 100. The Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild will contribute $500 from the treasury of the Guild and will accept other donations through the end of June. Let's see how much of the needed $1,100 we can raise!
Beth Parrot has issued a challenge! She has pledged $50 to the project and she will raise it by our next meeting on June 20th by finding 4 others besides herself who will give $10 or, one other besides herself who will give $25 or, she will write a check for the entire $50 or, some other combination of her own money and finding others to contribute. She challenges each of us to do the same.
Checks should be made out to the Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild with Maseru Tapestries Cooperative indicated in the Memo line and mailed to: Palmetto Fiber Arts Guild, P O Box 42119 , Charleston, SC 29423 . Our Guild is not a tax exempt non-profit organization, so your contribution cannot be tax deductible, but we hope you will support this good cause anyway. We will let you know the results of the weaving training class and show you pictures of what the cooperative is able to do with more weavers.
Khotso, Pula, Nala! -- Peace, Rain, Prosperity!