A group of 25 participants from Zimbabwe are attending a week-long crafts managers' workshop at the National School of Design in Ahmedabad to hone their managerial skills under an India-Africa exchange programme.
The group includes 17 artisans, including 15 women, the director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, a potential crafts exporter and a crafts ministry official.
The NID had conveyed to the Zimbabwean government that it
wanted to train a group of artisans from the country to become crafts managers after field visits to the African nation early this year.
The National School of Design Tuesday said the larger aim of the
project was to connect the traditional crafts products to different
markets and empower women to handle bulk orders. The participants,
being as management experts, will have to transmit their
newly-acquired skills to members of their groups at the grassroots to create a multiplier effect.
The participants belong to the community of sisal fibre basket
weavers, sponsored by the Zienzele Foundation, and bamboo weavers
associated with the STEP Trust.
The workshops in India will be stepped by advance training in Zimbabwe.
The workshop will culminate in a day-long round table meeting at NID July 28. The meeting will serve as a platform to share ideas,
experiences and talk about the school's intervention projects in
Africa. The group will travel to the national capital July 29-30 for a familiarisation trip. It will visit the Crafts Museum and the Dilli Haat.
Zimbabwe is known for its traditional wood carvings, textiles, crochet work, wood-fired ceramics, stonework and weaving. But the crafts sector, run by women, is not organised.