We began the Macrame project in an attempt to aid community leaders at a difficult time with hardships such as the access to basic needs. Our first macramé students were community care givers that once worked in the children and infant service programs in the community. The necessary basic services were terminated due to corruption by the governing bodies and institutions. These women continued to work without pay for 6 months because of their care and the pressing needs of the children.
The impact we hoped to have was to create not only the economic viability for the mothers to maintain access to basic necessities (there by alleviating the problem), but also to create a community based program. This program would demonstrate how needs can be met by projects funded from within the communities themselves. Through the continued support of our graduates and the productions of the training courses we have funded the building of a community basic needs center that will act as a refuge point in times of intense flooding. It can be used as a community center for other projects and is the only building in the community with running water, toilets, and showers. Having just completed the primary construction on November 5, 2011 we are eager to formulate a new level of child and infant services that the building is designed to provide.
The Macramé Project’s Direct Trade Macrame creates economic viability for the women of the project. It is achieved through the free cultural arts and skills classes. This puts highly refined tools in their hands needed to create the necessary opportunity found through economy. Although not all women complete the free training program, all have an opportunity to move on to create their own small enterprises. Many continue as the sole artists of the macrame just like the ones you see on The String Theory website. These macramé accessories are used in fundraising efforts for basic needs access programs in the community.
With the combination of our program and the willingness of the people, the art moved back out into the surrounding communities. It has reached the mothers and families of the children that had once attended the centers. These women have changed their daily life experience for the better. This was done with the hopeful intent for a better community and better lives for their children.
The macramé from this project is produced through a direct trade community development project sponsored by the Eden’s Rose Foundation. The many hands that come together to make this macramé possible include 50 to 100 women at any one time and over 300 total participants from an inland coastal village in Ecuador. Drawing from a network of small communities the women of Direct Trade Macrame represent a wide demographic spanning a myriad landscape of social, environmental, and economic barriers to access of basic necessities.
Those amazing community leaders give hope and much more to their neighbors. With an effect ratio of 7 to 1 on average this directly impacts thousands of people in this region. In many cases a fully participating woman can double her house hold yearly income just by creating macramé in the free time while caring for children/husbands and the maintenance of the house hold. This keeps hopeful mothers at home with children to create a loving and safe environment with the resources to provide for the child’s basic needs.