DIMA has raised enough money from a GlobalGiving campaign to build the shed to house the new weaving school. Construction was completed in late September. The first loom has been installed and four more will be installed by the middle of October. Potential weaving students have been interviewed and 10 students have been selected. DIMA plans to start training around the end of October.
During the summer a group of weavers in the United States purchased a production floor loom for the school. It arrived in Niamey in early September. After the weaving students master the traditional looms, DIMA plans to train them on the floor looms.
The new weaving school at DIMA has been launched. The school is set up under the new weaving shed built last fall with funds received from last year’s GlobalGiving campaign. There are ten students who attend class five days a week from 8 AM until 1 PM. They being taught to weave in the traditional tera-tera style by master weaver Abdoulwahid. Téra-tera blankets are given to brides and grooms as wedding gifts in Niger. However, there are very few people now weaving in this style, so one goal of the school is to preserve téra-tera.
Osseini Djibo, aged 20, is not only a DIMA student, but is also the owner of his very own tailoring shop. Just opened recently, the shop has three sewing machines, a big table for cutting, and shelves for storing fabric, patterns and tools.
Osseini says he is lucky to live in an area where people prefer to have tailors make their clothes. Business has been good enough that he already employs three additional people.
Osseini decided to study tailoring at DIMA because it offered him the opportunity to work for himself and determine his own working conditions. He says he is very fortunate to have been able to have free training through DIMA.
A meeting was held last week between DIMA staff and members of the International Committee for Emergency Aid and Development. The group completed the details needed to begin training 26 young refugees from Mali. The young people will start at the DIMA school on June 15. They will be taking a tailoring course.
DIMA is making plans to start a weaving school. This year DIMA plans to construct a large open shed to use as the classroom, acquire 10 traditional looms and to give 10 young people 3 months of training in literacy and 4 months of training in a traditional weaving style known as téra-tera.
To raise funding for the project, DIMA is launching a crowdfunding campaign on GlobalGiving that will run from June 8 to June 26, 2020. You can find more information here:
The students participated in an educational field trip on Wednesday, August 15th. They toured the Cooperative CMAN and visited the National Museum of Niger.
As a result of the field trip, the students were exposed to the many beautiful works of art created by the master artisans of Niger. They were able to talk with the artisans and see and feel the materials that they will one day be working with. It was a very exciting day for the kids!