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.
DIMA has welcomed twenty-six new students who are refugees from Mali. They are learning tailoring. The students are sponsored by the International Committee for Emergency Aid and Development.
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:
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.
After the initial four months of training, DIMA plans to acquire larger, standard production looms and offer the students 1 ½ years of additional training in weaving and business skills.
Then DIMA plans to form a weaving cooperative to continue to train new students and to provide assistance to working weavers.
The tailoring students at DIMA are participating in a program sponsored by the government of Niger.
The students are busy sewing 100,000 face masks to be distributed in the country. Not only are they helping fight the pandemic, but they are also gaining valuable work experience. ###
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!
I participated in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival earlier this summer. I went not only as a participating leather artist from Niger, but to also represent my foundation, ONG DIMA.
I must say, this was the most wonderful two weeks that I have experienced in a long time! I met many wonderful people during my time in Washington, DC.
I participated in workshops to demonstrate the traditional leather work of Niger. I also held a workshop for children so they could experience hand painting leather. Each child was given a piece of natural leather that was tanned in Niamey. A magnet was placed on the back of that piece of weather so they could take their project home as a keepsake!
Thank you so much to the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage for this amazing opportunity!