The leather tanning training came to an end with quite a glorious closing ceremony. Certificates were handed out, hands shaken, and a lot of promising words were spoken.
The trainees listened with a good deal of emotion to the words of our guest of honour, Mrs. Nina Nchimbi, Regional Director of the parastatal institution SIDO (Small Industries Development Organisation). Nina, enthusiast and committed, made it very clear that success comes with hard work, but also with the support made available by SIDO to small groups of entrepreneurs: whether in the form of loans, linkages to market or through facilitating the purchase of machineries, SIDO supports thousands of small enterprises throughout the country and a date for a formal meeting to start the discussion was immediately set.
On the other hand, a young Maasai woman read a long list of needs and promising words of commitment that were well received by the representatives of the local government. Let us keep fingers crossed.
The ceremony did not mark the end of the hard work. Workaholic Gabriel Mollel, our designer, pushed the artisans to give the last touches to the beautiful belts and bags right after lunch. This convinced a few of the guests to enjoy some fancy shopping: 4 belts were sold on the spot and the money collected was immediately reinvested in more hides and salt to preserve them. Forty new skins are now waiting to be processed.
The artisans already chose a name for their group: Enyuata, a Maasai word for effort/endeavour.
It was very clear to everybody how processing and selling leather commodities can act as an exit strategy also in the event of a drought or a die out of livestock, increasing the resilience of livestock keeping in time of unpredictable climatic changes.
We will keep you posted on the next lot of goodies – and just in case you fancy any, contact Enyuata through the EcoBoma team!