More than 180 people have learned to make a felt-craft
Two women Aysulu Takina and Aysura Tahanova from a non-commercial partnership «Altai felt» held three workshops for the locals. The last of them took place in May. Those women are participants of WWF and Citi project «Sustainable livelihoods in the snow leopard habitat”. They share their skills and knowledge with people. Aysula Takina was one of the first who received micro-grant for the development of the local business, and Aysura Tahanova joined her later. Now women found a non-profit organization «Altay felt» and are teaching local people from republic to that craftsmanship besides their main activity: producing and sailing traditional souvenirs from felt.
Over the last six months in the remote villages of republic Aisulu and Aysura gave classes to other women and children in Ulagan, Ust-Koksa and Mukhor – Tarakhta. The most active participants of the classes were unemployed women, mothers of large families, pensioners, teachers of additional education, as well as children of all ages.
«The purpose of these workshops - to increase interest of the local population to the traditional felt-craft activity like one of the components of sustainable development for communities. We want to involve people with low-income to the economic activity that does not damage the environment, - said project coordinator of the WWF’s Altai-Sayan Ecoregion office Elena Repetunova. - Initially we expect 20-30 participants at each seminar but the topic was so interesting that the total number of participants of three workshops has reached 180 people! We hope that at least 30-40% of them will use this skills and knowledge in the primary or additional income».
Experts from the partnership «Altai felt» showed participants various techniques of felting including dry and wet felting, technology applications, adding the ornament to a felt base and others. Kids especially liked to make toys from wool and adults interested in felting of tradition clothing and footwear.
«We wanted to share the craft skills with local women to give them the knowledge/ Hopefully soon they will able to make a felt souvenirs for tourists, household items, clothing and produce different ethnic products participation in the summer Felt Festival »The Felt of nomads,' - says AysuluTakina.