The straw basket and handbag makers of northern Ghana are drawing a lot of attention lately– enough, in fact, that two of my clients have each sent me to the region on separate occasions in recent months to get a close up glimpse of these fashionable totes. The groups that make them have banded together in cooperatives in order to buy supplies in bulk and save and lend amongst each other. Some groups have even managed to find financial backing and gain certified Fair Trade status, which would explain why Shared Interest, a fair trade investment firm, sent me there to capture these entrepreneurs at work. The colorful hand bags and baskets are crafted by groups of women using straw that is first rolled and split with their teeth, then dyed in vibrant colors before being woven into intricate patterns by hand. It’s a tradition that’s long been passed down through the[…]Read More
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Many NGO’s focus on building livelihoods through agriculture. What about the people that live in areas where crop production is literally not a viable option? Kenya’s Emali district has been hit by recurring drought for the last decade, making farming next to impossible. In this documentary short, which I shot and edited, we see the blueprint of a grant from the Government of New Zealand implemented by ChildFund Kenya called “Building Resources in Two Drought Affected Communities.” As our narrators tell us, the aim of the program is not just to build secure livelihoods of the program’s participants, but also to preserve precious and unique cultural traditions and craftwork among the Kamba and Maasai peoples in Emali. Along the way we get an idea of the artists’ creation process and even a beauty tip from the Maasai. The program has made quite a splash in New Zealand media. 3News, Dominion[…]Read More