Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hope Intiative

 I am in Madrid, taking a relaxing day.....due to late planes and many a miserable story it was quite an epic event getting here and my luggage lagged by a day.
There is  nothing in my luggage I could not live with out and yet being free of it seemed a huge nuisance. Funny creatures aren't we?
It did get a bit better when I was able to buy shampoo and conditioner and have a proper shower, clean my teeth etc....
now I have my stitching and even clean clothes it seems proper luxury!!

Talking Needles Update
Thank you to so many for support from all corners especially Anne Kempton of Timeless Textiles and endless energy. Our next big task will be setting up a mobile library to encourage and educate people locally. Lots of books for kids' literacy and a growing stack of craft how-to books for Mums.
I can't say thank you in a big enough way except to try and run with what you all helped start.

A bit blurry but that is how we were by that time- a very big week....and such an enjoyable one.
 Quite a significant amount was raised- in Indian terms lots and lots of books- WOW!!
thank you.
To work
The Hope Initiative
is what we will call our Trust, if the powers that be deem it a suitable name...the legal side of the structure for the library to take shape within.
We have made all relevant enquiries and once I am back will launch into the paperwork scramble necessary to get it all sorted.
We want a legal entity formed- it will protect the idea and what will grow from it.
A library, initially it will be mobile- books in boxes we can take to schools on a regular time we will need a location to work from, where we could start an computer centre, perhaps in time run community classes.....ideas do keep bubbling up.
As a legal entity we will have to keep proper accounts, be audited regularly, be able to offer receipts for donations which contributors can claim a tax break on....we won't be vulnerable to powers that be looking for handouts so they don't notice us and take us to task for not being registered.....
Talking Needles Project
started over a year ago when I was sitting at a trade show filling in my time, stitching "Forrest or the Trees"
That was the first piece of art I had conceived for many years...once my mind was always on my next exhibition and what I wanted to say, but The Stitching Project had consumed all my creative juices for some while.
At the trade fair is was great to have people from all over the world, look at our work, comment, order things....I was wishing we could share it with our ladies who contribute such a lot to our vision through their work. It was talking about this with Praveen that lead to the idea of what became Talking Needles.
As the idea progressed we started to see ways we could use it as an educational tool for our women,
the students exhibition at our house, Sanju showing her women's Sujani work and talking about her work, guests who visit on tours showing their journals etc.
All small things but ways of planting seeds in our women's mind.....rural women have so much to do and so little spare money that taking up a hobby is not something that happens.
The looks on women's faces as Praveen outlined what we wanted from them for Talking Needles revealed so much, I was watching intently there was a real excitement to be able to make a piece they wanted to make.
We tied this in with a business incentive- once the show was up and pieces sold, costs covered- materials, post, and the basic rate paid to each woman for stitching the piece [this is their work, and with no leisure time I did not want to ask women to work for free], a percentage of profit would go to the maker and the rest into the book fund. My expenses for travel etc are out  of our own pocket not part of these equations.
It will be interesting when I get home- I have photos of all our women's works- some were quiet spectacular and some more simple...a few sold for significant amounts so the amount going to that women will be a real windfall....I think this will help sharpen people's concentration for future opportunities.
 We also made 2 quilts under the same deal. I called these "Many Hands Quilts" and think we will do more of them from time to time to encourage the women's own design efforts and  entrepreneurial attitude.
Some of the panels we will use in The Stitching Project commercial work, we will pay the designer a designer's fee and name the quilt design after her.
Our secret plan is to stimulate a feeling of entrepreneurial possibilities in the women, one day perhaps they could form a co-operative, and we could work with them that way....we could have a small shop in Pushkar with theirs and our Fair Trade work for sale, one the women could run????
Lots of dreams for the future......where there is hope there are possibilities.
Lovely violin music wafting in the window.....time to chill in Madrid.
 "Moorish Delights of Andalusia and Morocco 2014 " hits the road tomorrow.
I have my favourite local café solo place to visit and around the corner the best local hot chocolate and churrios imaginable once the after Church crowd of local matrons are finished.

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