We looked and looked and tested so many carvers till we finally found the ones with the extra-terrestrial smiles and the sun energy! As always it happened by chance! We met Fred first, a young carver who has learnt wood carving from his dad. We expressed our interest to work together.....and eventually 4 months later (yes thats Malawi!) he called us up and said that he had partnered with three other carvers and they are ready to start working. So we started to work! We asked them to chose a name and they re now called "ATEKWENE", which means wise and knowledgeable people in production.
ATEKWENE NEED: ACCESS TO MARKETS "its difficult to find markets on our own" , Costa Adamson, carver.
Like the other clubs, these carvers have wood carving skills, which they pass on from dad to son, but their problem is access to markets.. As a result they face major challenges daily.
Access to markets for these artisans is difficult mainly due to lack of:
1. business training 2. design & innovation 3. knowledge of available & relevant markets
ATEKWENE was set up from scratch with the assistance
of People of the Sun. It currently consists of 4 carvers.
- accounting & book keeping
- negotiation skills
- understanding of value chains
- branding & identity building
Design & Innovation
- product development
- quality control and consistency
- access to hardwood.
There are new laws that make it very difficult for carvers to legally get hold of wood. Therefore we need to work together with the forestry department and find a sustainable system of obtaining and exporting hardwood products.
WOOD CARVING & ATEKWENE
CONNECT TO MARKETPLACE:
Once capacity is build then we will market, organise exports and sell their products to national and international markets.
CAPACITY BUILDING STRATEGY