AWAVEHI BASKET GROUP
The water is an unbelievable blue, crashing against the bluffs and lapping up against the pristine white shores of Mozambique. Humpback whales migrate through these warm waters of the Indian Ocean, along the same trade route that used to carry manufactured goods from Mozambique to Europe and beyond. After their independence from the Portuguese in 1975, prospering factories closed and a 15-year civil war ravaged the economy. Today there is peace but over half of the population still lives below the poverty line, surviving on subsistence agriculture, which primarily comes from the sea for the coastal villages. Baskets made with local palm fronds carry the fishermen’s daily catch home. These everyday baskets are woven using age-old techniques passed down from the village elders to the youth, who distinguish their work from the others with quality construction and design details. Last year, a handful of these master weavers came together to form Awavehi with the hope and vision of breaking back into the global marketplace, providing a steady income for their families, and preserving their rich heritage of palm leaf weaving.
As this new group gets established, we’re committed to supporting their continued education and the perfecting of their skills for the modern global marketplace. We invest 10% of our profits directly into building an artisan training center to provide healthy, safe, and inspiring working conditions. Additionally, this training center will provide business and financial management courses for the artisans.