VENTURES AFRICA – After embarking on a three week journey to Malawi, Holly Dunlap, an international designer was inspired to start up a project when she heard about the MaCoHa Factory. She was moved by the potential she saw in the factory and the fact that all of the craftsmen were physically challenged.
The Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MaCoHa) factory is a non-profit organization established in 1972 by Norwegian nuns to help people with physical disabilities by providing skills(weaving, dyeing, embroidery) , training and jobs for people with disabilities in Malawi.
In partnership with the MaCoHa Factory and Holly Dunlap, the 4MaCoHa was set up as a project which exports clothes and handicrafts made out of dyed and tailored fabrics by the artisans of MaCoHa. The factory has never done a major exportation, so Dunlap set out to bring awareness to the factory and connect them with other fashion and interior designers. With the production of every collection, the main goal is to increase demand and sustainable employment.
“The goal of 4macoha is to gain awareness for Macoha, and to encourage manufacturing & job creation in Africa. All clothing is made in Malawi from Malawian cotton, which supports local cotton farmers, textile workers & the artisans of Macoha”
Malawi may be one of the poorest nations in the world, but this handicapped community has proven determination, persistence and hardwork can indeed bring change.
Dunlap’s 4macoha collections have produced beautiful and colourful products that stay true to the African heritage.This project has opened MaCoHa to the international markets, promoted the African manufacturing industry, while creating awareness of the situation of handicapped people in developing countries. In addition, 4MaCoHa also supports the factory by donating equipment and necessary materials which increases their capacity.
In just few years, the project has created a greater demand for their products and continues to have direct positive impact on the lives of the workers and their families. These products can be purchased at warehouses in Malawi and online shopping portals in USA and SouthAfrica.
Check out some of the 4MaCoHa collections below:
For more information: http://www.4macoha.com