By Correspondent WINDHOEK Recently the Embassy of Finland signed a one-year cooperation agreement with the Pambili Association for N$487 650. The embassy’s support is given to a project called Craft-Empower-Identity. “This project is a continuation of the embassy’s support in 2005 to the Pambili Association in the areas of arts and crafts capacity building, especially in product design and export marketing of arts and crafts. During the past year it has become evident that Pambili Association is on its way to establishing itself as an umbrella for the Namibian crafts production groups for entering the Finnish market,” said a statement by the organization. According to the statement, Pambili works in cooperation with Team Namibia in order to promote local products. “Furthermore, it is truly encouraging that the pilot project has produced many good results in networking as well as in market response both locally and in Finland. The embassy’s focal support areas consist of strengthening of local cultural identity as well as capacity building at large.” One of the main aims of Pambili is to teach crafts management and export related business skills in the local communities through outreach workshops. Most often these recipient communities consist of women and other vulnerable groups, such as for example the San community of Tsumkwe. These training workshops promote true empowerment through training and income generation on the local community level. Therefore, I believe, that the programmes of Pambili have a great potential of creating self-employment and alleviating poverty at large in Namibia and especially in the rural areas,” said Pambili’s PRO Melanie Harteveld in the statement. In her view the two major goals to be achieved through a project like this are the promotion of the arts and crafts industry in Namibia and the strengthening of Finnish-Namibian cooperation.
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