Meet our Artisan of the Week, Tiringo!
Tiringo is from the Amhara Region of Bahir Dar Zuria and is an apparel weaving artisan and supervisor at the Tana Shema Weaving Works PLC, a producer owned company incubated in the Ethiopian Institute of Textile and Fashion Technology in Bahir Dar, under “Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa” (SITA) funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). Industree Foundation, India, is ITC’s technical partner.
Prior to Tana Weaving Works PLC, she worked from home creating traditional Ethiopian woven products. She struggled financially because the market for traditional products is seasonal, and she would have 8 weeks of a very heavy workload in a year, working all day and all night during these times. For the rest of the year there were very few orders. Additionally, the price of raw materials kept rising as the price of her products kept falling.
Tiringo now receives a regular income throughout the year which is 25% higher than her previous irregular salary. She does not have to worry about market access for her products, so she is able to focus on weaving. She has been able to open a savings account and has begun to save money. In Ethiopia, the government provides land for housing, and in order to be eligible, one needs to deposit 20% of the construction cost and save a fixed amount of money per month. Tiringo has provided the 20% payment with the help of her family, and is able to save the fixed amount each month with the income she earns. She plans to continue to save each month in order to build a house on that land. Even though she had to move away from home to work, her family is very supportive of her.
Tiringo enjoys working at Tana Shema Weaving Works PLC, as she feels safe in her work place and she is treated with respect. She also feels included in the company’s decision making processes. She likes the culture of Tana Weaving Works PLC, as everyone works cooperatively together as a team. Tiringo feels that she learned a lot from the training that she received when she started working. After working for seven months, she was elected by her fellow artisans to become a supervisor. Tiringo is excited and optimistic about her continued success at Tana Weaving Works PLC. She says, “Being able to learn is a good thing.”
Stay tuned for more stories from our inspiring artisans next week!