Handicraft all over the world is an art but also a technique, a way to produce useful and also nice goods by hands using basic raw materials and traditional techniques and designs. In Egypt as elsewhere, the traditional handicraft sector , has changed in the past decades as a result of both modernization and globalization, modifying the access to local and wider economic resources and marketing opportunities. In the rural societies of Egypt, handicraft products have been used in the daily life as common objects for any traditional/customary/labor activities, but have been recently replaced by modern, plastic, factory-made, mass-production and standard products. The products traditionally used inside the local communities to face local domestic or economic needs, tend to be replaced by imported, industrially manufactured goods; traditional handicrafts loose their socio-economic and cultural value; rural or urban producers, mainly women or unemployed youth, become marginalized, with no status and no market.
The local market opportunities have been somehow replaced by new opportunities in the national/international markets for the same traditional products, which are now more interesting at a global than at the local level. Thus, the producers' direct access to these markets and opportunities are lessening due to their lack of entrepreneurial/managerial skills to address different, non-traditional markets.
Despite increasing opportunities and economic value/income on the national/international markets for such traditional, high cultural and profitable value products, marginalized producers do not always benefit from these changes.
In response to this situation COSPE in Egypt aims to enhance the capabilities and the opportunities for marginalized producers, namely through capacity building and institutional development, vocational training and technical assistance, design and product development, promotion and marketing, advocacy and Fair Trade principles and practices.
COSPE believes that the local communities can grow within the handicraft activities by preserving Egyptian traditional and cultural heritage. Opening new marketing links, COSPE helps women and marginalized producers to escape poverty and achieve independence.
|Small-Scale Producers Network for Socio-Economic Rights Recognition|
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