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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
Members of the RUTH project.
Photo No. : P060316-1
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Diocese Exports Embroidery to Help Women
March 16, 2006

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] Women of the Diocese of Antisranana have prepared their first embroidered products for export as part of the RUTH Project, an effort funded by the Mothers' Union.

Mrs Alice Chung reports that the project decided to send the products with her husband, Bishop Roger Chung, on a mission trip to Australia.

Preparing the first consignment was “quite an experience,” she said. It included embroidered mats and “broderie anglaise.”

“These products have all been cut individually, the designs drawn and copied and the work embroidered, washed, dried under the sun, ironed and cut again by different women.

“It takes about 30 solid hours of work just to prepare and embroider one design without counting the washing and finishing,” she said. Lack of facilities resulted in the first products not being very neat, but she was very encouraged at the improvements in a later batch of products.

“The skill and technique is there and this is what we intend to maximize,” she added. “It gave me particular joy when I saw how the faces of the women beamed with smiles when they received payment. One even started to sing her joy out!”
She gave examples of women helped by the project:

Jacqueline is a woman who sells rice in the market place to earn her living. She has four children, takes her embroidery to the market and takes every opportunity to do some stitching.

Georgine, with three children, and Marceline, with four children, have a small grocery shop which is just a counter fixed up at the front of their house. They also take every chance during the day to do sewing.

Leonie, a grandmother who has lost a son to illness last November, is now taking care of two orphans.

She spotted Suzelle at a trade fair last October. Suzelle helped her sister, who is a member of RUTH, to make some aprons. She was not attending church and had undergone a major operation some three months earlier. She was quite depressed but is now one of the most active and enthusiastic members and is now coming to church.

The project has applied for a permit for a kiosk, a process which is moving very slowly, but behind the behind the scenes the RUTH ladies are working and meet weekly.

Local handicraft authorities have visited the project. The delegation included Mr Jean Chrrys, president of “Le chambre de métiers,” Mr Francois, assistant director in the “Ministere de l'Industrialisation, Du commerce, Du Developpement du secteur prive” in the Province of Antsiranana, and the assistant director of “la chambre du Commerce.”

“We want to thank everyone for your precious support and prayers,” concluded Mrs Chung.