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Tibetan Artisan Initiative from China

is the artisan in the spotlight this week

Artisan Tibetan Artisan Initiative

The Tibet Artisan Initiative was started as a poverty alleviation project, and now provides a market channel to hundreds of Tibetan artisans -- many living in rural areas without access to outside customers. TAI works closely with artisans to reintroduce handicraft traditions, improve raw materials sourcing, improve overall quality, and introduce innovative product designs based on traditional motifs.

The Tibet Artisan Initiative works in conjunction with the Dropenling Handicraft Development Center -- an organization dedicated to improving the lives of local artisans throughout the region by selling only unique, high-quality handicrafts made in Tibet, by Tibetans. Dropenling is a Tibetan word meaning "giving back for the betterment of all mankind." Their creations are unique to them and are treasures destined to become keepsakes.

Artisan Pasang Tsering

Born in 1949, and unable to walk or attend school due an illness at the age of 7, Pasang began to learn tailoring from his father at the age of 13. His skills developed quickly and at age 24, he began teaching new students at a local sewing workshop. After teaching for 10 years, Pasang saved enough money to rent a small house and set up his own sewing workshop. He set about hiring and training unemployed youth and women from poor families in his community. Some of Pasang's students have moved on to start their own successful businesses and one has become a sewing teacher in his own village. Including himself, there are currently 19 artisans in his workshop. Pasang is committed to helping unemployed youth in his community and passing on the skills he has developed over the last 40 years.

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