In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, here is a project that helps secure the future of the women lace-makers of Galle, Sri Lanka
The objective of the Power of Hands Foundation is to raise awareness of traditional Sri Lankan crafts which are being replaced by mass production and to bring in educational programmes set up by designers from the film and fashion industry, so that with investment and training, crafts-people produce goods which will appeal to the global market.
The ‘Power of Hands’ Galle Lace Project was initiated i n the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, with the intention of helping the many women lace makers in the Galle area of Sri Lanka who were directly affected by the disaster. The PoH Centre in Galle serves the community by being a focal point for training in traditionally-made lace as well as new products and designs; it also serves as both a shop and workshop for lace-makers who live in the Galle area.
The Power of Hands project now meets its basic running costs and wages through the sales of the products of the lace workers, but there are many other areas that need long-term support, such as providing low-voltage solar powered lighting, maintenance of the building using local craftsmen and re-establishing traditional local dyeing techniques.