The OAS Supports Local Artisans in the Caribbean

OAS…May 30 2010 – The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI), is implementing a three-year program to provide local artisans in the Caribbean better access to tourism markets by strengthening their business capabilities, improving the marketability of their products, streamlining distribution systems and creating replicable strategies that facilitate mutually beneficial trade relationships between local artisans and tourism businesses.

The program, “Supporting our Caribbean Enterprises” or SOURCE, began in 2008 in OAS member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and currently is expected to be expanded to other countries of the hemisphere.

The program’s activities have focused on training artisans to create more market-ready products and improve the quality, presentation and packaging of their products; outreach and promotion to introduce products and initiate trading relationships with local artisans; and promoting regional handicraft producers and showcasing their work.

This initiative also has succeeded in increasing awareness of the creativity and value of the work of local artisans, an achievement that will be significantly enhanced through a new website, “Resortful Arts,” at www.resortfularts.org, that will help market and promote artisans’ products and contribute to sustaining local livelihoods and preserving traditional art forms and craftsmanship.

Funding for the project comes from the Special Multilateral Fund of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (FEMCIDI) of the OAS. The OAS FEMCIDI is a grant fund that seeks to reduce poverty and inequality through the financing of technical cooperation projects in the Americas.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org

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