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How can the ancestral skills of Kabylie in Algeria contribute to the economic development of the Tizi Ouzou region? Touiza Solidarité is a not-for-profit association highlighting the local craft heritage, and promoting skills transfer and training to encourage young people to create new artisan businesses.
Traditional artisan skills practised by the men and women of Kabylie draw on a unique craft heritage, increasingly threatened by profound changes in rural society. Traditional basketwork, pottery, jewellery-making, weaving and sewing techniques (practised chiefly by women) are being abandoned due to a lack of awareness among younger generations.
In the wilaya (administrative region) of Tizi Ouzou, Touiza Solidarité and its local partners work to preserve and promote artisan skills as a vital aspect of Kabylie’s heritage, and a valuable source of income for artisans and their families.
Traditional craft skills are preserved through skills transfer across the generations, the diversification of techniques and designs, and the development of artisan micro-businesses. Supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Touiza Solidarité helps participants to create, manage and develop their own micro-businesses, and to promote and distribute their artisan products in the local economy.
Aimed mostly at younger women, the project supports cross-generational training in craft skills and techniques. Touiza Solidarité also organises further professional training in design, craft techniques and entrepreneurship, encouraging young women to achieve genuine autonomy, and acquire recognition and status in their community, so that they may pass on their skills to future generations, in turn.