Gifts from Wales & Fair Trade Gifts from the World


Mala Bags Madagascar

Lizah Ndrialissa

Madagascar is a truly unique place. As an island off the south-east coast of Africa, it has maintained a unique eco-system and habitat for wildlife – the most famous of which are the Lemurs. Its people come from southern Asia and from mainland Africa. This vibrant mix has produced colourful arts and handicrafts.

The island suffers periodic natural disasters through regular cyclones and now faces political turmoil. Through all this, the ordinary people of the island have to struggle to maintain a livelihood in one of the world’s poorest countries. They do this by using what natural resources are available – including fibre from the giant Palm Trees. The Raffia is the largest of the Palm trees, and has giant leaves from which the strong fibre is made.

We are working with a number of enterprises – supported by the European Union – that are involved in reforestation and the promotion of the local economy and protection of the habitat of wildlife. Local co-operatives hand-weave the fibre and create these colourful Summer Bags.

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