As global economies grow and people become more interconnected, there is an increasing demand for new 21st century skills, for integrating diverse knowledge, and for developing the capacity to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial. Young weavers have a great need for specialized education that bridges the gap between traditional skills and new competencies.
WomenWeave believes that talented young weavers are capable of building sustainable livelihoods if given the requisite training support, access to networks and technology. WomenWeave also believes that, with the right curriculum, an educational program for weaving youth can be instrumental in solving most of the issues that afflict Indian handloom today.
It is with this conviction that, in 2015, WWCT started The Handloom School project in the traditional handloom weaving town of Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, as an extension of its "Young Weavers Entrepreneurship Development Program".
The Handloom School is a first-of-its-kind networked learning platform for young handloom weavers and a professional resource centre for the weaving community. In a unique approach, The Handloom School provides young handloom artisans from various regions of India the opportunity to live, work, learn and grow together as weavers, and also as individuals. The overarching goal of the School is to train today’s young generation of weavers to continue, to grow and prosper in the handloom industry, with an evolved sense of pride for handloom as a respectable and financially remunerative vocation.
Through The Handloom School, WomenWeave aims to furnish young weavers with the skillset and competencies necessary to operate in a mercurial national and international business landscape, to interface with remunerative high-end markets and to weave superior fabrics for up-market clients, eventually maturing into weaver entrepreneurs in their own right.
The idea is to make handloom weaving as lucrative and desirable to them as any other profession, so that they rediscover pride and reverence for their craft. This would impede the massive exodus to quit the vocation and create young ambassadors of handloom to carry this age-old tradition forward.
The mission of the Handloom School is to inspire young handloom artisans with a creative and practical multidisciplinary learning experience.
We are dedicated to providing students the knowledge, skills and values that enable them to equitably participate in the global marketplace. We are committed to educating young Indian weavers to become innovative, self-sufficient and entrepreneurial.
The Handloom School seeks to preserve and transform Indian handloom both as a sustainable art and a global industry.
We envision handloom communities becoming economically viable and socially innovative in a way that seeds a culture of quality, dignity and respect. Our aim is to create diverse pathways to employment and to stimulate rural and semi-urban development through entrepreneurship.