Mamy has been the CPALI/SEPALI Madagascar Program Director since February 2007. His favorite part of the job is the discovery of new endemic moth species to add into the program. The biggest challenges Mamy face are getting enough raw materials to make wild silk products despite price competition and keeping farmers interested in the program when other opportunities for them to earn money arise. When he’s not working with the Malagasy team on Wild Silk projects, he spends time taking care of his garden with his son.
Lalaina has been involved with SEPALI Madagascar since May 2011 as the female artisan coordinator and accountant. Her favorite part of working with the CPALI/SEPALI community is seeing the success of new products and exchanging knowledge with people at international shows and workshops. Lalaina’s biggest challenge is increasing production capacity while still meeting deadlines and making products of the highest quality. She also enjoys caring for her garden when her SEPALI work is done.
Sosoa is a subsistence farmer who has been working with the CPALI program since 2009. As a mother of three, she was originally attracted to the project to earn income. Today she is an active member of both the women's group (sewing textiles) and the farmer's group (raising larvae).
Sosoa planted her trees in 2009 and became an active silkworm breeder in 2010. Like most farmers, she continues to tend to her traditional rice and fruit crops, but relies on income earned from silk production to support her family during the hungry season.
As a subsistence farmer, earning a daily income is not usually a part Sosoa's life, yet supporting her three children and sending them to school requires a minumum of 40,000 ariary ($20) per month. When Sosoa is actively rearing silkworms and sewing textiles with the women's group, she makes an average of 55,000 ariary ($28) per month. This gives her enough to send her children to school and a little extra for her family's other needs.
Sosoa is proud of her role in the program. She now has 300 mature host trees on her property. The waste from the silkworms returns nutrients to the soil, improving its quality. Among her trees she has intercropped pineapple, sugarcane and cassava. Sosoa has high hopes for planting a vegetable garden next year.
Sosoa’s contributions to the CPALI community have been invaluable, and include designing the model for one of our innovative rearing baskets. Despite the largely patriarchal culture in Madagascar, Sosoa's was named President of a new farmer's group she organized last year. Group members comprise both males and females.