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silk-enthusiast

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2 reviews

Review for Conservation Through Poverty Alleviation International Inc, Lincoln, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I echo the comments of Tsarabe. What makes CPALI different is the team's respect for the needs, desires, motivations, and knowledge of the farmers they work with. CPALI does not tell the farmers what to do, declare the project a success, and move on somewhere else. The CPALI team spent a long time interviewing farmers to find out whether they would be interested in the native silkworm-raising project, what they would need to get from the project in order to stick with it, and what stumbling blocks they saw. As the project has gone on, the team and the farmers have learned from each other and the team has responded to evolving farmer needs and input. More farmers and more villages are joining the project. The new projects involving pupae for protein and mushrooms are very promising, and it seems that various designers are increasingly interested in the project's textile. The goal is for the project to eventually be self-sustaining without CPALI support, and this would mean that farmers would have increased knowledge about how their local ecology works and can work for them, which in turn means that they will have little incentive to violate the protected area's borders. CPALI is now at the stage where it is possible to imagine this goal being achieved.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the budget!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role:  Board Member
 

Review for Conservation Through Poverty Alleviation International Inc, Lincoln, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Dr. Cay Craig has amazing vision but also incredible realism. I am constantly amazed at how much CPALI has accomplished with so little money. Craig and the rest of the CPALI team have paid incredible attention to the needs of the farmers who have partnered in this conservation effort, taking careful account of the amount of effort farmers will need to invest and the other risks involved so that farmers can have a realistic view of what they are taking on. The farmers I met were very enthusiastic: they want to restore their forests, and the CPALI project offers them a realistic chance of doing so as well as a sustainable source of income. CPALI has also offered young Malagasy science graduates an opportunity to take on leadership roles, thereby investing in different levels of Madagascar's society. Product development and placement are finally reaching an exciting phase, with some leading designers taking a keen interest in the possibilities offered by this unique silk product.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reforest many parts of Madagascar, while allowing subsistence farmers to gain considerably increased income while working their own land and provide beautiful silk products to the developed world!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Board Member & I have helped with record-keeping and publicity and have visited CPALI's base and field site.