Many visitors, good sales!
The global COVID-19 pandemic that surged in 2020 severely impacted the tourism sector and Atauro Island suffered important consequences. Since March 2020, all the artisans groups involved in the project have seen their income dramatically drop to zero or almost. ED had to stop community visits and resumed only in July, but with a limited capacity to buy products from the groups because of the lack of tourists and potential customers.
Therefore, organizing the 4th Atauro Handicraft Market appeared to be even more necessary in order to try compensating the loss of income experienced during months. Of course, social distancing and other measures imposed by the Government and the World Health Organization had to be taken into account.
The 4th Atauro Handicraft Market finally happened at Timor Plaza in November 2020 gathering 31 artisans (26 women and 5 men) from 15 groups, 3 facilitators (all women) and 3 local businesses.
Several weeks were necessary to prepare this event. Artisans started producing handicrafts a long time before the event to ensure the quantity and quality needed.
All the participants received a participatory preparation training for the fair, including:
- Sharing information about the fair and COVID-19 prevention measures,
- How to run a stand,
- How to set up the products’ price,
- How to register cash in and cash out,
- How to prepare their products and set up the stands.
The fair received hundreds of visitors and ended at night time after successful sales. It has been also the opportunity to present more than 10 new products recently developped!
The artisans went back to Atauro with a general feeling of satisfaction, registering suprising record sales in spite of the difficult economic context. Gains earned during the fair were a relief for the groups who had seen their income being reduced to nothing since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 threat.
“We enjoyed our time at Timor Plaza, we did not know this place before and it is a good place for running the fair.”
“We are ready to repeat the experience!”
“I am happy because we had the possibility to come here and sell our products. In less than two hours, we already did more than 50$.”
Empreza Di'ak participated in more fairs for Christmas making possible access to market for local artisans. Also, however facing a lockdown in Dili due to COVID-19, our team is working on the best way to keep on supporting our partners during these difficult times.
You can follow the project on Facebook and Instagram.
If you are in Timor-Leste, as soon as we will be allowed to reopen, visit our local products’ shops in Díli and Atauro (links for map and details), buy unique handicrafts and learn more about our beautiful country and these amazing artisans!
A special guest: Nobel Peace Prize Dr. Ramos Horta