The Deaf Artisan Group of Marrakech is a non-profit that offers the hearing impaired employment opportunities and training in the traditional art of Moroccan leather craftsmanship.
elkarti partners with the group to implement its mission.
Our story with the Deaf Artisan Group :
The Artisan Group was established as Non-Profit in Morocco by Souad Bahij in 2007.
Souad, learned the art of traditional Moroccan leather craftsmanship from her husband. Mr.Bahij (at the group picture below in a wheelchair) is one of the well renown master artisans in the ancient art of traditional Moroccan leather craftsmanship. For decades he hired deaf people and trained them in his art. Many of them became master leather craftsmen and currently operate their own artisan ateliers at the souks of Marrakech.
When Mr.Bahij retired, his wife Souad continued his legacy. She founded the Deaf Artisan Group in 2007.
Since 2011 elkarti was and still contracts Souad’s leather atelier to hand make some of our designs. The partnership developed to help the Deaf Artisan Group implement its mission.
In 2013, we hosted a benefit event for the Deaf Artisan Group in Portland Oregon where we are currently based. We were able to raise some funds of which we used to buy a modern professional leather sewing machine.
We are still looking for ways to help the Deaf Artisan Group establish an infrastructure to be able to operate as an efficient artisan leather atelier. We are currently focused on helping with machinery and equipment!
Souad testing out the new leather sewing machine donated by elkarti.