About the Association of Women from Ponte Nova
The Association of Women from Ponte Nova is comprised of 300 women from the most vulnerable communities of the neighborhood of Ponte Nova with their social seat in Bafatá (Guinee-Bissau).
The majority of these women is from the Soninké ethnic group, with ages between 20 and 60 years old. The main activities of the Association are linked to the dyeing of fabric and its trade.
Through the purchase we contribute to the diffusion, promotion and preservation of one of the most rooted traditional African cultures in Western Africa, above all in the Soninké communities. Through this traditional practice we guarantee the transmission and the continuity of cultural knowledge to the new generations.
Soninké women are clothing manufacturers by excellence and this activity is part of the intrinsic culture of the Soninké, ethnicity that subsisted in different historical moments, during the Egyptian, Songhai and Malian empire, especially in the geographical areas that today correspond to Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinee, Senegal, Gambia and Guinee-Bissau.
Since their infancy, these women learning all the steps to dyeing and trade fabrics, being part of the rituals of initiation into the cultural aspect.
Through the purchase of the fabrics and diversified products we contribute with an increase of economic revenue to the women of the Association of Ponte Nova, increasing their economic autonomy and participation in supporting families, health and the education of their children.
This increase of resources of women also contributes to the equality of opportunities between men and women, highlighting the right to property and social participation and the empowerment of women of Guiné-Bissau, changing the perception of society on women, going from the image of housewives with a procreator function, to an image of female entrepreneurs, which would ease their participation and influence in the decision making process in home, in their community and also in the region.
Finally, this project aims to contribute to social cohesion surrounding cultural and productive activities, which will turn into a reference for the action and participation in a national level.
CBR – Corporate Social Responsibility
We offer through the purchase of our fabrics and products an active and voluntary contribution for the social, economical and enviromental betterment of companies, with the objective of improving their competitive situation, Valuable and their increased value.
President of the Managerial Committee
“While I am a woman and a mother, there is a big sentiment of satisfaction with the project that relaunches this project. Only who never migrated is who doesn’t know with what hardships we face in the receiving nations where we are very vulnerable and subject to various types of violence, abuse and exploitation. With the construction of this center we will no longer need to migrate, to leave our families. In a general manner, this project is to significally contribute to the relaunching, promotion and appreciation of the traditional culture of cloth painting, and consequently will carry the cultural values from the country abroad.”
Fanta Só, Vice
President of AMPN
“At first, I would like to thank DIVUTEC and UNIMOS for the good work they are developing in the Bafatá region, concretely in Ponte Nova. Only for those who do not know what the situation of the women that practiced the activity of cloth painting here in Ponte Nova. In order to practice this activity we were forced to migrate temporarily to the countries of the sub-region where we left our husbands and children in search of the apparently better work conditions which in reality wasn’t, because during the period we remained there, we went through difficulties of diverse natures. But, with the construction of this center we won´t need to migrate to a different are, because the conditions we need to exercise our activities are here in Ponte Nova.”
President of AMPN
“I consider greeting the activities made by DITUVEC in various dominions in the region of Bafatá, amongst which is the promotion of food security, protection of children, and fight against poverty through microcredit, the development of the family livestock sector and the valorization of local agricultural produce, amongst others. But, amongst those interventions, I am pleased to point out the project of relaunching the Traditional Culture of Cloth Painting in Bafatá. That project came to reduce the migratory phenomenon of the cloth painting women, partially motivated by the lack of infrastructure and access to the essential elements for the practice of the activity, which compels the painters to migrate to neighboring countries as is the case of Senegal, Gambia and so forth. In addition for me this project came to enhance the economic potential of women, strengthening above all the cohesion of the AMPN, providing it of technical and institutional competences through the training of its members and construction of infrastructure of the production of painted cloths. I take advantage of this space to thank DIVUTEC in the quality of promotor in this action, in partnership with UNIMOS, with the financial Support of the European Union and Palencia of Spain.”
Panos Tingidos (Dyeing Fabric) brand from the Association of Women of Ponte Nova offers artisanal and unique textile designs, which are works of art, every piece is unique, there is no equal.
Buying textiles from an unique ethnical style, you supports the dissemination, promotion and preservation of ONE of the most deeply rooted traditional African cultures in Western Africa, the Soninké culture.
We provide a social value and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for our customers.
History of the Painted Fabrics
Ponte Nova neighborhood, in the city of Bafatá is the historical site of the traditional practice of fabric manufacture in Guiné-Bissau.
This tradition began in 1943 and had its decline in 1990, due to the rupture of the inner primary resources market.
Between the years 1970-1986, the district of Ponte Nova was, without a doubt, the greatest center of dyed fabrics in the sub-region. Traders from neighboring countries came to acquire large quantities to supply their own markets.
In current times, the dyed fabric activity is the main source of income to Soninké families, especially women, because it is an intrinsic part of the culture and initiation ritual practice of women.