Colorful contrast stitching provides a warm, handmade charm to this wool ornament! Made in an assortment of colors, each darling mammal ornament features their signature humps, and a simple smile -- a welcome addition to your Christmas tree decor!
Assorted colors; please allow us to choose for you.
- 100% sheep wool
- Approximately 4.75" H x 4.5" W (12 x 11.4 cm)
- Handmade in & fairly-traded from Mongolia
In the remote Altai mountain range in Mongolia, nomadic herders have long lived alongside the region's legendary snow leopards, often forcing them to compete with these majestic cats for scarce resources. The Altai range is home to as many as a thousand snow leopards, making it the second-largest population in the world and one of the most important regions for conservation.
In 1997, Snow Leopard Enterprises (SLE) was established to help local herders increase their income while living harmoniously with the leopards. Through skills training and other support, SLE helps over 350 households formerly living in poverty increase their standard of living while protecting local ecosystems. Herders who formerly killed snow leopards to survive are taught to turn wool from their camels, yak, and sheep into valuable commodities such as yarn, hats, and rugs. In return, they do their part to help protect the big cats and their food sources.
In 2007, equipment and micro-credit loan programs were made available for SLE participants in Mongolia. Before the program was established, women used drop spindles to make yarn -- tedious and difficult work. SLE now provides them with spinning wheels, drum carders, felting needles, knitting needles, and training to improve quality and efficiency.
""As a single mother, I am so grateful for this program's usefulness and support. The women in my community all work together on this program, and being able to help other women in my community helps me in my own life,"" says Oyuntseren Oidov, SLE's local coordinator in Mongolia.
Women are able to generate more income, and SLE can keep a larger supply of goods on the market to meet the growing demand -- ensuring that public interest in the artisans' products stays high. As their income increases, the artisans are able to make a greater commitment to shared conservation goals.
As Snow Leopard Enterprises continues its track record of success in Mongolia, its vital conservation efforts grow stronger with the help of the international scientific community.