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The Presbyterian Handicraft Centre, known as Prescraft, is based in northwest Cameroon. Men and women artisans produce traditional West African handicrafts, working at three rural production centers and earning a good income based on piece work. Some artisans combine handicraft production at home with farming or trading. They use the money raised from craft sales to pay for clothing, health care and housing, as well as their children’s education. Prescraft provides employment for close to 130 artisans, as well as some 260 home-based artisans. Prescraft goals include encouraging self-reliance, minimizing rural exodus to cities and preserving indigenous arts and crafts. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Prescraft since 1985.

  • Prescraft Potters

    People in Bamessing and surrounding areas traditionally make a variety of earthenware pots by coiling and sculpting clay. The traditional pots used for water, palm wine, cooking, and grain storage are considered some of the finest in Africa. However, plastic, aluminum and steel pots are rapidly displacing the traditional earthenware pot. In 1984, the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon started a pottery making project called Prespot to try to revive the traditional techniques and styles by building a “museum” collection of old pots, training young potters to make traditional pots and marketing these pots to fair trade organizations and other customers.

    Brick kilns fire the pottery at 1100 degrees F using eucalyptus wood. Prespot has planted more than 45,000 trees on their 2.5 hectare plot to provide firewood. Enough wood is already available to provide their firewood needs.