Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Rio de Janeiro - BP Favela Project

We have been working closely with a project in Rio where 85 photographers from one of the city's most violent favelas (shanty towns).

This training project was about to close when we met with BP to see if we could help. We are shortly planning to sell the photographic prints these mainly young people produce on Dreamaid.

We hope to achieve this in the coming week and will let you know when they go live with our second social project.

Dreams coming true here on Dreamaid :)

Peter McAteer

Recife - Arts & Craft Fair Organisors 14-18.10.09

The largest arts and crafts fair in Latin America takes place annually in Recife. This year it grew from sales of c. £1m in 2006 to £10m in 2009 with around 250,000 visitors!

Although it is normal only for Brazilian artists to display at the fair we have been invited to apply to participate. Albeit we may have a Brazilian entity by the time the next fair takes place anyway.

Apart from organising the fair this government sponsored group also provides support to the local region (Pernambuco) which is huge in aerial extent. We discussed how we might work to assist taking artists products to market both within Brazil and potentially internationally and agreed to work together.

Following the meeting we received the contact details of all the artisan groups that displayed at the fair this year and will be contacting them to bring them to Dreamaid.

We also met with a number of local artists and artisans and received a tremendous reception.

Best regards,

Peter McAteer

Recife - Government Dept 14-18.10.09

The North East of Brazil is famous for its outstanding natural beauty. It is a very poor cousin of the Southern areas in which many people survive by their artisan skills alone.

We met with the main government department providing training and support to the artisans to see if we could help them in their drive to commercialise artisans better.

A meeting that was scheduled to take up to an hour lasted almost three. A hallmark of most meetings we are having on Dreamaid.

Again the reception was brilliant. It is now a common occurrence that meetings start as official business meetings and end up in often tear filled embraces and 'beijos' - kisses - as we bid farewell and vow to improve things together.

A forthcoming conference of the national leaders of the 27 states of Brazil will focus on commercialising artisans. We have offered to present Dreamaid at this or any similar venue in future. Clearly we are a long way ahead of the NGO's and government bodies in using Web 2.0 technology to commercialise artisans but we really need their support and access to the artisans in order to effect a major breakthrough.

We are under no illusion as to the size of task ahead but to have started at all is a major step forward. We cannot fix everyone's problems but if we can start to help some people we will have made a valuable contribution to some people's lives.

Dreaming of a brighter future :)

Peter McAteer

IETS Brazil - 13.10.09

View Video

We met with the leader of this Government sponsored think tank which works to link companies, NGO's, academia and Government to forge a brighter future for Brasil.

The reception we had was fantastic and we have been invited to present to a wider group when we next return to Rio.

The leader was very quick to recognise the radically new business model that Dreamaid represents. His insight to the underlying strategy of Dreamaid was as remarkable and his recognition of the outstanding potential of Dreamaid both to help the poorer artists and to become a torch bearer for a new way of doing business in a caring and supportive fashion.

This think tank is acively involved in the strategic direction of Rio in to the World Cup, Olympics and beyond.

Dreamaid wants to be part of this new Rio as the city struggles to shrug off its difficulties of having a population in which 75% of people are poorly educated. It is a city of amazing contrasts where the facade of world famous Sugar Loaf and Christ Redeemed statue lay back to back with incredibly violent shanty towns (favelas) and their drug barons. Last weekend saw 14 die in gun fights in which a Police helicopter was shot down and the two policemen killed.

We are working in one of these favelas to help people reach out beyond their boundaries to a brighter future.

Best regards,

Peter McAteer

Rio De Janeiro Arts & Crafts Fair - 10-12.10.09

In an amazing meeting lasting several hours Cenira and I explored a partnership agreement with a very large government sponsored NGO in Brazil which helps poor artists and artisans.

We have put together a proposal to work with them to help them sell their goods on Dreamaid and also to provide internet access to these people.

There are 2000 women from extremely poor communities covering 14 communes in 12 states across Brazil. Some of these people live beneath the trees they use to make products and don't even have anything resembling a house. Others installed their first toilets recently with the support they were receiving from the NGO.

Amongst their product ranges are amazing handbags made from fishskins which are coloured in a uniquely Brazilian fashion.

By working with existing NGO's we can reach out to many more people than we can alone. Many of the NGO's provide great support and with our assistance we can move these people in to the 21st century and afford them access to market at greatly reduced cost to them.

We even discussed using the clothes that they make for the next filming of a documentary covering Dremaid to be filmed in London in a few weeks. Let's hope we can get them online and purchase the clothes in time for filming!

Best wishes,

Peter McAteer

Rio De Janeiro Arts & Crafts Fair - 10-12.10.09

An impromptu visit to this Rio fair brought a surprising amount of results. Cenira and I were filmed by the Department for Agriculture that had organised the event as we were discussing the difficulties an amazing furniture maker was facing.

Washington (strange but true Brazilian name) from the North of Brazil was displaying works made from discarded wood. He had been helped to bring his goods by the government as there was no way he could afford to bring them to market otherwise.

We said we would try to help him to sell on Dreamaid but he needs to obtain the necessary certification to ensure that he is abiding by rules to protect the rain forest.

It is important that we acknowledge there is a wonderful opportunity for artisans to help with carbon capture but this must be within a recognised scheme with appropriate certification. If we turn trees in to useful products whilst growing more trees to continue capturing carbon we help the environment. If we just cut the trees down for short term gain we destroy the environment. As there are official bodies in place to deal with this subject we are keen to work closely with them to ensure we do our best to help both the artisan and the environment.

Best regards,

Peter McAteer

Monday, 5 October 2009

Craft Advice

In our experience the handicrafts network love to share ideas and know how. Many people face similar issues on which they would like advice. Also, both locally and internationally we have found that some people have really interesting techniques that others could benefit from learning.

One example is incredibly fine paper made from elephant dung in Thailand and a lesser quality paper made from recycled paper in Mexico. How do we transfer such knowledge? The addition of flower petals in Mexico created very intersting paper and maybe the Thai people would benefit from this?

We believe we have the answer to these challenges in hand...

We are putting the final touches to our learning environment for handicrafts people.

What should we call it? Options we are considering are:

Dream Answers
Craft Answers
Craft Advice

Can you think of a better title?

We are working with our Dreamers to create the logic behind the database so that it is more useful to them.

Best wishes,

Pete McAteer

Thursday, 1 October 2009

We Need More Sellers!

Dreamaid will be the subject of a major television documentary which is likely to result in substantial numbers of people visiting the site to purchase our items.

This presents a huge opportunity for our sellers and we are concerned that we need more of your items to sell.

If you are not already selling on Dreamaid we would love to see you benefitting from this great publicity and if you are already selling, please maximise the number of products you have avaliable to sell.

Sweet Dreams

Peter McAteer

Dreamaid in Press and Journal

Following a recent interview at the Aberdeen office, the following article was published in this North East of Scotland newspaper.

Best Wishes,

Peter McAteer

Press Release in Europe

Last week saw our first press release and video interview in the United Kingdom and in Europe, which can be found at the following addresses for different languages: