PASSER'AILES - Artisans of Madagascar

Passer’Ailes is a fair trade business, created in 2004 in Gironde to promote and distribute objects designed and made by tin metal workers and "Miss 'Art' Dines (mobiles "Sardines" made from recycled cardboard and newspapers) in Madagascar .

Passer’Ailes does not play any part in the running of the workshop. It serves as a link with the outside world to broaden the horizons of the Madagascan craft workers. In France, Passer’Ailes adapts its supply of goods according to the fluctuating production of the workshop, and makes sure its trading partners are aware of this flexible situation.

The product distribution respects the rules of fair trade. Fair trade is not an act of generosity, it is balanced trade which benefits both producers and consumers, bringing hope of real and sustainable development to the craft workers. Passer’Ailes strictly curbs its costs, limits ‘middle men’ and makes sure that everyone is fairly paid for their work and that the prices of the articles are consistent with their cost of manufacture in order to set its profit margins.

KABAMBî totally supports the Passer'Ailes way of operating and respects the recommended prices which Passer'Ailes judge to be ‘ethically correct’.

Passer’Ailes provides a showcase for the creativity and expertise of these craft workers who are forging a better life for themselves. It also serves as a link between two worlds which have become separated over time.


Violette and Dieudonné, a Madagascan couple who inherited their family tinplate business, developed the project, little by little, to fight against poverty and despair. They initially dreamt of creating a workshop which would give each worker a decent life. Today their dream is becoming reality and 400 men and women work in the workshop. There are no assembly lines or sophisticated tools here. People work on the ground and learn from one another, keeping individual artistic freedom.

There is room for everyone here, whatever their skills, age or disability. Mothers with babies, elderly women, people who are unable to hear and speak, young delinquents all concentrate on the work in hand, but all radiate the same sense of happiness in their eyes that comes with having recovered their dignity. Violette, crouched down among the workers, explains, modifies and organises the work.

Dieudonné, surrounded by several attentive workers, draws ambitious plans for new objects on the red dirt floor.
The movement which drives this Noah’s Ark draws its strength from mutual aid and solidarity. It is not just about shaping tinplate, it is a whole life project for the workers. “We aim to organise daily life so that everyone can work easily and calmly”, says Dieudonné. So a canteen and a food store have been set up among the tools to ensure everyone is well-fed.

But what everyone is most proud of is the little school built on a reclaimed paddy-field where a hundred children learn to read and write in 5 well-run classrooms. "One day, smiles Dieudonné, we’ll build a high school too!"

A wonderful, true story… told by each item from Passer'Ailes/ Atelier d'Ankazobé! (pictures under the tab "L'Atelier")

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07 71 10 55 08
02 98 95 73 70

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