"My dream is to one day have a big workshop to train a lot of people – especially school dropouts who think life has ended. Their success in the art of carving would be my legacy."
"Due to financial constraints, my parents could not further my education and so after the 6th grade, I had to drop out of school and join my uncle, who was a wood carver.
"Since 1983, I myself have been into this art of carving. I was determined to make it even though I could not further my education. And God has been so good – I had the opportunity to sell my works to foreigners who visited the country on holidays. The only challenge then was due to difficulty in communicating; I found it difficult to correspond with my customers to get feedback on the designs they purchased. Those who returned in subsequent years told us how they would best like the carvings and this helped us to improve our quality. However my sales were slow because, except for tourists, our local folks did not show much interest in our art.
"I have trained about 30 people to carve and some of them have now set up their own workshops. I currently have five people working with me. In addition, some university students have spent their vacations with me as interns. We take them through the practical aspects of this craft, and the students carve beautiful designs.
"Thanks to the woodcarving art, I've been able to educate my four children and I know that with constant sales, I'll be able to give them a brighter future than I had. This motivates me to wake up each day to carve!
"My dream is to one day have a big workshop to train a lot of people – especially school dropouts who think life has ended because their parents couldn't further their education. Their success in the art of carving would be my legacy."
Items by Godfred France
3 Testimonials for Godfred France