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At 16, Valérie Schlumberger moved to Senegal, where she immersed herself in the local artistry, focusing on traditional crafts. She later established a sewing workshop and boutique on Gorée Island. After a decade, she returned to Paris, founding CSAO in 1995 to showcase West African artisans, alongside ASAO's initiative to support street children in Dakar. CSAOhas successfully revitalized noble ancestral traditions such as embroidery and has trained around 150 artisans whose work involves creating cushions, bags, and other accessories.