Artisans from Indonesia
Ayu Sewing Project
Impoverished Indonesian mothers struggle with providing basic necessities for their families. Most of their husbands receive a salary of only around $100 a month. These families live from month to month and barely make enough money to feed their families, much less provide for other needs such as schooling.
Ayu Sewing Project was created to help Indonesian women learn a trade that they could use to support their families using their new skills. Originally, they made scarves. By making only a few scarves per week, these mothers are increasing their monthly income by 40%! The women use the money to pay for their children's schooling, medical, and rental expenses.
Slowly and steadily, the Indonesia women weave their threads through felt circles onto pieces of felt that will eventually house children’s fingers as puppets. Since many of their husbands work jobs that don’t pay well, the women must earn additional income. That used to mean rolling cigarettes for pennies a day, Now, the women have teamed with Lifetouch Artistry to create finger puppets of all nationalities, which helps them afford groceries and schooling for their children.
Sauyunan, a Sundanese word, means “working together for the same purpose.” This is the goal of Sauyunan Handicrafts in Indonesia. Multiple families create beautiful beaded items, thereby supporting themselves with their artistry. As artisans fasten each bead, they realize their once-hidden talents. Though they begin as impoverished men and women, small loans, design assistance, and help connecting with the right markets empower the artisans. Individuals and families gain dignity—not handouts. They also receive opportunities to study prepared lessons on life skills and values that influence their present and provide hope for a shining future.