We are inspired by the collective creative work created by Du’Anyam in reviving traditional methods of weaving while at the same time empowering women in the rural area of East Nusa Tenggara, where access for women to increase their living standard is often cast as a far-away dream.
During a trip to Nusa Tenggara Timur, Ayu and the co-fonders of Du’Anyam met Mama Sinta, a 28-years old mother.
“She works in her field 2km up the steep hill everyday until the day she feels the baby is coming because there is no other employment option. She didn’t want to go to the clinic to give birth because she couldn’t afford the transportation cost. However, during her second pregnancy, complications occurred due to her chronic malnutrition condition. The midwives forced her to go through the 2 hours long road to the health clinic. Unfortunately, it was too late; Sinta had to give birth at the side of the road and her baby didn’t make it. Unfortunately, this story is not uncommon in NTT. Du'Anyam was started to tackle the social and economic challenges behind maternal and newborn health issues. We believe that alternative, off-farm employment through wicker weaving, can improve financial access to health services, better nutrition, and healthier lifestyle”.
Through the caring partnership and professional guidance of Du’Anyam, the women weavers are provided with a big gateway to attain better quality of life, not only for them but for their family and community. With each product, the weavers are able to gain extra income for their household: this means better nutrition and better sanitation for their children.
Looking at Du’Anyam’s list of clients, we are inspired how they are able to bridge traditional products made in rural areas and bring them into the rooms of five-stars hotels and accommodations across Indonesia in a sustainable manner. The woven baskets, sandals, and bags are acquired by hotels to complete guest room amenities.
“We have a grading system, where higher quality products will be valued at a higher price for the weaver compared to the lower quality products, which results in a higher incentive for the women to continue improving their weaving skill. In addition, we have several layers of quality control process. The first level of QC happens in the villages, where Du'Anyam together with the women community appoint a weaving champion for each village. The weaving champions are then responsible for QC process in her village. From there, Du'Anyam full time project officers conduct the second level of QC before the product are sent to Du'Anyam HQ in Jakarta where the final QC and value-added processing is conducted”.
Although it may seem like Du’Anyam is a product-based business, on a larger scale, through the social entrepreneurship model, the Du’Anyam team are tackling a much larger issue of maternal health and life expectancies of newborn babies in remote areas. In the coming years Du’Anyam aims to expand its operations to other remote parts of Indonesia so that the business model can continue to benefit mothers across the nations.