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  • Feature
  • Fashion from nature: The story of a women’s group in Timbang Jaya, Village

    A group of women in Timbang, Jaya Village are changing the way they live. From being full-time housewives, these women are now helping to put food on the table by venturing into making ecoprints.

    “My husband’s income from farming is hardly enough for our needs, so having another source of income allows us to buy food for the whole family and some other things like the kid’s school supplies,” says Ibu Siti Rokayah, a 37-year-old mother of three.

    Like Ibu Siti’s family, the people of Timbang Jaya rely on tilling the land as seasonal farm workers. Because of the village’s distance from the city and the people’s lack of basic education, most of them struggle to find other opportunities aside from farming.

    But things changed in 2019 when the Politeknik Wilmar Bisnis Indonesia or PWBI, a grantee of the Small Grants Programme by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, introduced eco printing to the women members of the village.

    Eager to improve their lives, the women’s group welcomed the advanced techniques of printing beautiful and intricate designs in clothes, shawls, sling bags, paintings, and other fabric materials using the natural dyes extracted from various types of leaves. Later on, they used the name “Kaya Ecoprint” to brand their products.

    “We did not know that the solution to our problem was right before our eyes. Because of the Kaya Eco print, our lives became better. We gained additional income and we became more confident. But more than those, we learned to value nature more than ever,” adds Ibu Siti.

    Through the SGP, the women’s group was also trained in managing their income and using social media in marketing their products. As they gain more customers, the group has started joining exhibits for product displays and has integrated a tourism site in their area to welcome domestic and foreign tourists who would like to learn eco-printing techniques. The ACB likewise helps promote the village’s products to a global audience by using Kaya Eco print products as corporate giveaways.

    True enough, the women’s group has proven that amidst the challenges of life, nature has in store a gift waiting to be revealed.

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    OPPORTUNITY: Country Manager for Thailand

    POSITION TITLE : Country Manager for ThailandDEPARTMENT : ProgrammesDIVISION : Biodiversity ConservationDURATION OF CONTRACT : One year (renewable)DUTY STATION : Office of the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and

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