Friday, March 04, 2016

Lombok : Plethora of Handlooms

The craftswomen is weaving Ketak handicraft, home industry allow them to take care of their children when working. Now, there are more than 100 women in Janapria Village incorporated in Harapan Bersatu Cooperative.

It was sunny day at Central Lombok, the temperature increased by hours up to 34o C. We were still get excited for the workshop hold on that day, even there wasnt air condition inside the room, well, it was there but it didn’t work at all. Thank God, the Bureu’s people helped by lending us many of fans to cool the condition. Yes it helped a lot. Around 20participants from two cooperatives were sitting on the U Shape desk style provided and trying to operate the 7 inch 3V tablet with their fingers. Many of them looked a little bit nervous to touch the screen since they were not familiar with these gadgets and some of them operated  properly for browsing or log in to their social media account.

Lombok spotted as one of travel destination in Indonesia offers the world class underwater view and picturesque sceneries of Mount Rinjani or Gili Islands. Furthermore, Lombok also a plethora of handlooms, weaves and handicraft which are still rich of local culture. There are Ketak handicraft – woven made from ketak or rattan, Cukli – furniture supplies made from wooden mixed with shell and of course the famous hand-woven fabric, Tenun Ikat. These weaves and handicraft has been preserved by local people in Lombok whom inherited by their ancestor and developed as local commodity.

 Daily activities of the artisans at Stagen Cooperative. This is called Mengani or rolling up the thread in smaller pieces using wooden materials manually, the process before step into weaving activities.

These local commodities have been developed through “the cooperatives, a private business organization that is owned and controlled by community who’s originally aimed to provide, supplies and service for their own community, but it is now changed by providing the demand also to outside community. We have chosen to focus on two cooperatives in Lombok, Stagen Cooperative and Harapan Bersatu Cooperative that have been monitored by local Bureau of Cooperatives, Industry and Trade (Diskoperindag).

The members of Cooperatives are still adhered to the old way of doing business. They just simply wait for the order from some people or tourist who come to their workshop, or they just put the products in local art shop and wait for people to come and buy.

Unfortunately, this old-way of selling didn’t bring any advantages for them. The lack of knowledge made it’s difficult for them to keep up with the changes of business trends, their work takes too long to be responsive, and so they have been left behind. Hence, Samsung is there to foster and encourage them by bringing digital waves which will offer a promising future for home industries.

It needs a week or more to produce a piece of beautiful textile, which is why hand-woven textiles are highly valued.

Weaving is a hereditary culture passed down by Sasak ancestor. Some ethnic groups in Indonesia have been weaving since past, and Sasak in Lombok-West Nusa Tenggara is one that is famous for its weaving textile.

The artisan can possibly bring their children to the workshop, they definitely don't need a daycare ;)

I now running a program for these Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) called "One Village One Product" (OVOP) with the company where I've been worked for. A program that is driven to improve the ability of locals in rural area across the country to utilize the cultivate local-wisdom and culture in order to develop small medium economy to be financially independent. The OVOP movement was started at Japan (Oita Perfecture) in 1979* and became one of the successful regional economic program due to its unique approaches in transforming local products and industry into competitive products both in local and global markets. This movement has been proven as an effective tool in improving local economy and welfare of rural people, local income and social solidarity by creating unique and value added products. With the missions to familiarize technology and how it can improve their life and business.

For the first step of OVOP program we start by providing production equipment’s that are much needed. After all equipment are set, we continue with the some training session that comprised by 3 sessions that took up to two days for each session. The training given starting with introduction of basic marketing, social media introduction (including the tips how to take nice pictures and interesting wording), continued with basic web development.

Production equipment support consists of machineries and additional electricity to facilitate the production process. By adding more equipment, the cooperatives expected to be more productive and it is enable them to run the side-business such as providing raw materials to be sold to surrounding community with affordable range of prices.

We are also supporting numbers of tablets to each cooperative aiming that every cooperative could be updated in using gadget, internet of things and online selling. 

Web development training led by the digital expert. On this training, the participants expected to improve their understanding about creating web account via wordpress

The participants learning how to photograph with tablets and photo editing with snapseed

At the first session of training, we found it ironic to see the fact that some people in Lombok are still blind in using tech-things while tablet is something that we couldn’t leave without at these days. This challenge drives us more to develop the people intensively.

We invited two Cooperatives that we focus on to joining our two days training with material of basic marketing and basic online – social media.  . During the workshop, participants are expected to learn more about marketing trend that is going online and to get familiar with social media. Besides theory, we gave the hands-on practice, using Samsung tablets to introduce the social media such as facebook, twitter, and instagram. Only little of them had aware about those social media but we could say nobody knows how to leverage these accounts for business purpose.

During social media training, we taught them the proper way of signing up, about visual communication, how to post the product display and how to get the proper photograph and photo editing with mobile apps such as snapseed. They look enthusiast to learn, especially about how to take photograph from various angles and the editing process.Meanwhile during basic web development we taught them how to make an account in wordpress where we saw most participant looked so stress but curious in setting up the layout and putting the words in it. We understood the situation as we realized that web development is a little bit complicated than facebook, instagram or twitter.

Align with Indonesian Government’s vision we also would like to integrate our sustainability priorities in community development, education and technology. This program expects how technology and internet usage may drive the community in rural areas to be competed in the digital world. At the first glance, this program appeared by introducing device as a powerful tool to enhance knowledge about social media, but sure it could do more. Mostly run by women, our support empowers community to use technology for business purpose that aims to increase local economic well-being, helps to spur growth and development.

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