Meeting Mr. Minister: The Result of Consistency in Self-Empowerment

It’s not merely about achieving higher economic values, but far into the core of the self that has been awakened through empowerment, recognized once again by their surroundings as weavers of natural-dyed handwoven, a manifestation of hard work that has been nurtured since the end of 2019 until now.

When the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir, visited Lombok Island to conduct a comprehensive observation of various assets developed in the Mandalika Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on July 9, 2023, including Kuta Lane that could support the growth of local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Mr. Erick’s attention was immediately drawn to the captivating display: handwoven creations products by our beneficiaries in Titian Foundation in Rembitan, Central Lombok.

The opportunity for the weavers that we assist to meet with the Minister was realized through a combination of government initiatives in developing tourism in Lombok, along with their own courage and consistency as dedicated participants in the Weaving Class, a part of Titian Community Development Programme sponsored by Soroptimist International of Jakarta. Started in 2019, Titian Foundation embraced and supported Rebuk 1 Hamlet, commonly known as Rebuk Indah Hamlet in the village of Rembitan, where our beneficiaries reside.

During the event, one of the weavers, Aminah, invited Mr. Erick to dye threads with natural colors and also shared the history behind various weaving patterns she has been creating. The Minister’s appreciation for their creations became a refreshment for the weavers. Three years ago, our weaving class began with a few women from Rebuk Indah Hamlet who dared to break local myths about weaving and eventually joined the Weaving Class at Titian.

Driven by a strong desire to enhance their economic capacity, Aminah and her fellow weavers learned and created until they reached this point. The consistency they have maintained in producing handwoven products has made them more empowered. Their strong willingness to keep learning has propelled them forward. They are just like reborn individuals: as women who can empower themselves with knowledge.