28 June 2023

From Weeds to Wealth: Water Hyacinth Weaving Training Program by TRUST

TRUST organizes training on weaving using water hyacinth as a material for the community to provide basic knowledge of crafting from this weed, especially for homemakers. It is hoped that they will understand weaving techniques and be able to utilize their skills as business opportunities to increase income.

During the training in late May, the participants understood that creativity could transform simple materials into valuable and functional products. Indeed, Dayak women are known to be innovative in handicrafts, hence the need for motivation and guidance.

Why water hyacinth? Water hyacinth, scientifically known as Pontederia crassipes or locally known as "ilung-ilung" among the Dayak indigenous people, is abundantly available in small lakes.

Water hyacinth is used only as the primary training material due to its flexibility in being woven into various forms of items. This characteristic makes water hyacinth easy to use as the base material for making baskets, bags, and table mats. After the training, the participants can use other base materials such as rattan, corn husks, pandan leaves, or others to produce woven products.

TRUST collaborates with the Muara Lawa District Military Command (Koramil) to organize this training. TRUST and Muara Lawa Koramil have established a good relationship through various social activities.


Overwhelming Enthusiasm

The participants are residents of the company's fostered areas, namely Lotaq Village, Begai Village, and a representative from Benangin Village (Teweh Timur District, Central Kalimantan). The training location is Muara Lawa, strategically located in the middle of the fostered villages.

This training program attracted the attention of the residents as it was held in front of the Koramil office. Initially, the community was watching, but then they requested to participate. The training was planned for only 20 people, but the organizers permitted 27 people to join due to the overwhelming interest.

The trainer, Siti Nor Sehat, is from Mujisela Gallery, and three assistant trainers assisted her. Nor Sehat is a skilled weaving instructor who has taught in various provinces in Indonesia.

The training lasted for 56 hours and covered the basics of weaving, applying weaving techniques on various other materials, and weaving techniques with multiple patterns. The participants were guided to independently and creatively make different items, such as bags, baskets, decorations, and round mats.


Continued Support

TRUST's role continues once the training is completed. TRUST will assist with materials and other support, such as sewing machines, pressing tools, additional sewing tools, and materials for creative purposes. Additionally, TRUST will provide guidance and mentoring in marketing.

TRUST firmly commits to developing micro, small, and medium enterprises (UMKM) supported by the company's management. One example is the presence of a UMKM souvenir gallery store, which results from TRUST's CSR program at M. Sidiq Muara Teweh Airport. The products produced by the UMKM fostered by the company, both in the North Barito and Kubar regions, will be marketed through this gallery store.

They will also utilize online marketplaces for sales and strive to establish collaborations with various stakeholders to expand their marketing reach.