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Women’s Empowerment Program through Art

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Papua Designs – Women's Empowerment Program through Art

Travelling to the beautiful outposts of the earth makes one eager to bring home a small gift for family or friends or personal trinket to remember the holiday by. Now, before you reach for the t-shirts, coffee, or magnets – think about purchasing a souvenir that is not only truly authentic but empowers a community of strong, creative women in the process.

We sell a small selection of gifts at the resort and choose to support local artists who create unique handmade gifts from materials sourced locally. Papua Designs is one of our main suppliers, and they are based in Sorong and was created as a women’s empowerment program

Papua Designs products are created by women’s cooperative, Anak Sehat Persada, which has been carrying out sustainable development work in West Papua for 13 years. This cheerful group of women creates magical prints using lino block printing and sales support sustainable income options for women from the cooperative.

Women's Empowerment Program through Art

Papua Designs is a ‘women’s empowerment program through Art’ with a unique approach, to enable local women to get together in a trusted and safe environment where they can explore their creativity. The Artists are producing hand-printed fabrics with their own motifs from Papua, using a block printing technique and adding hand-painted touches for stunning results.

Lino- block printing allows the participants to express and share their stories, while guided discussions during working sessions touch the lives of women, their culture, health, financial situations, and daily challenges faced by home and family.

Women's Empowerment Program through Art

Papua Designs is, therefore, able to combine technology and knowledge in a unique and practical way. As a result, they are experiencing a capability amongst the women to learn efficiently, while implementing supportive programs and interactive training sessions.

Maria & The Ladies are a strong team of women working together towards one goal to establish a sustainable Art Centre in West Papua, Indonesia. Since 2017, the team has been working from the space within a building, which is currently under renovation to become a medical clinic, art gallery and training centre.

Out of their workshop, the ladies are creating magic through their colours and patterns, during which the cheerful group can be found laughing, discussing, sharing, and living life out loud!  The mission is to establish a unique women empowerment program, building a trustworthy platform yet creating a happy, productive, and safe environment. The women can come and recharge, get advice, learn new skills in English, business, financial management, which enables them to improve their current situations.

Women's Empowerment Program through Art

Thanks to the wonderful volunteer teachers Conny Sitompul and Selfi Kalami (seen below) Papua Designs are now able to run a free English class every Friday. The artists from Papua Designs have helped to set this up and it proves that Women Empowerment Programs truly create their own momentum.

The Papua Designs Centre is a meeting place, supporting the local people through the implementation of new skills and well-being. No two prints are identical as small variations in colour and application result in each print being unique.

The Papua Designs Centre is a meeting place, supporting the local people through the implementation of new skills and well-being. No two prints are identical as small variations in colour and application result in each print being unique.

Women's Empowerment Program through Art

Here is to strong women.

May we know them

May we be them

May we raise them

About Organisation:

Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.

Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.

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