Give Back :: Threads of Life
We just got back from our annual time in Bali, and it was just as refreshing as we expected. We always find the culture and people to be a breath of fresh air.
While in Bali, we were able to visit Threads of Life, our Give Back partner for the location. (For our retreats, we donate a portion of our proceeds to local non-profits to offset our traveler footprint and engage with the community we are visiting.)
Threads of Life is a division of The Bebali Foundation, an “Indonesian non-profit organization that helps hundreds of weavers who live in remote, under-developed villages turn textiles, crafts, and other expressions of their local cultures into badly needed income in a way that is environmentally sustainable, promotes cultural integrity, and empowers women.”
“How do you facilitate profitable, scalable and sustainable business development for indigenous producers that aligns with their customary values and uplifts their cultural identity?” asks Threads for Life.
“Most enterprise development that we have seen in indigenous communities across Indonesia focusses on teaching the indigenous community how to operate in the market, with the support organization learning about the local culture as far as is necessary to this end. As the communities we work with have told us, this kind of engagement is often experienced as an imposition of non-indigenous values and thus meets resistance that undermines the success of livelihoods initiatives. Conversely, we have seen that crafts initiatives narrowly focused on cultural issues often fail to appreciate the values and practices of the markets they are attempting to sell into, and therefore often fail in their enterprises.
There is a gap therefore between these two approaches. Organizations that are able to face both ways — both towards the market and towards the traditional culture — are few and far between. The current work of the Bebali Foundation is intended to participate in bridging this gap.” We wholeheartedly appreciate their approach to this operation, taking feedback from the local artisans.
Our guests received so much background information before creating their textiles. We learned where the dye comes from, what plants are used and how they incorporate sustainability into the entire process. We love getting to see the vivid blue they are able to extract!
Thank you, Threads of Life, for continuing to provide education, community and beautiful crafts and for letting us be involved in the process. And Thank You to our guests who make it possible for us to support their efforts!