An Australian non-profit organisation has launched a new initiative to help support refugee and asylum seeker women in Indonesia.
The Refugee Women Support Group Indonesia is a Cisarua-based community that aims to unite and empower women in transit, by educating and equipping them with skills. Since 2015, the Support Group has been running a range of activities and classes—including handicraft and sewing classes, where these women learn, and teach each other how to make pants and clutches.
In 2016, the Support Group connected with an Australian couple to establish a non-profit social enterprise called Beyond the Fabric (BTF). Through both their website and market stalls, BTF has been helping sell the Support Group’s pants and clutches to the Australian market. The sales from these handicrafts in turn, goes back towards sustaining these women’s livelihoods, and the Support Group’s activities and classes.
Due to the growing popularity of the Support Group’s sewing classes, BTF has now launched an online appeal to raise money for sewing machines, so more women from the refugee community can participate. These new machines will be the Singer Tradition Model 2250—a lighter version of the traditional black model (featured in images). They are $250 each, and visitors can contribute $25, $50 or $100 gifts towards them here.
“We know people in Australia love Beyond the Fabric. They’re so supportive, they want to contribute. They just don’t always know how, so this is another way that they can,” said Beyond the Fabric co-founder Carly.