Weaving College, PNG

by Megan Bayliss | August 26, 2016 9:23 am

Bomana Prison inmates weave and sell back to The Junk Weavers Inc. It is a sustainable micro business from the inside out.
Bomana Prison inmates weave and sell back to The Junk Weavers Inc. It is a sustainable micro business from the inside out.

Today I leave for 18 days voluntary work in PNG: Port Moresby and Kokopo (Rabaul). I am off to formalise weaving college in Bomana Women's Prison and in several poor settlements. Plus, I am invited to Kokopo to teach plastic weaving as a sustainable enterprise to their women weavers.

I volunteer with Operation Food for Life[1]. From that has grown a request from Bomana Women's Prison to formalise weaving college with a MOU: The Junk Weavers Inc. teach the inmates to weave; I buy the weaving from them at fair trade price; the prison gets 20% of the total to compensate for the loss of women's work in the vegetable garden. The 20% goes into a prison fund to buy operational requirements.

Bank accounts are opened for each woman inmate with a Women's Micro Bank. Purchases from the women are recorded by myself, receipts given and the money placed into the women's bank accounts. This ensures that women have a skill, money on release and a cottage industry to continue when they return to their home. If they are in an area when I weave in poor villages and settlements, I can still buy their product from them.

I bring purchased product back to Australia, add $5.00 to each item and sell it. The $5.00 profit builds the kitty for the next lot of purchases and returns to the women on my next trip.

This is a sustainable, women focused, empowering and cottage industry business model.

How can you help[2]?

Keep talking garbage. See you again on the 12th September, 2016

Mxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Endnotes:
  1. Operation Food for Life: http://www.offl.org.au/
  2. How can you help: http://thejunkwave.com/about/how-you-can-help/
  3. Become a member of the Junk Weavers Inc: http://thejunkwave.com/membership-form/
  4. Keep up with our PNG adventures on Facebook.: https://www.facebook.com/thejunkwave
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