Friday, March 08, 2019

International Women's Day: Empowering Women

Today I want to honour and try to help empower these four amazing women from Boneca de Atauro- Jacinta da Costa, Virginia Saores, Tachya Gorreti and Maturina de Ajuaro to come to Australia in April for the Australasian Quilting Convention to show what they do and to share their passion. 

Boneca de Atauro is a women's co-operative on Atauro Island, part of Timor Leste. The co-operative consist of  60 or more women  who create textile dolls, bags, wall hangings and also run a guest house and small restaurant on Atauro Island, and a small gift shop in Dili. Their goal is to employ women from all backgrounds and their dream is to run an education centre to help with language and vocational skills for all who want to learn more. Their hard work , their dedication and their vision is inspirational. Their lives are not easy yet their vision embraces those around them and touches all those who meet them. They are a quiet but determined revolution on this small island to see women reach their potential and to be able to give their best for their families,

I want to thank the women of  Boneca de Atauro for letting me into their lives and  sharing their dream with you. I know there are many worthwhile projects in the world that have just such goals and dreams, and  all of them start out of need. This project really touched my heart  because it is driven by the women themselves: not an NGO or a Charity group- they have received very little funding in the past and everything they have achieved has been through hard work and a willingness to work together and for each other- it is why they formed a co-operative. It is a wonderful example of the power of women!

Below is an image of the Bonecas ( dolls) that started it all. They were commissioned  for schools in East Timor in 2007, and continue to be made.

You can help the women  come to Melbourne with your donation- every little bit is appreciated. I also want to thank all of you who have donated so far- I am amazed from how far and wide donations have come- and just as amazed that I know most of you through textiles- what a world we weave!! We have almost funded two airfares- still a way to go but we are immensely grateful to be at this point! ( things haven't been helped by a price rise in East Timor airfares late last year when an airline company bought out the competition and created a monopoly- it is having a very adverse effect on tourism in Timor Leste)

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