Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Social Affairs Ministry is training Papuan people from four districts—Biak Numfor, Yapen Islands, Waropen, and Supiori—on making batik and sewing.

The activity is aimed at improving human resource development, especially in disadvantaged areas, an expert at the ministry, Benhur Tomi Mona, said in a written statement received here on Wednesday.

"This is a directive from the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, to Social Affairs Minister Rismaharini that she must pay attention to Papua," Mona added.

The event, which has been organized in collaboration with a sewing instructor team from Surabaya and Batik instructors from the Yogyakarta Giriloyo Batik Center, is being hosted at the Asana Biak Hotel.

The Center for Education, Training, and Professional Development of the Social Affairs Ministry has conducted the training since December 5, 2022, and it will last until December 16.

Thirty participants are taking part in the training that uses a life skills training approach, which could be used to improve the family economy.

Participants were initially challenged to produce three pieces of batik per person, but many of them produced up to seven pieces each.

In fact, one piece of batik has to go through a long production process, starting from making patterns on the cloth, cutting the patterned cloth, coloring it three times, removing substances, to drying the cloth. However, through this lengthy process are born batik works of high artistic value.

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The participants were very creative in terms of design, creating patterns that incorporated the Mangrove Fruit motif, the Mambruk Bird design iconic to Papua, and even combined written batik with jumputan batik.

Sewing training was no less interesting. The participants were introduced to sewing tools and the machine’s disassembling process, were taught about sewing patterns, details of cuts, and types of stitches.

The training was held because of the aspirations of one of the participants from Biak Numfor district, Merci Yolanda Sroyer, who said that she also wanted to know how to disassemble a sewing machine.

Mona was impressed by the participants’ enthusiasm, who he said he believed can produce great works. The training is expected to improve the family economy.

"With utmost intents, enthusiasm and commitment from Mama, Papa, fellows who take part in this training, it is hoped that it will be able to improve the family economy and overcome extreme poverty in Papua," he said.

Assistant II for economic affairs and governance of the Biak Numfor District Regional Secretariat, Lot L. Yensenem, voiced the same expectation.

"In collaboration with the Social Affairs Ministry, this batik and sewing training is very important to host because it offers good opportunities if it is pursued properly. This will help increase family and community income, as well as motivate and improve the skills of the participants," he noted.

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Translator: Devi N S R, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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