BY JAYJAY MESAAC
FORMED in 2012, Java Jorio Dovele Women’s Association were optimistic and passionate about their day to day activity.
Located at the Arts and Craft Market, Art Gallery in Central Honiara, the group consist of women mostly from the western province had no time to waste, they are seriously into business as they were all kept busy inside their stall as they engaged themselves in whatever their hand could touches, from crocheting to dusting carvings.
Despite the heavy heat produced by the red roof C shape art hub, their humorous storytelling and laughter always carry them away from the boiling roof, as they are waiting for any potential buyer to their creativeness.
From the floor, one could tell how busy they were, Yarn (wool) laying all over, makes it a bit harder for one to walk comfortably. From the two posts in the front stall, there were beautifully dyed sarongs (Lava – lava) and neatly weaved handbags knitted from the Yarns (wool), commonly known as Bilum vertically hanged as they dance joyfully to the inbound breeze, directly from the iron bottom sound.
Bilum is a string bag made by hand. It is made by a process known as looping or knotless netting or by crocheting. Traditionally, the string used was handmade, normally from plant materials.
Speaking to Tourism Media Solomon (TMS), they (the women) highlighted the importance of women engaging in activities as such.
A member of the group Mrs. Sare Marley said women should engage themselves in income-generating activities as this. This is to help them ease the financial burden faced by their families.
“With the high cost of living in our country today, especially here in Honiara, I think that we women shouldn’t have to sit back and do nothing, we should instead get ourselves busy and engaged in income-generating activities like this,” Mrs. Sare said.
Mrs. Sare added that after almost seven (7) years, Java Jorio Dovele Women’s Association has decided to welcome women from other groups that are interested in crocheting and dyeing to join. With this, she said they will be able to learn from each other as they develop their skills and talents.
“We have experienced members who are keen to help any women that are willing to join this association,” she added.
For this group, their products can stay up to months or even years before someone would purchase it. This however never stops them from business as Mrs. Marley said it requires commitment and sacrifice to keep alive what they are passionate about.
Despite very little income received at times, Java Jorio Dovele Women’s Association believed that their skills and talent and with little they have, it has also contributed to the local economy.
“We, therefore, would like to see a fruitful outcome in our partnership with the Artist Association of Solomon and other stakeholders so that together we promote tourism in our country,” Mrs. Sare Marley said.
In the meantime, Java Jorio Dovele Women’s Association’s goal is to expand its market within the next five years internationally as well as participating in cultural events outside of the country.