Batik skills progress
The 40-week batik program we ran with partners, Batik Semar and the Textile Museum, in West Jakarta finished in November, 2013. Despite some concerns about interest levels waning throughout the program, the course proved to be a success. A solid attendance record and plenty of applied interest from the street and marginalized children who attend concreted this success.
The second phase of this program started last November and is due for completion in March, this year. There are 23 children attending the course now, the same numbers that started in the initial phase.
This phase of the training focuses on using larger pieces of material which means more repetitive patterns and alternate dyes such as vegetable dyes. It requires intense concentration and focus when canting, not to mention a very steady hand.
The children attend each Sunday between 9am – 3pm. In the mix, which is mostly girls, there are three boys who attend. As the heated wax steams and scents the air, a cool cross breeze from the open plan room wafts as they all work in silence, concentrating hard. The next level of this program, due to start in March, focuses on designs.
At each session one of the children is responsible for bringing a morning snack to share with everyone.
Children from backgrounds and environments that have inadequate nutrition will struggle with the dedication and concentration required from such a fine art. These children are supplied with a nutritious lunch each day and have access to regular health checks through Sahabat Anak’s health program.