Although poverty is not the only cause of malnutrition in Indonesia, it is an important one. The Foundation for Mother and Child Health (FMCH), known locally as Yayasan Balita Sehat, began small skills training by providing sewing classes for mothers of children attending feeding programmes in the South Jakarta branch in Cipete not long after their inception. This has now expanded to include all women with children attending any programme at the Foundation in South Jakarta.
"Each year, 75 women learn skills and small business training to encourage them to become more economically independent."
Sewing and Handicraft Skills
Twice each week mothers working in groups, are taught handicrafts, sewing, tailoring and business skills and learn how to make ‘dressing up costumes’ for young children, household items and seasonal decorations that are sold by FMCH. Money raised in this manner being split between the mothers and FMCH.
A number of mothers have used their skills to set up their own small sustainable businesses from home, some earning sizeable amounts of money. One mother was able to buy herself a small fridge for the first time in her life. Another was able to renovate her very modest home. Others now save regularly.
Another popular idea amongst mothers at FMCH is that of making bags out of recycled materials such as used plastic packets from fabric softeners, coffee sachets and shampoos, etc. Originally started in 2005, mothers started to use recycled products such as drinks sachets, fabric softener packaging etc that can be easily gathered by family and friends.