Students of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) facilitated a bamboo weaving workshop in Banyuasin Separe village, Loano, Purworejo as part of their Social Services (KKN) duty on Tuesday (6/9). This event is part of the KKN UMY group 147’s effort to support the local economy. This event was attended by 20 participants, mostly stay-at-home mothers. The participants came from three neighbourhoods in the Glagah Ombo village district, and all of the participants already had some experience weaving baskets.
Before the students’ visit, the villagers can only produce baskets. “There needs to be an innovation to increase the local economy,” stated Siti Rubai’ah, a member of Banyuasin Village Family Welfare Empowerment team.
According to Siswanto, the bamboo weaving expert of Gebang subdistrict, Purworejo, stated that the participants already had basic skills in bamboo weaving so they learned the new skills quicker. “In truth, learning how to create bags usually took two days, but they managed to learn it in several hours,” he stated.
He also said that the main focus of their product is its quality. “If the village can create a variation of product, then I am willing to help promote it to the Office of Small and Middling Business,” Siswanto stated.
The UMY students grouped the workshop participants into several groups. For the sake of efficiency, each group learned one type of bamboo weaving. In less than four hours, the participants managed to create various items such as baskets, plates, vases, bags, and even hats.
The leader of the Social Services group, Ahmad Fauzi, revealed that the locals were initially not very confident with their abilities. “They have been creating nothing but baskets for more than twenty years. They need to learn new knowledge to develop their businesses,” he stated.
One of the main points of public empowerment supported by the social services program is the continuity of new programs. “For the future, our target will be to create work groups so the locals can still be productive in the weaving business even after the social services program has ended,” he added.