Eka is 28 years old, and is currently living in Denpasar. She has two beautiful children, a boy who is almost 5 years old, and a little girl who is 3. She loves to teach them how to sing and dance, and she also enjoys cooking Balinese food and reading anything she can get her hands on.
Before making Luludu shoes, she was a stay at home Mum who loved to crochet. She would make bikini tops, head bands and phone cases. She used to work at a clothing boutique in Kuta earlier in the year, but as tourists stopped visiting Bali because of the Mount Agung eruption, the owner had to let her go leaving only her husband to support their small family.
Eka says she hopes she can send her son to school in 2018 – something that would have been a struggle before she started making Luludu shoes. She would like to move back to her husband’s hometown of Singaraja if they ever find the opportunity again, and would like to be able to build small home for her family to live in.
As there is not much work in Singaraja, many of the villagers struggle to make ends meet and find it hard to provide basic care for themselves and their families. Eka dreams of being able to teach other women in this area the art of crocheting, so they can find their way out of poverty too. A dream that I know she will achieve in the near future.
Sudiantari – the women with the gentle smile - is 40 years old and was born in an area very close to Mount Agung, but now lives in Singaraja.
Unfortunately her husband passed away many years ago, leaving her to provide for their two children. Until now she has been working very long, hard days doing work such as farming and looking after cows, or carrying stones for only a small wage. She says she didn’t enjoy it, but did not have a choice, she had to do whatever she could to bring in money and there was no other option available in her area.
She says all she wants is a good job to be able to cover her expenses and provide food for her daughter who is still living at home.
Sudiantari says she does not have any hobbies, life has been very hard for her and every day has been spent trying to find a way to bring in money. A situation that I hope will change by the next time I visit Bali.
From my time spent with Sudiantari, I can see that she is a woman who has done whatever she could to provide the best life possible for her two children. I am so glad that she is on the Luludu team, and I’m looking forward to hearing how her living conditions change by the next time I visit Bali.
Nonik is 32 years old. She was born in Singaraja, and has lived there her whole life. She lives with her ill husband and her 9 year old autistic son who both depend on her to bring in money.
Before working with Luludu she worked as a coffee farmer. She says she had to work like a man – digging, climbing trees, and working very hard. She has done this for about 14 years, and has also worked farming cacao and bananas.
Nonik was taught to crochet while at elementary school, but until now has not been able to find a way to bring money in from it. It is our luck that she has kept this skill going, as her shoe making is amazing!
She is very grateful for the opportunity to work from home and be able to earn a decent wage. I saw Nonik 2 weeks after training had finished, and I couldn’t believe it was the same person. It looks like a weight has lifted from her shoulders and she was so much happier. This immediate change was amazing to witness, and I am looking forward to visiting her again soon.