139. Making batik in Africa

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Batik is both an art and a craft, which is becoming more popular and well known in the West as a wonderfully creative medium. The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practised for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot.
— The Batik Guild, http://www.batikguild.org.uk
Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

A look back today to Tanzania and Eliafura making batik in her garden. I think of Eliafura often thanks to the piece batik hanging framed on my living room wall, it just so happens to be the very piece of fabric that you see her printing and dying in this post.

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

The lady you see in these photos in the white top is Louisa, Eliafura's neighbour, who is helping out, an apprentice if you like, who told us how she was keen to learn and support her family. 

As Penny shares in her post where she was reporting direct from Tanzania:

All accounts from the men and women we speak to of state schools here in Tanzania are pretty damming and they aren’t free, so for these women helping their children get even the most basic education requires money.
— Penny, A Residence Blog

You can read Penny's informative post and see more photos here

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Eliafura has trained 4 other women in this process. Women helping women, a cycle of change, empowerment and progress that's from a direct result of money donated to Comic Relief. 

It reminds me in many ways of the blogging community back home in the UK. Women who have learnt skills from each other, given each other a helping hand along the way and bettered their families live as a result. So different and yet so similar.

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

A sneaky peek 'behind the scenes' as Penny takes photos.

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

Watching the batik making process at a Comic Relief funded project in Tanzania

It's lovely to spend a moment looking back, especially now, as Penny, Tanya and I start planning ahead of Comic Relief 2014. Travelling to experience where money raised goes really is a life changing experience, cementing life-long friendships and changing the way we see the world. When you see what changes are possible with as little as £10, it makes you want to try harder to help support those changes to continue.