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Widanti

Artisan Organization: Widanti

Country: Bali and Java

"I'm Widanti from Java. My grandparents raised me after my mother died when I was only three. Life in the village was hard, but this made me self-sufficient, humble, persistent and funny. Due to an earthquake, my grandparents' house collapsed. We then moved in with my aunt.

"In high school, I was the class leader and also participated in a school organization. After high school, I worked for a printing company. After saving up, I studied at a business school until graduated.

"I'm a married woman and have two sons. After getting married, my husband and I had limited resources because neither of us was working. Finding a job was very difficult during that time. The neighbors didn't like us, and we didn't have enough money to buy food. We always felt hungry and no one wanted to visit our home because it seemed as though it would collapse at any moment. Some of our kind neighbors were nice enough to give us food.

"I began crafting wooden puzzles after I made toys for my sons. I created the toys from wood because other materials were too expensive and my sons would cry whenever they saw new toys in shops. I made different toy designs so my sons wouldn't get bored.

"I received my very first order from a French man and, from then on, my skills improved. I learned about this craft by reading and directly creating. Today, my husband and 18 other artisans assist me. We won a national award for a small enterprise. We use teakwood and traditional hand tools.

"I hope you can help us showcase our work to the world so we can be better every day. We pray that our workshop will continue to grow.""