The “Seeing is Believing” project team was in Rote between 13 – 16 September 2016, travelling around many villages guided by the amazing DEKRANASDA (the local craft council) team, headed by Mrs Paulia Haning, the wife of the Rote-Ndao Bupati (Head of state). It was such privileged to have the opportunity to connect with the DEKRANASDA team Rote-Ndao, and meeting such devoted leader who truly passionate about her involvement in the development of ikat tenun craft in the region. We are extremely grateful to Mrs Mery Mesah of Murah Ikat Tenun NTT, for bridging us to the DEKRANASDA Rote team.
Mrs Paulina Leonard Haning, the wife of the head of the region (Bapak Bupati Rote – Mr Leonard Haning), is a very special lady who truly understands her roles in the Government. As the head of the local DEKRANASDA (The Head of the local craft council), Mrs Haning is truly passionate about her role and cares deeply about the development of the local economy and she works really hard to empower women in the region.
Mrs Paulina (we called her Mama most of the time), introduced the glasses project to several areas weavers in the group, taking us around to meet over 150 weavers in the region. In addition to the weavers’ group, the project was also introduced to other small local industries such as potters and palm sugar makers.
To close the evening of our 1st day of the glasses distribution, we were all invited to attend dinner at Mr & Mrs Haning’s home, a very friendly dinner, full of amazing stories and laughter. Mr Haning (Bapak Bupati) with his passion for gardening, very proudly showed us around his landscaped vegetable garden, an extremely dried landscape but producing amazing vegetables and fruits from his hard work. He is so proud to show us his tired looking hands as result of gardening, he is such an inspiration.
Spending an evening with such amazing couple and a great leader was a true inspiration for us. Thank you, Mr & Mrs Haning, for allowing us into your home, you are both truly very special people. Thank you for introducing us to your amazing island Rote-Ndao, really nothing like it in the world. Keep up the great work, keep up the great leadership.