Here at Mahisi, we are committed to using business as a force for good. As a Founder of the brand, I believe that our role in society should be more than just making money; it should also improve people's lives through positive impact.
Mahisi recently partnered with Rote Foundation, a non-profit organization based that focuses on providing income opportunities for women weavers in Rote Island, Indonesia. With every single purchase, Mahisi donated 10% of the proceeds to Rote Foundation.
Monica Octavianus, the Founder of Rote Foundation, visited the island during her annual trip to Indonesia this year. She was inspired to create Rote Foundation in 2009, after learning about the Palmyra tree (called "Lontar" in Indonesian) in a book given to her by her mother. She refers to the tree as the life of the island - it sustains the island and its people, and not a single part of it is wasted. "I felt the need to learn from the tree," Monica told me, "I wanted to bless the island with what I had been blessed with growing up."
Monica and one of the women weavers of Rote
Monica's father left the island to move to Java when he was a child, but he remained true to his roots. Following his death in 2015, Monica went back to the island to visit, and was surprised to find that the conditions there were still the same as her father described from his childhood - some parts of the island had no electricity, and were forced to walk miles every day to get water. "I realized I wanted to contribute back... I had to make things happen." she said.
Making a Difference
Your support allowed us to make an incredible impact this year. With contributions from Mahisi, Ornate Reverie, and other personal donations, Rote Foundation was able to improve the quality of lives all over the island.
The donation - thanks to you for purchasing our products - was put toward getting books and uniforms for over 300 school children in Rote. This project also implemented recycling programs in schools around the island. At one of these schools, 200 students had been attending without a single wastebasket in the entire building. Elementary and middle school level books were also donated to libraries, as well as dictionaries in both English and Indonesian.
With the left over budget, Monica is able to fund internship programs throughout Rote, providing english teachers for both elementary schools and adult classes beginning in December.
Looking Toward the Future
With the momentum from this year's success, the Rote Foundation is now working on several long term goals, such as collaborations with the United Nations. In addition, the foundation is seeking to improve working conditions for the women who weave fabrics and goods made of Palmyra trees.
We are incredibly proud to be a part of such a powerful movement, and we hope you are too. When you purchase a Mahisi product, you're also purchasing uniforms for underprivileged students. You're donating books, providing better working conditions, and helping to work towards sustainable development.
Thank you for helping us give back!
- Angelina, Founder of Mahisi