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Empowering youths via handicraft
Published on: Saturday, April 08, 2017

YAYASAN Sabah Group’s efforts in human capital development through various handicraft development programmes show the organisation’s commitment in boosting the handicraft industry in the State.

This was said by the Yayasan Sabah Director Datuk Sapawi bin Haji Ahmad in his speech during the presentation of Certificate of Completion of the Basic Handicraft Training Programme (LAKSK) under the Special Programme Intended for Community Enrichment (Spice) held on March 28, this year, at Dewan Salingkawang, Pusat Kraftangan Sabah (PKS), Keningau. His speech was read by Group Manager of PKS, Zaiton Bakri.

PKS, in collaboration with Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) Malaysia under the Human Resources Ministry, organised two LAKSK training programmes, namely Seni Kraf Hasil Rimba – Anyaman Buluh and Seni Kraf Tekstil – Membatik. LAKSK Seni Kraf Hasil Rimba – Anyaman Buluh was held on July 20 to October 27 2016 in Kg Bakuku, Ulu Tomani, Tenom and LAKSK Seni Kraf Tekstil – Membatik was held August 8 to November 15, 2016, in PKS.

The programme was funded by HRDF under Spice and organised by PKS. Spice programme is an initiative by HRDF in an effort to improve the economy and social development, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

“I believe that the collaboration between PKS and HRDF is a smart partnership that benefits both parties.

Through this collaboration, PKS and HRDF achieved the objective of developing the local community based on the respective vision and mission of both organisations. This is particularly so in an effort to help youth gain experience in the arts of handicraft making,” said Sapawi.

“I was amazed at the trainees because in a short period of three months, they were able to gain as much knowledge as they could. I am confident that with the commitment and dedication of all PKS staff and trainers, the trainees now have the basic skills in craftsmanship that can be used as a platform for them to plan their future.”

According to one of the trainees of LAKSK’s Seni Kraf Hasil Rimba – Anyaman Buluh, Martsveel Markus, 25, he became more interested in bamboo-weaving after participating in the training which was held in his hometown.

The eldest of four siblings, Martsveel aims to build his own handicraft business.

“With the knowledge that I gained through LAKSK, I hope to open my own business and sell handicraft products to increase my income,” he said. “I am very satisfied with the training and I hope that further training will be provided in future to add more experience and knowledge.”

As for Laity Rikit, 32, at first her intentions were just to attend the Seni Kraf Hasil Rimba – Anyaman Buluh programme. However, after learning the process of bamboo-weaving, she became interested in the art.

“The handicraft training programme organised by PKS is complete and suits the needs of the participants,” she said. “The handicraft industry needs to be introduced to the younger generation in order to expand Sabah’s unique handicrafts and then be handed down to future generations.”

She also shared her dream of developing the art of handicraft making. “After attending the training, I am determined to develop the handicraft industry and become a successful entrepreneur.”

Another trainee, Rosa Gantok, 42, is also determined to enhance her knowledge in a variety of handicraft-making in the country.

“Handicrafts in Sabah are unique and interesting and can be an attraction for both local and international tourists.

This will in turn help boost the State’s economy.” It was the first handicraft training programme Rosa had attended.

“The training programme was beneficial to me as I have no knowledge on bamboo-weaving before this.

However, through this course, I have a better understanding on the process of bamboo weaving and the diverse patterns, designs and motifs that are applied in the handicraft making.”

As for Norrawati Borahim, 24, she finds the programme opened doors of opportunities for youth to sharpen their skills and talents in the field of batik.

“I was able to put the design and pattern that I envisioned on fabric,” said Norrawati.

After participating in the training programme, she became more interested in batik making.

“In future, I aspire to be an entrepreneur and also train the younger generation in batik making,” she said, adding that the programme provided opportunities for the younger generation to make handicraft making as a career.

“The training programmes give opportunities to the younger generation to try handicraft making if they are less successful in other fields. This gives a new breath of life for the younger generation and opens their minds to the idea that they can succeed in handicraft making,” said Norrawati.

For Cathay Philip, 20, the programme gave her a new experience. “It was very fun and it gave me a chance to gain knowledge and new skills,” said Cathay.

“I will put more effort and learn more on batik making and its processes to achieve my dream of opening my own boutique one day,” she added.

Her ambition is also shared by another trainee, Mohammad Azman Marahim. “I hope that I can continue doing batik in future and that more of these training programmes will be organised,” he said.

“These training programmes benefit the participants and give a positive impact. I gained a lot of experience, knowledge and I have also learned to work in a team.”

The LAKSK training programmes organised by PKS and HRDF prove Yayasan Sabah Group’s efforts in the development of the handicraft industry in the State.

The training programmes are also part of an effort in capacity building and give opportunities to the younger generation to build their careers in the handicraft making industry.

During the presentation of certificates, a total of 23 participants of the Seni Kraf Hasil Rimba – Anyaman Buluh and 22 participants of Seni Kraf Tekstil – Membatik received their Certificates of Completion.

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