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How a widow makes money from home

Updated on January 25, 2011
Tan, an Indian-Norwegian student was wearing woven cloth weaved by Mrs. Marice Fontaba (who was showing how she weaves shawls)
Tan, an Indian-Norwegian student was wearing woven cloth weaved by Mrs. Marice Fontaba (who was showing how she weaves shawls)

Income generation from home

Making money from home is now seen as an interesting income generation scheme especially during the economic crisis that we are facing right now. Modern city dwellers use their computer skills by selling products and services through the internet to get money. I personally make money by selling books and writing articles on the internet through my website, blogs and this However making money from home is not limited to home based - internet business. For instance, the story that I am going to tell you about is the story of a simple woman. She does not know how to operate a computer but she can make money that is enough to feed her grand-children and send them to schools. She only uses her skills in weaving threads to make sheets of cloth

When she started her home business weaving cloth, she did not request loan from a bank or other financial institutions that are now charging high interest. For her, getting loan from the bank for her small home business is a complicated thing to do. All she needed to start making money were some pieces of wooden and bamboo sticks and some rolls of thread in a number of different colors.

Every single parent knows that it is difficult to work and raise children. If his or her workplace is far from home, he or she will have to find the solution for the child or children. Nowadays, single parents try to find alternative for their commuting situation. Working and making money from home is a solution that needs to be explored. In the following story, I am going to tell you a story of how and old widow makes money from home as cloth maker. She has inspired many young girls in Manokwari city of Indonesia to work hard and be more independent in their life instead relying on other people.

Inga a Russian tourist was trying a shawl weaved by Mrs. Marice Fonataba
Inga a Russian tourist was trying a shawl weaved by Mrs. Marice Fonataba

Russian Tourists Buy Woven Cloth Souvenir

Ms. Marice Fonataba's woven cloth is a popular souvenir in Manokwari city
Ms. Marice Fonataba's woven cloth is a popular souvenir in Manokwari city

How this mommy/ grandma works from home

I live in Manokwari, a small but rapidly growing town in the Province of West Papua the Republic Indonesia. In recent months, I have been writing a lot of articles as an effort to promote eco-tourism for supporting the indigenous people who live near the forest. The main tourist attractions that I am trying to promote are mountain trekking, town tour, island tour and scuba diving, and shopping in souvenir shops that belong to local Papuan artists or handicraft makers. One of the artists who makes souvenirs for foreign tourists is Mrs. Marice Fonataba. She sells cloth which she weaved by herself manually.

How I bring tourists to her home

After escorting eco-travelers or nature lovers in the jungle of the Table Mountain that is located several hundred meters behind my house in the mornings, I usually bring them to this widow's house. Mrs. Fonataba's husband died in middle of the sea while suffering from tropical malaria, a deadly disease in the tropical region. He jumped off a ship in 1980s. Since that time, she had to feed her three children. When visiting her house, tourists like to buy some pieces of clothes made of cotton thread. The most favorite souvenir which most western tourists like is shawl. Mrs. Fonataba sells it for Rp. 200,000 (around 22 US dollars) - Rp 500,000 (approximately 55 US dollars) /shawl. She said that she can make two shawls per week.
Before I wrote stories about her and eco tourism activities in Manokwari on the internet, she never received tourists visiting her house. She thanked me for promoting her handicrafts and cloth works on the internet which resulted in more tourists coming into her house every month. Tourists who had come and bought her souvenirs such as the hand made shawl and cloth were from Russia, Norwegia and the Netherlands. They showed their appreciation to the quality of the artworks which this old lady created.

Environmentally friendly handicrafts
Every time I escort tourists traveling around this town or the tropical rainforest in this regency, I will always tell them to buy souvenirs that are made out of the creativity of the artists. Some uninformed "artists" sell souvenirs that are made of the feather or plumage birds of paradise, or white cockatoo or the fur of kuskus. I tell the tourists not to buy them to discourage the hunting of such endangered species in the tropical rainforest of Papua.
It is not only the old widow who is supporting my works but also all the artists who live near my house. I hope that in the near future, all the stakeholders of tourism industry in this town will understand what eco-tourism really is and implement them in their own businesses.


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    • charlesroring profile image

      charlesroring 7 years ago

      I promote ecotourism business because it is interesting. I can empower the local people and give some jobs to them and at the same time I can make money writing about travel and tourism on the internet and guiding tourists around the region.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      wow..even if I'm an Indonesian, I never been to Manokwari, only to Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara where my husband was born and the shawl is really look alike with the one I got from my sister in Kupang, there is a similarity of cloth and design, thank you for sharing this :)

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      This is very interesting. I'm intrigued by your ec-tourism business and your love for local culture. Very nice - I'm a fan.