The Bebali Foundation

The Bebali Foundation is an Indonesian nonprofit that works in the same communities as Threads of Life. The foundation works directly with over a thousand women weavers in over forty cooperatives on twelve islands across Indonesia. The foundation helps these weavers who live in remote, rural villages turn textiles, crafts, and other expressions of their local cultures into needed income in a way that is environmentally sustainable, promotes cultural integrity, and empowers women. The foundation’s communities have provided it with a "mandate" of issues that they want addressed, in three general areas: incubating community businesses, managing non-timber forest product resources, and sustaining traditional culture.

The foundation has helped incubate community businesses by training weavers’ groups in enterprise management, bookkeeping, and savings and credit association administration. The foundation has supported responsible management of non-timber forest resources by developing a herbarium and plant database of over 300 culturally important species, by growing an educational dye plant garden, by documenting and testing traditional dye recipes from across the archipelago, and by training indigenous weavers in these practices. The foundation is helping to sustain traditional culture by developing a platform through which organizations working with indigenous communities to support improved livelihoods can explore shared questions through a collaborative learning process that strengthens the cultural and environmental aspects of an organization's work without compromising its competitiveness.