Debra's Open Road
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ETWA (East Timorese Women Australia)
I've been doing stuff in East Timor for 10 years, and I don't feel any less passionate or committed to it than I did 10 years ago because it's something that's in my heart now.
- Worked in fashion and interior design but kept thinking, "What is all of this for? This is so insignificant."
- In 1975, Indonesia launched a brutal military invasion of Timor; lasted 24 years and was incredibly brutal.
- In 2003, Debra went there to see if there was anything she could do to help out.
- Had been overwhelmed by the meaninglessness of her life's work and the field of fashion in general.
- Finding a way to put her knowledge of textiles to good use allowed her to come out on the other side and realize she could make a difference.
- The EWTA supports Timorese women by teaching them how to hand weave and sell various crafts.
- By training these women and giving them a source of income, ETWA plants the seeds of self-sustaining communities in Timor.
- Encourages everyone to learn about their heritage, think of ways that they can put their skills to use for the greater good.