Hand-Crafted Hope.

Your donation supports local artistry and saves the World from Malaria!

$1,390 donations

417 lives impacted

In this season of reflection and giving, imagine a meaningful gift that enriches local communities and saves the World from Malaria!. It's not just a thought - it's a reality.

Papua New Guinea, a region severely impacted by Malaria, is also a cradle of rich traditions like the Bilum. More than a vibrant woven bag, the Bilum is a tapestry of local history and personal stories, interweaving the lives of its creator and owner. Crafted exclusively by the women of Papua New Guinea, these bags carry the heritage of ancestors and tribes.

When you donate to 'Finish the Fight', you're not just aiding in the battle against Malaria, where a child's life is lost every minute. You're also uplifting the women of Wosera, whose skillfully handcrafted Bilums tell a story of resilience and hope. Nestled 6 hours from Wewak, the heart of Sepik in Papua New Guinea, these weavers are widows and single mothers, weaving strength into each thread.

Your gift is more than a gesture – it's a lifeline, a piece of art, a part of history. Your donation will save lives – it will provide vital resources for prevention, treatment, and research, such as mosquito nets and support for community health workers.

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What does a Bilum mean?

The word "Bilum" is woven into the very fabric of Papua New Guinean culture and art. In Tok Pisin, "Bilum" translates to "womb," a symbol of life and nurturing. But it also signifies the Bilum bags, central to Papua New Guinea's traditions, passed down through centuries.

From birth, Bilums are integral to the lives of Papua New Guineans. They cradle babies, offering comfort and safety reminiscent of the womb, all while connecting them to their tribal heritage.

For women, a Bilum is more than a bag—it's a reflection of their status and identity. It holds elements of their lives, like children's needs and household essentials. The contents of her Bilum narrate her journey as a matriarch and mother, marking her place in her family's ancestral tapestry.

For men, carrying a Bilum is a gesture of carrying history. Draped over his shoulders, the Bilum is not just a sack but a testament to his family's matriarchy. Often crafted by his mother, it embodies wisdom passed down from generation to generation, each thread a story, each pattern a legacy.

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How are Bilums made?

Bilums are meticulously made from tree bark. The process begins with the careful removal of bark, which is then submerged in water until it softens. From this softened bark, strips or "strings" are delicately separated and peeled away. These strings can either be dyed to add vibrant colors or left in their natural state, before being spread out on a mat to dry.

The dyeing process itself is a labor of love, extending the crafting time by 3 to 4 days. The weaver must gather all the natural materials and ingredients for this step, imbuing each Bilum with a unique character.

After drying, the weaver selects 2-3 strands, twisting and spinning them against her thigh in a traditional technique. This process can be physically demanding, as the strands may pinch and sting her skin. Yet, with patience and skill, she spins each one until they are supple enough to be looped into the distinctive shape of a Bilum bag. This artistry is not just about creating a functional item; it's a dance of endurance and dedication, culminating in a beautiful, culturally rich product.

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Choose your handcrafted Bilum from the 3 below:

If you wish to choose your own donation to support Finish the Fight, just click below. The minimum donation is $130 to receive a Bilum and purchase 1 x insecticide-treated mosquito net, If you don’t wish to receive a Bilum then the minimum donation is $10.

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After your donation is processed you will be contacted in relation to the delivery of your amazing Bilum.