Sister Anna changing people’s attitude to the environment

Sister Anna Wiwiek Soepraptiwi, a Daughter of Charity who lives in Nausori, has educated many women on how to prevent harming the environment by recycling rubbish and then selling the product.

“It is a lot of detailed work, but with perseverance and patience, anyone can create a nice artwork from the recycled plastics,” Anna says.

Sr Anna, who is an Indonesian, moved to Fiji in December 2009 and started making the artworks in March 2010.

She says she is here to make a significant change in rural women’s lives by using recycled products and at the same time helping to preserve the environment.

“I believe that it is very important to save the environment and one easy way is through recycling rubbish to products that can be sold to tourists and locals,” she said.

“I was alone in the beginning; however, after five years living in Fiji, I am able to convince Fijian women and children that plastic rubbish can be very useful for our daily lives.”

“Not only do we keep the area clean, preserve the nature, but we can grow money or some type of earnings for these women to support their families.”

“By all means, they gain skills and motivations to be more creative with anything they see around them. It is also to teach them not to be wasteful.”

Anna mostly uses biscuit, noodle and chips wrappers because she can find them easily in the area where she lives.

The plastics are cleaned and cut up using a craft scissors.

By folding and sewing with a needle the rubbish is turned into designs and useful objects such as purses and bags.

“Unlike paper cutting, this work of arts has a certain measure to cut and design. One can easily destroy the design if not thought out carefully before cutting.’ says Anna.

Sister Anna’s community have refurbished their old residence in Nausori  as a centre to meet the needs of the poor who are already being ministered to by the Sisters and other helpers from the Parish and St. Vincent de Paul Society.

A number of the Sisters are trained social workers, nurses, teachers, and together with others who support them, the centre provides counselling, special programs and classes, life-skills and general social assistance.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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