Dinny Jusuf was a banker at Citibank N.A. and the owner of a training consultancy before she became an activist. In 1998, she co-founded Suara Ibu Peduli (The Voice of Concerned Mothers), an association of poor urban women, which runs education and micro-finance programs. She was later appointed Secretary General of the Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women.
Married to a Torajanese, she was compelled to action in 2008 when she realized that the weaving culture in Toraja was dying. In 2010, Dinny and her sister Nina Jusuf established a foundation, Yayasan Toraja Melo to conduct community organizing programs and a limited liability company, PT Toraja Melo, that focuses on the business aspects of the social endeavour. Toraja Melo focuses on solving the feminization of poverty and the rejuvenation of the “dying” hand-weaving heritage in Indonesia. A key source of income for many homebound indigenous poor women in rural areas of Indonesia is back-strap weaving. However, low prices and demand result in many of these women working as migrant workers – many of whom come back abused with unwanted pregnancies. Toraja Melo aims to stop this cycle of poverty and violence using weaving as the entry point.