Apr 28, 2022
Fore chest and throbbing head swell. That's the reason my ego wrap when stepping in a fishing village, six years ago. Understandably, when it all seemed new to me. In 2006 the Community Empowerment Programme in collaboration with government agencies, such as hovering over head, empty. There is no indication or provision of how working in the community as a flexible and effective. Instead of talking about organizing, the discourse of empowerment work almost never exist in my brain.
Without wishing to compare the process of learning then and now, however, working in the government space has brought me on a new adventure. Years of study had begun, while conditions in the era of increasingly challenging to manage. Adherence to the fulfillment of targets within the framework of my project further away from the reality of social empathy in actual living area. Three years I road in place, like robot lawyer sensitive input data columns and graphs without knowing about the other. Doggone right. I have to move, because the dynamics of the life changing faster than anyone step. All efforts have done without prejudice at the end of 2009. As life has brought me to the subtleties that are so exciting.
During 2006, there was virtually no difficulty in my life. Daily needs fulfilled without arrears and installments paid, secure. But all that changed when I met a woman in the fishing village. Name Yanti. Thirty-five years ago, Yanti began the battle of life as a sex worker in various parts of the country. She was so young when her mind hit bitterness. Now her old, grandmother of five grandchildren are no longer to be excellent. At that time Yanti was barely 50 years old, but his dry lips tells the long history of exceeding age. Night was late, but the slum was even more alive, I was left "Kampung Baru" with stuttering.
Time goes by, the news about Yanti still I received from Sainem, fellow sex workers of Kampung Baru. Empowerment Program of the Provincial Government has brought me to some fellows of Kampung Baru, last September. Women's Independent Network is the title of the activities of the empowerment program. Theme activities carried imply new hope to those who attended, including Sainem.
Empowerment? A word that is familiar to us all, for facilitators like me, for participants who supposedly represent the people, and for the public servant who never tired of quoting the title and program activities. Sounds mighty, even too heroic for me. Is empowerment has been successful? If so, what would? Ah, I really doubt. Why must people empowerment, anyway? Do people really need?
Actually, the word empowerment not have bothered me, I wish I never met with Yanti. It's itchy head to digest, the more in scratching increasingly worse. Yanti is quite inspiring, although she had to manage the family that almost scattered, she never complained. Imagine, four boys born to different fathers. Plus a girl she adopted from female sex workers. Diyah born near a damp kitchen at Yanti's home, shortly after the mother serves unknown men with wages of thirty thousand rupiahs. Yanti angelic, took the scissors to cut the placenta and took care the baby like midwife.
Yanti are not educated, but she tried to wander the future with more spacious. Her life independently, even when the partner is not willing to provide for her and her five children, she persisted. All four sons graduated from junior high school, while the youngest starting adolescence. But unfortunately, Yanti and her five children did not have a chance to see the wider world from the coast and a piece of the ocean. The two oldest children of Yanti caught up in the hustle and bustle world in night of fishing village. They live under the same roof with a female sex worker and occasionally go to sea with charter boat. The third son of Yanti fairly decent. Dodit marry the girl next door and manages a coffee shop in a motorcycle parking at Kampung Baru. He also adopted a baby girl from the womb of a sex worker.
Although Yanti is a pimp since tens of years ago, but her life is very simple. Yanti foster children (sex workers who inhabit the brothels) are most considered at Kampung Baru. Average number fifteen. She had a different way from other pimps in managing the business. She treated foster children like family members. Naturally, if sex workers are very welcome to stay at her home, from young to middle-aged. Ten years ago, Yanti often pacing the coast. In addition to managing the sexual services business, she also do shrimp aquaculture ponds near the coast. With great pride, Yanti calls herself a pimp shrimp farm owners. Graceful figure has become protector for anyone who shares living space with her. People in Kampung Baru called "mamak".
Yanti is pimp and also former sex workers. Whatever people call it, Yanti was a woman worker. She, like the people in the rural and urban, rich and poor, is a component of the state known as civil society. Unfortunately the reality of life often goes limp. Living spaces that once provided a variety of benefits, now there lived the remaining space for human life. Its not at all friendly to other aspects of life as well as subjecting human values. Deprived of ancestral lands, their basic rights as a human being stripped, there is no choice, any more hope.
"Have you ever imagine you live in your own home and suddenly you are accused of breaking the law, then driven away? Those who repel you, never ask it belongs to anyone or who live in it? "
That's what happened to Yanti and millions of rural communities throughout the country. Communities often become victims of sadistic policies made by the authorities. Now Yanti's shrimp farms just became a story. Her mind is torn in broad daylight, when dozens of men in uniform carrying a gauge and stick wooden stakes around the pond. Some bamboo house on the coast also participated in the break. Yanti did not know why these people destroy fishermen's houses and expel her by force. And she has paid shrimp farms in rupiahs, a person whom he knew well.
If this is the case, then empowerment can not be heralded as the only solution to the difficulties of life residents of the country. Yanti honestly never expect a helping hand from anyone. No matter how difficult the road once she embraces life, only her fighting instincts and mentally able to save the family. Two sewing machines that she got from the government, remain idle in the corner of the back room. She able to get a health costs and daily needs families, although the minimum. The quality of family life is far from her feasibility, but she felt she had managed to overcome the problems of life.
It is time for empowerment programs should be reexamined. A variety of assistance is often undermine the ability of communities to thrive. Society was not always short and we do not need to teach them how to survive. Community empowerment will not be significant, if the land is the source of human life increasingly narrow as systemically deprived by the state board. The position is threatened and vulnerable people uprooted anytime, without compromise. Yanti confused, but she did not despair. What about the civilians who live in the land of Indonesia? They feel insulted that has been impoverished by the state. Aid flows through a variety of programs, all entitled "Community Empowerment". The goal is to "the poor". Are there any words more delicious at the hearing, to replace empowerment (poor)? I am optimistic, if the jargon of development that governments were replaced, of course, people will be more positive in looking to the future.
As a community activist, have we done to humanize human empowerment? Because the sustainability of natural and human livelihoods is much more important than the distribution of resources and the interests of poor full benefits. Facts say, some even potentially damaging self-reliance empowerment society. Time for people to take care of themselves. Where the value of independence and solidarity into a friendly social capital to change. Hopefully, everyone will be proud to call themselves farmers. Yanti was without a doubt say she is pimp and the owner of shrimp farms. And people should not feel indebted to what exactly they are entitled to. That dignified work.
Be part of the change
My Vision for the Future:
Learning in an exciting adventure
My Areas of Expertise:
Organizing marginalized communities