Restoring Faith: Women Entrepreneurs in Post-tsunami Aceh
- Published: Thursday, 08 June 2017 12:47
Adawiyah, Aceh Batik Trainer and Emboider
Written by Maida Irawani
“I was only a housewife and only did domestic chores but now live changes.” The 2004’s tsunami destroyed our home and lives. We were survived from the tsunami but we had nothing left except what we had in our body. We displaced to a safe area located around 2 km from our home and live together under the tents with hundreds of people who also lost their everything on that tragic natural disaster. Life was difficult for us as we relied on the aids and supports from donors or NGOs. My husband could not work as the school where my husband work as a teacher was also vanished.
I did not lose hope and faith because of the condition that we faced, I did what ever I could do to survive. When I was young, I used to be able to play rebana or tambourine, this skill helped me to become one of the village facilitator to teach the children in a displaced camp. For about two years, I was recruited to support in psychosocial activity, teaching the children how to play rebana and Islamic Nasheed. It was in 2007 when we decided to return to our village and rebuild back our lives. I participated on some vocational training such as sewing, embroidery and was selected to be one out of 40 villagers who participated on Batik training in Java and later became the member of Rumoh Batik Cooperatives, a new livelihood concept developed by Indonesian Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency to restore the community livelihood in my village. We received supports from training, tools, capital, assistances in management and marketing, and also network. It was successful at the beginning, we received many orders both from government and publics and often being invited in exhibitions. However, this glory came to an end by 2010 as the orders and selling was decreased in numbers due to the decrease of the quality of our products and also our product could not compete in the market as people prefer to buy Java Batik as the price is cheaper than Aceh Batik.