The Role of Women Group Through Bulawan Cooperative
The Establishment of Bulawan Cooperative, Tobongon
Series of meeting with women group in Tobongan Village facilitated by the local partner, AMAN in the village hall concluded with the establishment of a Saving and loan Cooperative. The cooperative, namely Bulawan Cooperative, was established on 2 July 2018. The cooperative’s management consisting of 25 is led by Ms. Helen as the Head who has a lot of organizational experiences, be it spiritual, women farmers, and Family Welfare Guidance (PKK) organization. While Ms. Herawati is acting as the Secretary and Ms. Yernia as the Treasury of the cooperative.
The Challenges and Hope for Bulawan Cooperative
The establishment of Bulawan Cooperative encounters many obstacles to this day. One of the obstacles encountered is the community’s habit to depend on the wholesaler, or what they familiarly refer as daily cooperative. The daily cooperative referred in this context is the service for loaning large sum of money with great interest, and the way it works is not much different than wholesaler in general; At the end, it burdens the community in the long run. In addition the low education rate, the harmful mindset and habit influence the women in Tobongan Village to have reluctance to improve.
The condition becomes a problem and challenge at the same time for Bulawan Cooperative. The cooperative’s management feels challenged to create changes that are particularly related to women’s development. “There are a lot of unemployed women or mothers in Tobongon Village. They also don’t have enough capital to start side business to support their family financial condition, “ explained Ms. Helen.
Therefore, the Saving and Loan Cooperative is expected to be the media for conveying information regarding the importance of the cooperative’s role in supporting a family financial condition and also improving the role of women in Tobongon Village.
Ms. Helen added that the training facilitated by Program Emas Rakyat Sejahtera under the auspices of Artisanal Gold Council and Yayasan Emas Artisanal Indonesia, cooperating with the local partner, AMAN – is a series of training that inspires women in Tobongon Village worth to be expected, particularly regarding the issues on children’s and women’s rights. “Such training can change the mindset of women in the village so that they are able to understand their rights and participate in the effort to improve their family’s life quality and economy, as well as convincing the local women that a healthy Cooperative can support changes to the village’s livelihood, “ said the appointed Head of the cooperative.
Meanwhile Ms. Yerina, acting as the Treasury of Bulawan Cooperative stated that she is expecting that through the cooperative, she will be able to be a woman leader who plays an active role for the village in the effort raising gender equality and economical factor changes through active participation in the women’s cooperative. “I want to be better and wiser person,” added Ms. Yerina.