USEFUL FOR YOURSELF, BENEFICIAL FOR OTHERS
By: Ester Pandiangan
For Fransisca Andriyani (48), the Wahid Foundation's local facilitator for the assisted village Gemblegan Klaten, the success of a woman is when she is not only beneficial for her family, but also useful for others.
This is what she has felt since she just joined the first Women Participation for Inclusive Society (WISE) program in September 2017. Right, before making the move with the Wahid Foundation, Fransisca and the women of Gemblegan Village had their own businesses and all of them went their own way. If there was a problem, it was solved individually.
It became different after the women joined the Wahid Foundation’s program, as they now share difficulties and happiness together. Moreover, as a local facilitator, Fransisca must play an active role in embracing all of the members of the women’s group.
One form of development that Fransisca experienced during her time at the Wahid Foundation was regular training sessions organized by the Wahid Foundation. Of course, these various training subjects are useful for herself and the other members to learn to become entrepreneurs.
The training sessions she participated in were diverse, ranging from making patchwork bags, baking cakes, up to making nuggets, among other things. As a local facilitator, Fransisca does not keep her knowledge to herself, but shares it with the other assisted members. The division of knowledge is also adjusted to the interests and abilities of women. Then they discuss the ways to do something, the difficulties, and so on.
"Group discussions like this are very positive, because the women talk constructively, rather than just gossip. From these meetings we also become aware, running a joint business is more profitable than running a business alone," she added.
Fransisca, alongsidenine other members of her group, also run a joint venture angkringan (a street eatery). Initially they only ran a catering business, but, given their income was not regular, these women decided to open a more stable angkringan business.
By borrowing capital from the Peace-loving Cooperative (KCD Wahid), they have been running their culinary business since February 2018. Also, the angkringan is not only a business to make money, but a place to gather, discuss and mutually support other women.
Even in educating her children, Fransisca always emphasizes the importance of independence and self-empowerment. "Since they were little, I have made it a habit for my children to wash their own dishes and iron their school uniforms," she added, as the mother of Antonius (26), Veronica (23), and Bima (10).
The knowledge she has learned from the Wahid Foundation’s training sessions is also applied in the family, so that it helps improve her children's skills as well. After participating in a training session in making patchwork dolls, Fransisca taught Veronica, who then started a business making these dolls. Since college, Veronica has been selling patchwork dolls, even advertising her merchandise online on the delivery service, Shopee.
"Children should not be given instant success but taught how to achieve such success," Fransisca said, clarifying the reason for educating children in this way. For her, being a mother is not a trivial task: “Do not let us erroneously educate children. Independent mothers must have more independent children.”
The more detailed meaning of Fransisca's words is that for all of this time, parents often give what their children ask for without teaching them how to get it. A simple example is giving a mobile phone to small children. "They don't need a cellphone yet, so how come they have been given a cellphone?" Fransisca said.
These habits, according to Fransisca, make children spoiled and dependent on their parents. The mother of three said that women are the pillar for the family, and that, therefore, mothers in this should prepare their children to be independent at an early age. "Training sessions at the Wahid Foundation really help me to empower my family and people around me," she concluded.