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Candirenggo Urban Village, Singosari, Malang Regency, East Java

By Nurdiyansah Dalidjo


Don't always imagine villages as being in remote areas. That's the impression that we might get when visiting villages which are popular tourist destinations in Malang, East Java.

Singosari District in Malang Regency is one of the strategic areas for tourist attractions. That is where relics in the form of temples and other ancient sites are scattered in various corners of the village. Singosari is also a border area, which is in between regencies and cities. The crowded atmosphere and traffic congestion have become a common sight because the district is part of the main Surabaya-Malang route. On both sides of the road, economic activities are so alive. Food stalls and vendors selling various souvenirs and local food such as chips, pastries, traditional snacks, and various handicrafts, are scattered along the sides of the highway.

Malang is an area that does not escape the attention of Wahid Foundation. There is a particular reason for choosing this cool-climate region as part of the program.

Puput, one of the community organizers for Malang, explained why Malang, which has relatively no conflict vulnerability, was chosen.

"Malang is not a conflict area. But, we did not know that it was often used as a place for terrorists to escape. In Singosari, there were two suspected terrorists who were caught and other terrorist networks were also arrested in Batu City," said Puput. "There is no horizontal conflict. But, the peace that exists is negative peace. It is peaceful, but, male and female residents did not know that their neighbors were people who were running away from terrorist networks. "

One village in Malang that has successfully carried out the Declaration of Peace Village is Candirenggo Urban Village in Singosari.

In Candirenggo, Puput, together with residents including women, re-organized activities where residents could gather and socialize with each other. The tradition known as guyub (gathering) is not new. Guyuban is a pattern of rural communities in Java that Wahid Foundation is rebuilding along with an understanding of the values of tolerance and peace.

Economic empowerment is the entry point for that. In Candirenggo, women's groups found space to be able to interact with each other in a series of training sessions.

"We train women. We train them to create better product packaging, better quality products.,” said Yenny Wahid, Director of Wahid Foundation. “Some are given capital for small businesses and others. Only after they joined the Peace-loving Cooperative (Koperasi Cinta Damai [KCD]) did their businesses advance, family economy has increased, children were able to go to school... Some of their houses were renovated, some were able to build stalls ... Then we initiated peacebuilding training. We initiated the concept of a Peace Village, " Yenny continued. She was unrelenting to assert that gluing the residents together must be done at a slow pace. And, to make them communicate with each other is crucial.

Therefore, do not be surprised that, when visiting Candirenggo, you will find the Peace Village information center, which also acts as a small and medium-sized enterprise outlet and a promotion center of products created by women of the village. It is where women usually get to know each other, gather, talk, craft, and discuss plans together. They are full of enthusiasm and joy.

Some sew or make embroidery on headscarves and hijabs. Others, with different skills, make handicrafts. The final products not only help increase family income, but also represent the artistic taste and freedom of expression of the women in the village.

One of the trainings that the women participate in is making batik.

Tutut Suwarsaningsih, a housewife who has been adept at using canting (a pen-like applicator) and lilin malam (liquid hot wax) on a white fabric, expressed her views after attending the training.

"Inter-religious conflicts are not right. We should respect each other. We have our own religion and other people can pray as they wish peacefully and safely. After the establishment of this (the Peace Village program), Thank God, the community has become more harmonious," she explained during her free time of housekeeping and making batik.

To a national media, Lurah (Head) of Candirenggo Urban Village, Asri Wulandari, also showed her happiness by declaring Candirenggo as a Peace Village.

Quoted from Media Indonesia, (12/21/2017) Asri expressed her hopes. She said, "Our hope is that women can prevent radicalism and terrorism and also increase tolerance."

Not only that, but in the midst of the current growth of the tourism industry in Malang, women can seize some space and access to get involved in taking the economic opportunities due to the flow of tourists in their village.



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Peace Village initiative aims to tackle the threat of radicalism by empowering communities, one village at a time, through cultivating social cohesion, community resilience, as well as promoting societal equality and respect for diversity.

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