Pursue Passion at 57

In the last few months, Muji Hartini (57 years old widow) has a new hobby. This hobby began when she was invited to participate in the handwritten batik training held by the Tridadi Village Authority in July. At that time, the Village Authority didn’t only facilitate the training, but also provided the equipment. Mrs. Tini, as she called, tried to make a batik tablecloth as her first attempt. Second time, she wanted to make a dress using batik that she made herself. However, making batik doesn’t only requires creativity, perseverance and capital is also needed because the process is quite long, started  from plain fabric, and then painted, dried,  and so on so that the fabric can be sewn into a sarong or shirt. To make a batik fabric, she usually spent approximately Rp. 150,000 (USD  10) for plain fabric and tools, the process took time one week but it depends on the length of the fabric, motif, and of course available time. Because of this, Mrs. Tini is not always able to make batik as long as she wants because of limited capital. Sometimes  Mrs. Tini also sew, makes sandals, help her sister to look after their children at home, or anything she can do so that she will get  income every day, even if not much.

On 13 August 2018, Tridadi Village Authority officially launched the formation of the Berseri Intergenerational Group whose members consisted of older people and pre-older in Beteng, Dukuh and Pisangan subvillages. In accordance with its abbreviation, the group wants its members to be lively, healthy and independent. Each month, she keeps waiting for the monthly meeting to be participated in.  Mrs. Tini has been living alone these five past years. Years ago she has suffered from illness, needed medication so she rarely involved in any meeting of women’s group in the village.  For her, monthly meeting is fun because she can let go of boredom by meeting other members, laughing and singing together, and gaining new knowledge.  "At the last monthly meeting I was taught to make bean sprouts, then the other day we also tried to make something from banana trunk. I tried to make it at home, the results were good but I didn't know what to do after that. Finally, I asked the vegetable seller whether they can help to sell the sprout, and luckily he said yes,” said Mrs. Tini.  Not only that, as IG member, Mrs. Tini was able to apply for micro-credit that was managed by IG.  She used this loan to continue her hobby—making batik.

"At first I thought about opening a food stall in front of the house, but because this house belongs to my sister, I am afraid that it will make the environment unclean. So I thought batik was more fun, I could do it alone at home, with unlimited time. I also like to draw and if I'm bored I can make other things,” she add.  She is grateful to be able to access the micro-credit to pursue her passion for business. Indeed, making batik requires time to make a good batik, but with micro credit support, Mrs. Tini can now focus on making good motives without the need to think about the money to buy batik’s equipment. She hopes her batik will be sold in good price so she’s no longer depends on the giving of her sisters.

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Since 2015, YEU has started to establish 16 community-based self-help groups using intergenerational approach in order to improve the well-being of older people. The intergenerational group consists of different age of members (-+ 70% above 60 y.o ; 30% less than 60 y.o), different background of income (poor community and those who have stable income), including people with disability as well as men and women. Every month, each group organize monthly meeting which will be started with regular health screening such as checking blood pressure and measuring body mass index. Aside from monthly meeting, the group also manages income generating activity, volunteer-based homecare, and self-help and community support. Providing care and support is seen as a key step in encouraging strong community connections with each other as well as for reinforcing more ‘traditional values’ of caring for elderly within the home.