We have had many cooperation projects, such as revolving breeding program, tree plantation, and farming with CDRM&CDS. We also have strengthen diaconal arms to serve our church members to improve their lives.
We choose cooperation in those fields because majority of our church members are farmers, while our food security has decreased. In the past, for instance, we had food security just by eating tubers. Now since we are accustomed to eat rice, we have to import rice and spend out our money to buy rice. Our agricultural infrastructure is also insufficient and farmers ultimately depend on industrial products such fertilizers and pestisides which destroyed our food security.
In addition, the development of local livestocks in Nias remain slow with a low sale value. In the past, we had a breeding pattern called foar geuli: we prepared the farm, we build fences, we grew cattle fodder, and after the plants grew then we inputted the cattle. In the 50-70s, Nias produced, even exported many pigs. Then this pattern changed to foba’o: we build piggery behind the house, and we inputted only 2-3 pigs.We do not grew cattle fodder as we did before, so now every time we have to look for fodder, while we also have to farm, consequently the pig production decreases.
Based on this insight, we collaborate with CDRM&CDS in pigs revolving program. The demand of pig in Nias is very high, that’s why we plan to develop it. These pigs will be revolved continuously among church members. If pig breeds, 1 female and 1 male piglet will be given to the church. The church will revolve the female piglet, while the male will be sold for church income.
In addition, AMIN Church also implement Mahoni and Simalambou tree planting program related to disaster risk reduction issue. After Nias earthquake, the demand of wood remain high while durian and Simalambuo trees have been cleared for building materials and cause new disasters including landslides. We want to replant and conserve these local trees for our future livelihood.
After cooperating with CDRM&CDS, our diaconal arm capacity enhances. Before, our diaconal arms had never done economic development program. Our service used to be limited on deaths and marriages events. Before, the duty of diaconal staff were unwritten, but now we have our frameworks and set of
working rules. Now everyone understand their job and there are less conflicts because we have written rules.
These empowerment programs has also changed people’s perceptions. After the earthquake, most people saw churches and NGOs as assistance providers and expected profits from the projects undertaken. CDRM&CDS projects is not like that, it is empowering the community. The staffs also blend with the community. By working with CDRM&CDS, our 2 diakonia staffs have become better known by the church members.
Since several years ago CDRM&CDS had strengthened our diaconal arms to give better service for the poor people. I hope now our staffs understand their roles, and could apply their new knowledge wherever they serve.