Usi Herlina Brutu (46), head of the group recounted their group development. “We were at first planting soy but afterwards we had no idea what to do with the yield. We decided to learn to produce tempe (soy bean bar). We learned twice, and failed twice. We succeeded on our third try.”
She described that every weekend the members in turn produced and sold 100 bars of tempe. The result was pretty good. Kuta Dame village chief was aware of their growth and initiated a meeting between Kartini group and the local government. In December 2014, District Cooperative Agency, local government, and Pakpak Bharat Council member visited the group. “The government observed that most women group (PKK) in Pakpak Bharat do not grow much even though they were supported by the government. That is why the government financially supported active PKK (women) groups,” explained Martin Berutu, CDRM&CDS
community empowerment facilitator in Pakpak.
Usi is also proud because the head of the district praised the tempe produced by the group. The group has received five million rupiah financial support. Some of the money were used to buy equipment to make tempe and the rest goes to the group’s treasury. “Group’s income is used for group members to increase our livelihood,” said Usi.
Cooperative agency officer encouraged the group to form a cooperative to enable them to receive more resources (60-120 million rupiah ) from the government. “All the requirements for Kartini Women Cooperative registration are in place. We hope this can motivate other groups,” said Usi.
Usi explained that the 25 member of Kartini Group regularly meet every week and is getting known by community at large. “When there is a party in this
village we are usually requested to cook as we have cooking equipment. We work together and share our experiences.” Usi hoped her group will grow better and the income increases.