Armaulian Samongilailai (70) an elder woman from Pasibbuat hamlet of Taikako Village has been actively engaged in socialization of Covid-19 prevention in community. She is a village health worker since 2018. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Mentawai islands in April 2020, she has been engaged with CDRM&CDS in distribution of mask, soap and posters and door-to-door socialization of Covid-19 prevention to community in Taikako village. “ At this elderly age stage I am proud and happy being able to help communities sharing information on the spread and prevention of Covid-19. I am engaged not only in Integrated Services Post as Village Health worker and CDRM&CDS program, but also in Church service in my village. I am called to do door-to-door socialization when I see the community’s indifference towards health protocol. I always remind people to wear mask when they go out of their houses.” said Armaulian.
Kartina Sakerebau (68) is another elder woman from Pasibbuat hamlet of Taikako Vilalge who is also actively involved in the socialization of Covid-19 prevention. “During the pandemic, I always encourage people I meet to exercise everyday prevention measures like frequent handwashing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes. It’s a pride at this elderly age I can contribute something to community in my hamlet particularly for the prevention of Covid-19. The elder women used to be considered as burden and useless in this community, now our contributions are recognized in social activities like health campaign.
Village health workers in Mentawai Islands used to be dominated by young women. This has changed when recently elder groups emerged in Churches and CDRM&CDS facilitates engagement of the elder women in saving and credit groups, farmer groups, and DRR groups as well as Covid-19 prevention volunteers. Elder women like me is now recognized as contributing to community in my village” Kartina recounted proudly.