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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. 


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Life has gradually changed. Women role in Nias in particular used to be confined to bearing and taking care of children, working in the kitchen and gardening. Now women can work in public domain and outside home. This change has come through gradually through long struggle and learning about gender equality.

Erlina Waruwu (39) a mother of six children has participated in many activities and become the Secretary to Nazalou’s Village-0wned Enterprise, and the Chair to “Sahabat” Farmer Group and a member of women group in Nazalou Village. Since 2009 CDRM&CDS has worked in Nazalou Village in which Erlina Waruwu has been an active woman in many groups and activities.

Being active member of group and organization makes Erlina happy. She recalled how before 2009 she had very limited knowledge and never joined any group and had no courage to speak in public. “After joining groups and meetings facilitated by CDRM&CDS since 2009, my horizon and confidence have developed and now I can lead meetings and speak in public and lead a saving and credit group “Simpan Pinjam” in Nazalou. I have developed a tailoring business with money I borrowed from the saving and credit group” Erlina told.

Taking care of her family is part of Erlina’s shared responsibility with her husband Yaaman Zega. Erlina manages her time well for her family and groups she joins and her husband very much supports Erlina’s engagement with groups.

Written by : Ertatina Zebua

CDRM&CDS’ Community Facilitator in Nazalou Lolowua dan We’a-we’a Villages

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Yaniba Zega (34), a woman with double disabilities (deaf and dumb), is a member of a poor family in Nazalou Lolowua, a village in Nias Islands CDRM&CDS has accompanied for years. Her disability doesn’t deter her from being productive everyday helping her mother cooking at home, tapping rubbers and taking care of pigs and chickens.

Before the death of her mother by the end of 2017, Yaniba once expressed her wish, using sign language with her mother, to learn tailoring. In 2018 CDRM&CDS supported her with tailoring training and materials. Three months later she completed the training and started to sew her own dress and tailoring business. Yaniba has earned from her tailoring business to support her family.

Disability should not deter me from working productively. I manage my time well to work daily in the field tapping rubber trees, doing housework, taking care of pigs and chickens and doing this tailoring work as usual. Recently, I was asked by CDRM&CDS to produce cloth masks in the midst of Covid-19 outbreak. Though I cannot hear nor speak, I actively participate in meetings as I am a member of “SENDORO” Disabled People Organization in Nazalou Village” Yaniba said. Yaniba thanked CDRM&CDS for facilitating her tailoring training. My skills in tailoring has changed my dignity. No more people feel, as used to be, “pity” on me. Now people in this village admire my tailoring skill expressed Yaniba proudly.


Written by Ertatina Zebua
CDRM&CDS Community Empowerment Facilitator in Nias Islands


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Since 2013 till present, CDRM&CDS has continued empowering people with disability through various project activities; regular meeting, annual meeting, trainings and supporting their livelihood programs. For improving skills of people with disability, ten (10) selected people with disabilities (PwDs) in Mentawai Island (6 persons) and Nias Island (4 persons) have attended intensively training course with CDRM&CDS support. Six (6) participants in Mentawai have took part in souvenirs production (necklace, bracelet, earring and ring) and handicraft production training (wood sculpture techniques) and intensively sewing course. And other 4 participants in Nias also have took part in intensively training course.

These projects have been benefited them as Rita Maria Sabelau, 28 years old, a mother with 2 children said “….in the past, due to my disability, I felt that half of my life opportunity has gone. But when I joined into CDRM&CDS project particularly in this intensively sewing course, my confidence has grown up. My life opportunities have come back. Now, although I have disability, I able to have a skill. I have able to sew my dress. After this training course finished, I have planned to start my tailor shop in my village”.

In Nias, Masleni Halawa, 27 years old, a girl with double disability (physical and low hearing) said” I have finished from Junior High School. Due to my disability and poor income of my parents, I cannot continue my study to Senior High School.  Due to my disability, I helped my mother to do some working in the home; cooking, sweep, washing and taking care my sister and brother. ….when I met CDRM&CDS’ staffs, they encouraged my parent and me for attending intensively sewing course. In the first time, my parent and I felt worry because I should go to outside of my sub village for attending course. But CDRM&CDS’ staffs always have encouraged my parent and me. Finally, my parent and I agreed for attending intensively sewing course for 4 months with CDRM&CDS support,” she told her struggle for attending intensively sewing course.

“Now, thanks for CDRM&CDS and donor. I have finished my course. I have able to sew various dress (women’s blouse, dress). I have a skill for sewing. I have started my business in my sub village. My parent also has happy with my skills”, she added with happy.

Written by Nelson Sinaga, Program Manager


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Markus Sababalat (41), the sub-village head of erkat Lama since 2012, recalled the impact of 2010’s tsunami that destroyed infrastructure including water tank in Berkat Lama sub-village. “The rehabilitation and reconstruction program from government has failed to address the need of the community in this sub-village. Five years after the 2010’s earthquake and tsunami, government failed to reconstruct the broken facilities for clean water in this sub-village. For 5 years, 231 villagers here struggled to walk 1 km to get clean water from the mountain, the only water source around and often conflicted one another for getting clean water” Markus recounted.

Markus recounted how then in 2016 the community in his sub-village managed to rebuild water tank jointly with CDRM&CDS “Every year since 2010, CDRM&CDS has facilitated community and village government to develop village disaster risk reduction and development plan. In 2016, the Sikakap Village’s Community Development Committee (LPM) and Berkat Lama sub-village’s Community Resilience Unit (SATLINMAS) developed a proposal for rebuilding water tank in the sub-village. CDRM&CDS and community have jointly rebuilt the water tank. Community contributed building materials such as sand, pebble and timber, while CDRM&CDS contributed manufacturing materials like cement for the building. Now villagers can get water easily. The water tank has recovered the community peaceful life as they can get water close to their house from the water tank” said Markus proudly.

Written by: Elyandu, CDRM&CDS Community Empowerment Facilitator in Sikakap Village, Mentawai Islands

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The Center for Disaster Risk Management and Community Development Studies (CDRM&CDS) is a department of HKBP Nommensen University. CDRM&CDS is located in Simalingkar, Medan. The programs are focused on disaster risk management and capacity building of the communities. The CDRM&CDS has 4 field projects: Simalingkar, Nias, Pakpak (North Sumatera) and Mentawai (West Sumatera). CDRM&CDS is seeking for following position:

Job Tittle  : Training Officer (1 persons)
Based       : Gunung Sitoli – Nias
Report to : Field Coordinator

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CDRM & CDS | Medan

Jl. Bunga Rampai V
Porlak Nommensen
Simalingkar B, Medan,
Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
Phone / Fax (62) 8227-7041-999


CDRM & CDS | Pakpak

Komplek Centrum GKPPD 
Jl. Air Bersih, Sidikalang
Sumatera Utara 22272


CDRM & CDS | Nias

Jl. Tirta No. 49 KBN
Gunung Sitoli, Nias
Sumatera Utara 22815


CDRM & CDS | Mentawai

Kantor Pusat GKPM Nemnemleleu
Desa Sikakap, Kecamatan Sikakap
Kabupaten Kepulauan Mentawai
Sumatera Barat 25391