During Covid-19 pandemic which has been happening since April 2020, Gemawan conducted a mapping of pandemic impact on the basic community groups that are assisted by Gemawan, especially women’s groups. This mapping targeted various professions existing from the women’s groups assisted by Gemawan who are members of Serikat Perempuan Pantai Utara (Serumpun) in Sambas Regency and Singkawang, as well as farmer groups in Mempawah Regency.
Serumpun Group harvested lemongrass
The impacts that they experienced were not the same. For farmers, the pandemic has not really had an impact on food sources, even they are able do their normal activities, especially planting, caring for and harvesting. This group has also become the saviour because the result of their food sources can be the source of food availability for families and villages. However, more or less, the limitation of social activities has given an impact in their product marketing, because they are no longer able to sell their crops out of the village as an impact of the blocking of people’s access in and out of the village. Different from what the farmers have felt, the impact was greater for those who rely on small businesses and marketing, such as selling food, weaving businesses, fishermen, rubber farmers and the service sector. There are people who lost half of their normal incomes, and even completely lost all of them.
Many efforts have been made since these women have felt the impact of Covid-19 pandemic; starting from building solidarity together, advocating for others to receive government funds, changing marketing strategies, etc. However, since this pandemic has been happening for more than two months, it turns out that much greater efforts are needed. Gemawan took the initiative to help this women’s group by raising funds for some of their needs, in which some of them included aid for food and livelihood needs, as well as the need to rebuild business capital because the previous capital had been spent due to the reduce and – even – loss of income.
With BOTHENDS, Gemawan developed an empowerment aid program in facing Covid-19 pandemic for Serumpun members. This aid was in the form of small business capital for 92 affected women, construction of demonstration plots in 20 women’s groups who were members of SERUMPUN, as well as campaigns to build healthy and clean ways of life and environment.
The demonstration plot got special attention. This was based on the increasing needs for food for the next 6 months. As we know, the food crisis is threatening the world today, including Indonesia, due to the decline of agricultural production. Therefore, the effort to grow edible plants for these groups of women is an anticipation and as well as a way to reduce the impact. Besides from Bothends, Gemawan also received a small amount of financial support from Change.org with the program called donashe – women help women through the platform of public donation www. kitabisa.com.
This aid program is expected to be able to slightly ease the burden that is being faced by women, and able to rebuild women’s empowerment in restoring economic empowerment and public health through the demonstration plot and family medicinal plant programs. It is hoped that the world can soon find a solution to the spread of Corona Virus, so that our future generations can see a better world.