JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Sumedang, West Java, is one of the cities in Indonesia that is famous for its tofu production. Eating tofu is more delicious on the tongue, when accompanied by cayenne pepper, it's delicious!
However, the other side of the city knows that there is a story of a tough women from a village that does not have adequate mobile phone signal in Sumedang that are improving their lives and defeating poverty.
In a building measuring 4x6 meters, two women wearing hijab with various snacks and blankets gathered on mats, such as ranginang, rangining, crackers, dapros, blankets and mattress sheets which were stacked neatly.
One of the women displays a notebook that looks neat even though it is handwritten. The woman is an administrator of a Joint Business Group (KUBE). The KUBE program is one of the programs of the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs to empower poor community groups to be financially independent.
Dede Sufini, 46 years old, is the chairperson of KUBE Rahayu 1, and has been managing KUBE savings and loans for nine years. In early 2010, she received IDR30 million for a cattle KUBE, but that business did not go well. She then switched to savings and loans.
"Cattle KUBE only lasted two years, because not all members could be sent off to collect fodder. We then decided to become savings and loans business," said Dede with a thick Sundanese accent, as quoted in the official statement of the Ministry of Social Affairs on Monday (04/26/2021).
Switching to a savings and loan KUBE is the right decision, because for nine years the benefits have been felt by not only 10 members, but also 40 non-KUBE members and help improve their welfare.
"Alhamdulillah (thank God), the Ministry of Social Affairs assistance is very useful, and in the last nine years there has been a turnover of IDR70 million. That amount is large for us in the village," said Dede.
There is a profit of IDR20 million that is divided by the end of the year to each KUBE member, but it is not distributed in cash but in household items.
"Yes, the members are very happy at the end of the year to get benefits in the form of glasses, plates, blankets, mattress sheets and other household items," she said.
KUBE Rahayu 1 continues to develop its business, one of which is by producing home-made snacks that have been sold to the city of Bandung and surrounding areas.
"We develop a business by producing snack businesses such as ranginang, rangining, chips and dapros, which are sold to the city of Bandung. Prior to Covid-19, we were able to sell six quintals on a pickup truck a week," she said.
In the future, KUBE Rahayu 1 targets making grocery stalls on the side of the road to make it more strategic and easy to reach from any direction.
"KUBE Rahayu 1 continues to grow, and not only saving and borrowing and producing snacks. In the future, there is a prospect of building a grocery store to meet the needs of members and the surrounding communities, "said Dede.
For nine years, it was not an easy matter to manage and bring KUBE Rahayu 1 to survive. There were not only ups and downs, but also needed patience.
"I always emphasize on the members that KUBE is a common property that must be taken care of together, also the management must be honest and transparent," explained Dede.