Being a Social Assistant for KAT is an Unforgettable Experience
Kiki Fatmawati, a bachelor’s degree in biology at Jambi State University (UNJ). Eventhough she has experience in participating in Community Development in her campus, but being social assistant is an unforgettable moment in her life.
When she first arrived in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara Province, she felt a different challenge. The distance traveled from his house was quite far which is about 4 hours from the City of Bima by using land and sea routes which were more precisely through the strait bordering the Australian Continent. The condition of the village also was a lot of shrubs and seems like uninhabited as no one was seen living there but only livestock such as roamed cattle. It is because the residents were gardening away from their house for months until the harvest was finished.
The first thing that she was done when she arrived at the location was that she is tried to list the householder (KK), then coordinated with the head village and the local KAT assistant. After that, she arranged a mutual cooperation schedule, made a fence, socialization the function of the house yard, etc.
There were also some obstacles that she needs to face, for example that some people did not want to live their house and worked as migrant in other region or even countries because they need to support family's economy. Besides, there are some people who do not want to involve in doing the task so that making a bath wash toilet need to be delayed. Then, she tried to make a reward system by giving a simple gift to someone who can finish their task on time. However, another challenge was coming from the access that need to be taken to catch the village, because it was so far, and the boat was only operated in certain days. There is also limited signal that makes her a bit difficult to coordinate with related agencies outside the village.
According to her view, there is something changes about the conditions before and after the KAT empowerment. Previously, residents only carried out activities as usual like gardening and farming, and now they can find another activity that can increase their income by making banana chips and crackers from banana peels. The condition of the houses that seems to be very poor and dirty, then it changes to be better by adding ornamental plants and vegetable seeds in front of their house. They also have a better understanding about sanitation after Kiki explained to them how important to make their surrounding cleaner than before. KAT residents are also no longer had difficulty in obtaining clean water because there had been clean water supply assistance from the local government, and electricity poles had started to enter the KAT location in November 2019.
Kiki was very grateful to be part of KAT's social assistant because she learned a lot of new knowledge in various fields. Besides, she becomes more careful person in implementing all actions especially related to the community like how to reduce people's emotions and make them to have more solidarity. All challenges faced by Kiki are paid with the succeed of her programs which certainly cannot be separated from the solidarity of the people and related agencies. "This experience is very memorable for me that Bima people, especially Mbojo tribe, try to accept me as a new person," said Kiki. Kiki hopes that the KAT social assistant can be felt every year.
Kiki felt that KAT Empowerment Program was great, where Ministry of Social Affairs through the Directorate of Remote Indigenous Community Empowerment (PKAT) provided housing assistance for residents. However, it would be better if it built near another village and try to avoid opening a new land that is further and more difficult to reach. Furthermore, she also revealed that the existence of KAT social assistants has to be maintained, so that citizens can feel the government attention to them through the presence of the facilitators, and the most important things is that the selected facilitators should be someone who can truly capable and have experience so that the community can be empowered through their presence.