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Empower Widows by Raising Goats

Seeing that the ASRI team was waiting at home to monitor the condition of the goats, the expression on the face of Nek Rosmah (74), who had just returned from lako (the term for rice fields in Ketapang Malay) who previously looked tired, changed to a smile, then said hello. He said he had just returned from the rice fields and saw his rice seedlings being gnawed by rats.


At her current age, this elderly widow still appears to be active. After cleaning her body, Grandma Rosmah approached the Coordinator of Goats for Widows, Setiawati, to talk about the progress of her goats.


"My male goat has a stomach ache," he complained. Grandma Rosmah also invited Setiawati to see the condition of her sick goat in a pen 50 meters behind her house. The cage measures 3 x 6 meters, is 1 meter from the ground and is divided into several rooms. There were 8 goats there, consisting of 7 females and 1 male. After seeing the condition of Nek Rosmah's goat, Setiawati told her how to handle it.

11 am is the schedule for Grandma Rosmah to take out her goats to graze. One by one the goats were given a rope, then they got out of the pen. Then everyone was led to an area filled with green grass which was about 100 meters from the cage. Then the ropes were tied to the tree.


According to Grandma Rosmah, letting these goats graze on their own is much easier than having to provide them in a pen. What's more, he was old enough to rake the grass and carry it to the barn. “But you have to keep the rope tethered, so you don't run too far. "Let me calm down and go home," he said.


After that, Grandma Rosmah can relax or do other work. Only before night fell did the goats have to be led back into the pen. Rice husks must also be burned under the pen, to smoke the goats so they are not disturbed by mosquitoes and flies. "If you don't smoke them, they will bleat at night because they will be bothered by mosquitoes or flies," he said.

Even though he still looks active, at his age there are certainly many activities he can no longer do like when he was young. Raising these goats is one of his favorite activities, as well as generating economic resources.


The Goat For Widows Program, which was launched in 2009, was intended as an effort to empower widows who are considered a vulnerable group because they have limited economic access. A widow is given 1 female goat, and if she can be bred, she will also be lent 1 male goat. When you have children, you must hand over one of your goat kids to another widow. Grandma Rosmah joined this program in 2011. She got a baby goat from the first person in Melinsum Hamlet to participate in this program.


Participants in this program are also given basic skills in keeping and breeding goats. And regularly receive visits to monitor the condition of the goats. This scheme helped Grandma Rosmah to breed a total of 20 goats, and now there are 8 goats left. This scheme is what makes this program sustainable and can help many widows. In total there are now 108 widows active in this program with 309 individual goats.


“I once used this goat for aqiqah. There are also some that I cut and sell. "There are 20 of them in total," he said. ASRI hopes that by handing over goats to widows, it can create economic independence for vulnerable groups. These goats are like a safety net when the rice in Nek Rosmah's rice fields is fading and there is no more work to do.


This program is also expected to stop efforts to convert forests into agricultural land. Because by using goat manure as fertilizer that can fertilize the soil, you can maintain agricultural productivity and sustainability on the available land.