Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

The Cipanas Village

The Cipanas Village

Quinn Elliott

Year 6

The Cipanas village is a village near the Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) farm. It's also near Bogor, a city in west Java in Indonesia. The problem the residents of the Cipanas village are facing, like many other Indonesian villages, is looking after their elderly. Their elderly are usually poor and looking after grandchildren. The reason they are poor is because in Indonesia they don't have pensions. The reason that they are looking after their grandchildren is that their children, the parents of the grandchildren, are working in the Middle East to get money for their family. Imagine if you were in this situation as the parent or child where you only see each other once a month. If this was me I would miss seeing my parents each night and telling them about my day. I understand that they need to work in other countries to find jobs that give them money for their basic needs.

Obviously, I think it's important that people have their basic needs met. In Indonesia the government doesn't support the elderly with things like pensions. This means that sometimes they don't have enough money to buy food and clean water. The sense of community is stronger because the residents of this community help each other out, by giving ones in need food. The elderly people in the Cipanas are lucky to have the YUM farm supporting them. This also provides comfort to their children who are working overseas to know that their parents are being looked after.

The Yum farm helps residents of the Cipanas village with their education, health and other community services. The YUM farm is a foundation for Noble Work and a nonprofit organisation that helps to improve the quality of life for the poor in Indonesia. As well as being a community organisation YUM is also a farm.

 When I visited the YUM farm on a Round Square trip, I got to experience the things they do daily such as planting, harvesting, composting, soil analysis, making liquid fertiliser, washing vegetables, making organic insect repellent and nursery work. I really enjoyed these activities and then the amazing experiences kept on coming when I got to teach the local children different games.

After being at the YUM farm I decided that I would like to be one of the students who delivered food to the elderly in the Cipanas village. It was an interesting experience to know about their life and ask them questions. I found it intriguing to find out that most of them worked as farmers until there seventies.

My visit to the Cipanas Village was important to me because I got to learn about how other communities operate.  It made me feel that we should do more to build a stronger community relationship back in Tasmania. A suggestion is that we could create regular community events such as cooking with produce that has been grown locally and donated from residents. This would be an opportunity for people to get together and get to know people in their local community, building connections with each other to support and help one another.