On the evening of 13 November 2017, the Pidie Pekka Uniom paid a friendly visit to Meugit Village of East Mutiara Sub-District, Pidie District of Aceh Province. Irza representing the Union and Fazriah, a PEKKA facilitator, made the visit for the purpose of starting discussions with the Meugit village head on the commitment to allocate funds for empowering women and welfare aid for senior citizens. The welfare of the elderly is an important issue to discuss as it has long been ignored by the village government.
The PEKKA team was personally met by the Meugit village head, Abubakari, and the conversation started with the issue of women’s empowerment in the village. The village head informed that IDR 10,500,000 of village funds have been allocated for Stage II of women’s empowerment in Meugit Village. Further discussions can be conducted on using the funds to meet the needs of women in the village. From the total amount of funds for women’s empowerment, IDR 3,000,000 can be set aside for welfare aid, such as for posyandu (integrated health centers) and the well-being of senior citizens. The budget is still considered insignificant compared to the village revenue in 2017 at IDR 885,000,000 (eight hundred eighty five million rupiahs).
The PEKKA team also asked about financing for women’s empowerment activities, such as sewing courses, village stalls or shops, village pharmacy, reproductive health services and other women’s capacity-building activities. According to the village head, discussions with stakeholders will soon be held, in addition to consultation services by inviting stakeholders relating to basic services such as the issuance of 30 family cards and 50 birth certificates according to the village community needs. The Pidie local police force will also be invited to discuss on drug-related issues. Towards the end of the discussion, the village head promised to hold a special women’s meeting to discuss specific activities for the women of Meugit Village.
We are optimistic that welfare funds for senior citizens will be provided, and we shall monitor the process until the meeting in December 2017. We hope that the proposal on women’s empowerment, especially on welfare aid for senior citizens will be realized and benefit the women of Meugit Village. (Irza –Pidie Aceh Union)