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Notes of a Former Migrant Worker (based on an interview)

Mitra Wacana WRC

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Mitra Wacana

This post is also available in: Indonesia

Waktu dibaca: 3 menit

By: Umiasih (CO Kulon Progo)

This will tell the story of what happened to a person that will be referred to as BN. This event occurred in the 1990’s when BN received an offer to work overseas. At that time, BN had just divorced her husband, and had one child. The person offering the job presented it as a lucrative job offer. At first BN wasn’t sure whether or not to take the job, but she hoped that if she took the job she would be able to guarantee a future for her child, so finally she decided to accept the job offer.

The requirements weren’t complicated, the important thing was that BN had an Identity Card. After her preparations were complete, BN departed by bus to Batam. After arriving at her destination, BN was brought to a shelter in a simple house that was surrounded by a wall, like a prison. After approximately six months in that shelter, BN departed to Malaysia to work as a domestic helper.

While working, BN was forbidden from speaking with her work friends. She also received physical violence, such as being slapped and hit by her boss. BN also never received any payment while working. These conditions made BN increasingly determined to escape from Malaysia and return to Indonesia, even though there were many obstacles and risks. Her first attempt failed, BN was found out by her boss and badly beaten.

BN never gave up. On her second escape attempt, BN met with the Indonesian Navy. She hoped they would help her, but instead they beat her and kicked her with their shoes. BN was captured and returned to her boss.

After this, BN felt resigned to her fate. Then four years later she tried to escape again. Together with a friend, BN tied bed sheets together, and used them to escape through the house window. She successfully arrived in the harbour at 2.am. However, her friend failed because she fell in the persons house. BN met with a fisherman who finally helped her to cross using a barge. BN crossed to the base of Pinang.

Upon arrival in Indonesia, BN decided to help the owner of the store where she took shelter. The owner wa named Sri, she was a person from Bantul in Yogyakarta. While living in Sri’s house, BN helped her sell things in the warung. One time Sri’s son came to visit, sith the help of Sri’s son, BN entrusted him with photos for her family at home, because BN had long been away, BN worried that her family would not recognize her. With Sri’s assistance, BN managed to go home and meet with family.

After 10 years back at home, BN received an invitation from Mitra Wacana WRC to join in a routine meeting at the Women’s Learning Centre (P3A). Because of these regular meetings, BN received information about the prevention of human trafficking. Besides that, the P3A is also a place to learn and share experiences. Before becoming a member of the P3A, BN had never before joined in with an organisation like that. Thanks to the regular meetings, BN realised that she had been a victim of human trafficking. Until now, BN still regularly joins in with P3A meetings. According to BN, if she regularly attends the meetings she believes she will learn many new things eg: about gender equality, reproductive help.

In OPSD, participants receive knowledge about the importance of participating in development. Women are able to participate in development, because women actually know more about their needs. For example, girls know the needs of the child, the things that endanger the child and take care of reproductive health. Unlike men, most of them think about their physical needs without paying attention to the psychic.

While joining in with the OPSD, BN received knowledge about including women in village development. For BN, the OPSD becomes a place for village women to learn about gender, village laws, preventing human trafficking and fulfilling women’s rights.

BN feels that she had many valuable experiences here. She has become more confident when mingling with the community and engaging in community deliberations. As an example, in one instance, BN emphasised the importance of educating people about the prevention of human trafficking. Her hope is so that there are no more victims of human trafficking her village.

During the process of OPSD, BN was not satisfied because not many participants from the village government joined the activity. According to BN, if OPSD are attended by many more “important” people from the village, then it will increase the number of people in society that are vocal about preventing human trafficking.

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Opini

Sadarlah, Kita Ini Majemuk

Mitra Wacana WRC

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This post is also available in: Indonesia

Waktu dibaca: 2 menit

Wahyu Tanoto (Dewan Pengurus Mitra Wacana)

Kita semua memahami bahwa bangsa kita memiliki beragam Suku, Agama, Ras, Budaya, dan golongan sejak lama bahkan sebelum muncul Indonesia. Maka sikap toleransi mestinya menjadi nilai-nilai dan praktik kehidupan warganya. Termasuk pada bulan puasa seperti sekarang ini.

Puasa, sebagai kesadaran pribadi dan “ panggilan iman “ seyogianya dapat mengajarkan kepada kita untuk bersikap dewasa dalam beragama. Bagi yang tidak berpuasa hendaknya mampu menghormati dan menghargai yang berpuasa. Sebaliknya, bagi yang menjalankan puasa, juga dapat melihat dengan bijaksana, mampu menerima, melayani atau bahkan mengakomodasi mereka yang tidak puasa.

Meskipun penduduk Indonesia mayoritas beridentitas agama Islam, bukan berarti otomatis sebagai Negara agama. Dalam konteks ini, biarkanlah warung makan, toko-toko, restoran tetap buka dan para penjual makanan tetap dapat berkeliling menawarkan barang dagangannya dengan rasa aman-nyaman tanpa khawatir di “geruduk” oleh kelompok tertentu yang mengatasnamakan agama.

Jika kita sepakat bahwa puasa diniatkan sebagai ibadah yang menuntun terbentuknya perilaku agar lebih memahami dan toleran terhadap sesama, sejatinya pengurangan jam kerja, pembatasan pelayanan publik atau bahkan pemasangan korden/tirai di rumah makan tidaklah diperlukan.

Boleh jadi begini, bagi yang menjalankan puasa, tidak perlu manja dan minta diperlakukan istimewa. Sebaliknya bagi yang tidak puasa juga berlaku hal yang sama. Karena, di dalam puasa, terkandung nilai-nilai penghormatan kepada mereka yang puasa dan tidak berpuasa; baik yang muslim maupun non-muslim. Bahkan ada sebagian golongan yang memang dibolehkan untuk tidak berpuasa; pekerja berat, lansia, orang yang sakit “berat”, perempuan hamil dan para musafir.

Menurut aktivis perempuan Sri Roviana, dalam kajian menjelang buka puasa dengan tema Puasa, Toleransi dan Spirit Menjaga Kemajemukan (27/4/21) di kantor perkumpulan Mitra Wacana menyebutkan bahwa ada keterkaitan puasa, toleransi dan kemajemukan. ” Jadi kita bisa menemukan ajaran dan puasa ada di agama-agama di luar Islam “, ungkapnya. Kemajemukan merupakan keniscayaan yang tidak dapat ditolak oleh manusia karena memang sengaja di desain seperti itu agar manusia saling mengenal dan memahami keberadaan satu sama lain.

Ada beberapa hal yang menjadi akar kemajemukan yang diungkapkan oleh Sri Roviana, diantaranya yaitu: (1). Sebab-sebab alamiah: manusia memiliki sifat-sifat bawaan (fitrah) yang mendorong mereka melakukan perbuatan-perbuatan yang baik atau tidak baik dan membentuk karakter individual yang unik: berbeda dengan manusia yang lainnya. (2). Sebab-sebab ilmiah: perbedaan yang terjadi karena “nature” teks Agama, proses, dan pendekatan intelektual dalam memahami teks keagamaan. Sebab-sebab ilmiah melahirkan perbedaan ideologi organisasi dan gerakan keagamaan.(3). Sebab-sebab amaliah: perilaku dan kecenderungan manusia dalam melaksanakan pemahaman dan berbagai aspek yang terkait dengan proses dialog dan dialektika sosial-keagamaan.

Saya teringat pernyataan M. Amin Abdullah yang memberikan contoh sederhana untuk tema kemajemukan dalam sebuah wawancara yang pernah saya lakukan beberapa tahun lalu yang menyatakan bahwa, ketika keluar dari pintu rumah kita saja sudah majemuk, lalu untuk apa mempertentangkannya. Bajunya sudah beda, logatnya beda, kebiasaannya juga beda.

Dari sini saya dapat mengambil pelajaran berharga bahwa pada prinsipnya kemajemukan itu nyata, tidak mengada – ada. Boleh jadi yang dibutuhkan oleh saya adalah memiliki kesadaran penuh untuk menerima kemajemukan tersebut agar sisi kemanusiaan yang melekat pada saya semakin bertumbuh dewasa dan tidak merasa paling benar. Semoga. Wallahu a’lam.

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