Shortly after the pandemic began in March 2020, SRILI reached out to all of their members to get a sense of their situations. Many women had lost their jobs or had spouses who had been laid off. Some university students in Yogyakarta had to return to their hometowns. Nearly everyone was struggling in one way or another.
In response, SRILI organized several programs to support women in their community and beyond. In addition to the “Stories of Tolerance for a Peaceful Earth” digital literacy project, they developed and implemented three other major programs:
- Mental Health and Spiritual Health
Through the survey responses, SRILI learned that many of their members were struggling with their mental health, but were unfamiliar with useful strategies to manage it.
SRILI decided to offer workshops and training so that members could learn how to become peer counselors for the people around them.
They also hosted public webinars about mental health awareness and stress and emotion management strategies.
- Economic Empowerment
The pandemic has caused many people, but especially women, to become unemployed. In response, SRILI initiated an economic and financial empowerment program with funding from the INDIKA Foundation in Jakarta.
SRILI also started an initiative called “Nglarisi Dagangan Teman.” On Wednesdays, SRILI members are able to promote their goods and services on the community’s WhatsApp group. Additionally, they have an online market called “SRILI Bakoelan” which advertises members’ products as well.
- Kindergarten Teacher Training
SRILI also began a kindergarten teacher training program for educators in Yogyakarta and Central Java.
In the beginning, participants and facilitators created a list of ten values that they agreed need to be taught to children early on. The 10 values are: respect, pluralism, diversity, tolerance, love, peace, justice, empathy, sharing, and collaboration.
Later on, the teachers created an e-book called “Harmoni Warna-Warni Pelangi: Antologi Cerita Keberagaman di Dunia PAUD.” Based on their past experiences and newly developed ideas, the book serves as a teaching module on how to incorporate the aforementioned values into lessons and the classroom.
“In Indonesia we have the motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” or “Unity in Diversity.” What I and I think all of the members of SRILI want, is for it to not only be a motto, but be reflected in our society. I hope that going forward we can all celebrate the diversity that exists in our country.”
–Chamida Mardiyanti, SRLI Media and Network Team Coordinator