Center for Community Development and Education
When there was very few non-governmental organizations existed in Aceh, three NGO activists established Center for Community Development and Education in November 30, 1993. The background was concerns and care on vulnerable women’s life that were marginalized, discriminated in the community because of gender inequality, etc. Women were discriminated in all sectors of life that caused women live in poverty. Naturally, poor women then lost their access to all public sectors, such as economic resources, education, and even politic, etc. This condition then caused women powerless intellectual and financial. All of these conditions became the concerns of CCDE to bring women out of poverty. Therefore, it became the dream of CCDE to help women as mentioned in its vision and mission
The dream to bring women out of poverty, intellectual and financial encouraged CCDE to make it happened. But, as what we often hear is that every beginning is difficult. It also happened to us when we started our work in the community. We were lacking of resources, money and human resources. However, CCDE tried to do what it could do. Therefore, the first thing we could do was coming to the community to organize women in the rural area. Started organizing two women’s groups in Manggeng, South West Aceh, through technical assistance, as our strategy for creating educative activities for women. It was not easy to start an NGO since not many people would support the activities or the works in the community. Therefore, at the early years from 1994-1996 CCDE worked very slowly with very small resources.
So, in order to build the organization, CCDE built its networking with other NGOs, local, national and international. Hence, CCDE built communication and collaboration with many stakeholders, included national NGOs such as ASPPUK Jakarta, Bina Swadaya, PPSW, YIS Solo and also with some embassies in Jakarta and donor agencies.
Before tsunami disaster, CCDE office was in Kajhu, Baitussalam, Great Aceh. Unfortunately, when the tsunami disaster hit and devastated Aceh on December 2004, all CCDE’s facilities such as office, women training centre, and fund raising, division which consisted of an English course and stationary shop were washed away by tsunami. The tsunami seemed to be the end of our work. Even worst, director and staffs of CCDE were not spared severe loss of beloved marriage partners and children. In addition to CCDE materials damage, 10 women’s groups comprising of more than 300 women have been vanished with them houses and enterprises. The disaster forced many others to temporarily stop their operation.
Fortunately, when CCDE was collapse because of the tsunami disaster, the commitment and spirit to rebuild CCDE still existed. Therefore, the Director CCDE who survived from the disaster restarted its building CCDE on March 2005. To run the activities, CCDE rent a small house and purchasing some office equipment and recruited new staffs and new volunteers. Fortunately, some organizations, as CCDE’s network, helped CCDE with some donations. CCDE got some supports from Oxfam, Swiss Contact and some donations from net-Kraft Germany. In May 2005 Swiss Contact came and helped CCDE with the small project to help women’s groups organized by CCDE. Still in May 2005, Tifa Foundation supported CCDE’s work with a program revitalizing the Meunasah as the center of Community education in South West and South Aceh. In the same year CCDE got support from WDP Germany for helping CCDE building Women’s capacity through educational and economic development service. In 2006, CCDE got more supports from various funding such as Deutcshe bank 100.000 euro for Microfinance Development Project for Tsunami Victims. This program is aimed at building women, the survivors of tsunami disaster in Bireun district. Here CCDE provided various training series and working capital through micro credit scheme service. International Youth Foundation which office in Baltimore, USA also supports CCDE for helping the youth the survivors of tsunami building entrepreneurship among the youth. The program, which is supported by Nokia has been two years from 3 years program set up until 2009. The program supported called The Tsunami Reconstruction Initiative Program for the Youth in Aceh is still running in 5 districts in Aceh. WDP Germany as one of the CCDE’s supporters had also continued its supports for CCDE in 2006-2007 with the program, Building women’s capacity through education and economic development service. In this program CCDE covered two areas of working namely women in South Aceh and in Central Aceh. The program finished at the end of 2007. Hivos, which had supported CCDE with building Acehnease women’s writing habit, also continued its support for CCDE to build Acehnese Women’s writing Habit from March 2008 to March 2009. Other supporting resources received by CCDE was from Oxfam GB which provided some funds for CCDE to run the Integrated and Sustainable Micro finance for the tsunami survivors in Banda Aceh and Great Aceh. This program was held from November 2006- November 2007. In 2008, Oxfam GB has initiated its new supports for CCDE to run a program on Eliminating Violence against women in Aceh. This is a six months program, which is addressed for 200 women from 14 districts in Aceh. In this program women as the beneficiaries of the program are served through a serial of creative writing training and civic education dealing with the issue eliminating violence against women ib Aceh. Generously supports also came from The Finnish Embassy in Jakarta. The Embassy helps some funds for building Acehnese women’s capacity from 7 districts in Aceh in 2008. Terre Des Hommes Germany with its generous supports CCDE implementing its program for Acehnese women and children. Terre des Hommes, for three years program helps CCDE Promoting the good quality and capacity building of the teachers and Children in schools and empowering Acehnese women. This program will last until November 2010. This year, CCDE builds networking with Crisis Management Initiative for increasing Acehnese women participation indecision making process and peace building in Aceh.
For covering 14 districts in Aceh, CCDE is now organized by 20 staffs. Most of the staffs are females. This organization is conducted by involving all staffs in the decision making process. CCDE uses participatory leadership in order to create a comfortable and cooperative condition in working and providing services for women.
It is always relevant with CCDE’s vision. The vision of this NGO is the realization of civil society which is democratic, justice, equity,collaborative, opennes, participatory, critical, educative and responsible. So, here the objectives of CCDE is to bring women live in a wealthy, equal,and fair for the need of all. Hence, the dream of CCDE to pull out women from the poverty will come real, since the works of CCDE get supports from stakeholders who may concern on women.
Now, when CCDE is 18 years old, it is still consistence with its work and vision. The age of a teenager which is still not stable yet. Since it is the 18th anniversary, it is a good moment for reflecting. It is the time to see whether CCDE is still on the track or not. Does CCDE still work for women as it dreamed at the time this organization established? Should CCDE change the paradigm and the styles? It seems that, CCDE seriously and consistent empowering and strengthening women in Aceh. Even Center for Community Development and Education (CCDE) Banda Aceh, actually is not a women’s organization but it is an organization which concerns and works for women.
Knowing CCDE closer, it is good to see what it has been doing since 15 years ago. CCDE as a local NGO in Aceh has been trying to work harder and harder from the bottom. As a local NGO which concerns on empowering women and children, CCDE has been providing various activities. The activities are as follows:
Training The training series provided by CCDE consists of training which aimed at Improving women’s knowledge, attitudes and skills, CCDE also trained women to change the thinking paradigms and raising women’s awareness on every issue faced by women in Aceh. Therefore, the training series provided by CCDE are training series, which can support the vision and mission of CCDE. All these training activities are aimed at bringing women to be more powerful and strong. Below are the training activities provided previously and in the future such as Training Community Organizing, Small Business Management, Production Management Training, Marketing management Training, Credit Union Training, Vocational Training, Training Reproductive health, Journalistic Training, Creative writing Training, Leadership Training, Civic Education, etc.
Monthly Discussion serial
Another strategy to build women’s capacity is through discussion series. CCDE encourage women to run discussion activities in their community. Here, CCDE does monthly discussion series in order to increase women’s awareness, improving women’s capacity in expressing ideas and thoughts orally, strengthening women’s self-confidence to speak in front of public. These activities are still going on. The topics of discussions are the actual or current issues faced by women in their community.
Women Economic Development
Since women have less access to financial resources, CCDE initiates and provides working capital for women who want to build businesses. Therefore, since 1996 CCDE has been providing a financial service through micro credit program for women micro entrepreneurs across Aceh province. The mechanism and procedure of accessing micro credit are always discussed and negotiated with women as the beneficiaries of the program provided by CCDE. CCDE makes women easy to access the credit. The result, women can show their good track in repayment.
CCDE has a lot of experiences in helping women and female youths to build entrepreneurships through its educational and financial services. CCDE as a local NGO provides some funds, which can be lent for the beneficiaries anytime they need. The mechanism of the micro credit firstly made together with the clients. In distributing the micro credit, CCDE started its credit from IDR 50.000,- and now it has been IDR 6.000.000 per client. Especially for the female youth CCDE has given credit until IDR 25.000.000,-
Providing Reading Center and Publishing POTRET.
Women actually have a lot of problems to be sounded through media. Unfortunately, women have less capacity in writing and less access on public media. Based on this condition, CCDE builds women’s writing capacity through various creative writing training series. In order to give space for women to express their problems, thoughts and ideas, in 2003, CCDE tried to provide two facilities for women in order to build reading and writing culture for women. The first facility is providing books by opening a small library in Manggeng South West Aceh. This library provides about 2000 books where women who live in Manggeng can access any information at the library. And the second facility is publishing POTRET, a journal for women. This journal is the media for women to express their ideas and thoughts in written language. Women here are involved in producing POTRET where women are the resource who writes for the journal. The publication of POTRET at the first year was under support of WDP in Germany. It was published quarterly, where all contributions or the contents contributed by the women. Now after the tsunami disaster, POTRET is published monthly. The publication of POTRET gets good progresses. In 2003, it was only published with the form of newsletter printed 1000 copies. Then the form to be changed in journal style with 1000 copies, Now moving to the magazine’s style with 4000 copies published every month and distributed to all women the beneficiaries of the CCDE’s programs. Besides, POTRET is also distributed to NGOs, local, national and international and also to embassies.
Scholarship for Orphans
After the tsunami disaster, CCDE then ran a new program for helping orphans the survivors of tsunami disaster. CCDE provides a scholarship program for the orphans the survivors of the tsunami who now live with their adopted family or with their relatives. The orphans receive a small amount of money every month directly to their bank account. There are 51 orphans as the beneficiaries of this program. Besides helping those 51 orphans, CCDE through its collaboration with Terre des Hommes, helps 80 poor and orphans children at 3 schools in Great Aceh. They receive IDR 200.000,- every month.
Great Thanks for those who have supported CCDE to work in the Community
In this occasion, it is a great time to thank for all stakeholders who have helped CCDE in 15 years of its age. Here, we would like to thank for: ICF (Indonesia Canada Friendship) in Jakarta, ASPPUK Jakarta, Community Recovery Program (CRP Jakarta), CRS Jakarta, Canada Fund, New Zealand Embassy, WDP Germany, Novib The Netherlands, Tifa Foundation, Heifer Project Indonesia, Swiss Contact Medan, Hivos, Oxfam GB, The Samdhana, Crisis Management Initiative Helsinki, International Youth Foundation in Baltimore, USA, Asia South Pacific Bureau for Adult Education ( ASPBAE), Walhi, FBCB Sumatera, Deutcshe Bank, TDH Germany, Finnish Embassy, Crisis management Initiative other national network such as Education Network Justice for Indonesia, etc. These stakeholders have been very helpful building CCDE capacity in dedicating its work for empowering and strengthening women in Aceh.
Now after the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aceh post tsunami, international donors and other funding agencies exit from Aceh, CCDE as a local NGO tries to build the sustainability of program in order to keep the program existing since there are still many people needing our services. CCDE tries to do some fund raising activities by utilizing and revolving the funds of micro credit owned by CCDE. The distribution of the micro credit for more beneficiaries in Aceh since before and after tsunami disaster, has helped CCDE can remain working with more people in Aceh until now.
The culture of the organization CCDE as a very locally small NGO, which operated firstly in one sub district, now has been working in 18 districts organized by 20 people where 13 of the staffs are female and 7 are males. There are also 16 community organizers who support CCDE’s work in the community. Since it was established the decision-making processes made through the participatory approach where all staffs and community organizers are involved actively.