A Strong Woman as Head of the Family

Diterbitkan pada | Selasa, 15 November 2022

Her real name is Lilis because she has a dainty appearance compared to other children. She is also very gentle, which is why Lilis is also known as Alus, which means tender. She is a single mother raising 3 sons. Unlike other mothers we met, Lilis

did not directly experience the magnitude of the tsunami disaster because Lilis was accompanying her husband who was working in the city at the time.

The ups and downs of Lilis' life can be divided into 3 periods, all of which are clearly distinct from each other. The first period was the time before Lilis' husband died. Lilis married when she was young, a few years after graduating from junior high school. The lack of knowledge, experience and education, as well as harsh treatment by her husband, made Lilis a closed, quiet person with low self-esteem. At that time,

Lilis only took care of the children and the house all day. Because she could not do anything, Lilis simply accepted her husband's treatment. Not only physical violence, but also mental suffering Lilis experienced through harsh words and had to compete with other women who had affairs with her husband. This suffering ended in an accident in which Lilis' husband died together with his girlfriend. Lilis was left without financial security and had to raise 3 children. The youngest child was 7 months old at the time, his name is Fauzan.

"At that time I had to force myself to eat for the sake of the  children, but I could not simply forget the harsh treatment I had received, and I withdrew from everything. If I protest or complain, they will hurt me even more,"  

Lilis could not hold back her tears.

The second period begins after the tragic accident. Lilis struggles as best she can and has to provide for the family as a single parent. Fortunately, Lilis has a family that is always ready to help her. There are brothers and sisters and mothers who are willing to help Lilis and take the burden off her. Thanks to these helps, Lilis has survived this time. At first glance, everything is fine, but the dependence on her brothers and sisters and her mother has increased the feeling of helplessness.

The introduction of Pattiro Banten's and YAPPIKA-ActionAid's programmes marks the beginning of Lilis' third phase of life. Initially, Lilis was invited by Iko, her neighbour. Lilis' first reaction was that she did not want to join because she was insecure and shy. Always with the excuse: "I can not do anything". Thanks to the persistence of Lilis' friends and the kindness of the Pattiro Banten staff, Lilis managed to come out of her shell. This was the change that enabled Lilis to transform herself.

Lilis can proudly declare that she is no longer shy and introverted. She is able to talk about her ideas in front of many people and facilitates the women's meetings in the Anyelir Berkarya (The Productive Carnation) community, a community of women who make snacks from the natural products of Sumber Jaya village and market their products together. Meeting these mothers has been a great boost to Lili's positive character. There are many marketing ideas and breakthroughs for the Anyelir Berkarya community product to be marketed more widely.

Currently Lilis also has her own business, a small shop on the beach in Sumberjaya village. This stall is now the centre of Lilis' business. In this shop, Lilis markets all the work of the Sumberjaya Village Women's Association. There is a variety of snacks and drinks. However, there is a downside to selling here. Sales depend heavily on the fishermen. When there is a lot of seafood, the turnover of Lilis' stall also increases and vice versa.

To overcome this problem, Lilis spread her wings by participating in exhibitions and events in the area. She even participated in exhibitions in the city of Pandeglang.

"At one point, the income reached one and a half million (rupiah)," Lilis said proudly of her efforts. Now Lilis is no longer silent. Lilis dreams of becoming a reliable marketer for all the products produced by her women's group.

"Alhamdulillah, thank God, now I have my own income. You can also help your mother and brother," Lilis said proudly.

Next, Lilis started learning to market her wares online. She learned to use WhatsApp Business as well as a larger online marketplace. "I never imagined I could be like I am now, having my own business, being part of the women's community and being a role model for children. Nothing is impossible. Their future is my aspiration and I am ready to make the most of what I have for them."

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