Meet the Wonder Women of Indonesia
In Indonesian islands, famous among local and foreign tourist for its natural beauty, hundreds of “wonder women” have empowered women to become clean energy micro-social-entrepreneurs, developing life-changing solar lights, clean cook stoves, and water filters.
There is great demand for affordable, clean energy technologies, especially in the poorest provinces of eastern Indonesia, but geography and demography make energy access a huge challenge.
This is where Kopernik's Wonder Women Eastern Indonesia initiative comes in. Equipping women with the skills and resources to become clean energy micro-social entrepreneurs is a viable, sustainable way of connecting these technologies with the people who need them the most.
Rovina Surat, for example, a single mother of two who had been living in her her brother's living room since her then-husband left for Malaysia in 2012, is now an inspiring woman in her village.
After joining Kopernik's Wonder Women program in 2014, she develops a simple technology, portable d.light S300 solar light, power by the sun to brighten up the night.
At every opportunity, she enthusiastically talked about this simple technology, helping children to study at night and fisherpeople like her hunting for squid before dawn.
One villager in her community said to Our Better World, a storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation, "I'm so proud to see Rovina now. Thanks to her, the whole village doesn't have to live in complete darkness anymore”
It creates access to clean energy technologies for last mile communities, allowing people to save money and time spent collecting firewood, buying costly kerosene, boiling water, or buying costly drinking water. It allows them to enjoy improved health and safety.
"I used to keep all of my money in a soap tin and bury it in the ground. Now I'm starting to open my own bank account, so I can save more and make this dream come true," said Rovina to Our Better World.
Not only that, the wonder women like Rovina and Ibu Bekti, whom you see in the video, get training on financial management, sales and marketing, public speaking, technology use and maintenance, as well as mentoring to motivate them to expand their businesses.
They also get the clean energy technologies on consignment, so they can start their own business without going into debt, and they earn something from every sale. For Rovina, it means opening up open her own small kiosk selling everyday goods.
“This is not my own fight. This is our fight together. Every woman can be an inspiration to others,” said Ibu Bekti about the Kopernik’s Wonder Women program.
Kopernik is looking for young Indonesians to join its volunteering program.
A story by Our Better World – telling stories of good to inspire action.
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