Erna’s Persistence in Finding Ways to Support Her Family

After her husband passed away years ago Ernawati (46) has to find various ways to make ends meet. During the pandemic, she has been selling dishes by orders. She cooks whatever her customers demand.

Erna’s Persistence in Finding Ways to Support Her Family' photo
Erna is cooking serundeng (spiced shredded coconuts). (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

ACTNews, DEPOK – Since her husband passed away in 2008, Ernawati (46) has to support her only child alone. Having been in Semarang for some time, she now lives in Pancoran Mas District of Depok City with his mother-in-law and her child.

"I make all my decisions myself. We depend on anyone because I don't have any siblings. I can't ask for help. Sometimes I ask help from my mother because she is the only one who can help. If she can’t, I have to look for way to earn money to make ends meet myself. During the pandemic like this, I have to find ways to get money,” said Erna.

Initially, she sold various kinds of dishes made from chicken. During the pandemic, the students that were her regular customers now study online. From eight pieces of chicken dishes she made, only 3 were sold.

From the capital of IDR 200 thousand, she only made IDR 100 thousand. To attract more customers, she sells her dishes via WhatsApp. It went smoothly, but she felt that she needs to cater to her customers’ demands.


Erna invites people to taste her chicken cap go meh. (ACTNews / Reza Mardhani)

"I now made the dishes by orders. My customers sometimes get bored with the same dishes. Sometimes I think about selling dishes that are quite unusual. Once someone ordered Megono Rice. I have never made it, but I asked my mother for the recipe. I also made Soto Pekalongan. I make my dishes on demand now, "said Erna. She also makes several dishes that she sells in packages.

Having felt the bitterness of the pandemic, for Erna, the important thing is just live on. "Maybe this is the way that Allah has written for me, by selling my dishes via WhatsApp. I invoke Allah’s name every time I am offering my dishes. I’ll do everything my customers demand. Once I was relaxing when a customer asked me to make just two pieces of roasted chicken. I must not reject it no matter how little they buy,” said Erna.

To help develop Erna's business, Global Wakaf - ACT assisted her through the Waqf for Micro Business Capital on Wednesday (1/6/2021). With this business capital assistance, she will pack her dishes to be sold in stores.

"Insha Allah, I will use it as well as possible. I am also happy with this program’s business mentoring. The more friends that I have, the more that I can offer. It also gives me friends whom I can consult,” said Erna. []