ACTNews, PALU – Fatima’s mango pickle stall used to be crowded. Sadly, the recent Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) has made her stall empty. She even claimed that her income is reduced by 70%. She can only stare blankly at the deserted road of Jalan Sis Al-Jufri. The gas station at which entrance Fatima’s stall stands has also been quite empty.
Despite having her income significantly decreased, the woman who lives in Balaroa Village, West Palu Subdistrict relentlessly continues her business. "Before Coronavirus outbreak, Alhamdulillah, I can earn from IDR 250,000 to 300,000. Now I earn only IDR 150,000 at most with the capital of less than IDR 100,000," explained Fatima.
From her marriage to Lili (47), she has three children. Lili works as a construction worker. Sadly, his income, too, has been uncertain, leaving Fatima with no choice but to help supporting the family’s livelihood.
During the PSBB, he has not gotten many jobs, with only two jobs in the past month, according to Fatima.
Selling mango pickle has been a solution for Fatimah to help her husband support their three children. (ACTNews)
"A family once hired my husband to build their house. Sadly, the project does not take up to one week. After that, my husband is unemployed again," she said.
Fatima never blamed anyone for her difficult situation because she knows that her sustenance has been written by the Almighty, especially during such pandemic when all elements of the society have been affected, small, medium, even big businesses.
At present, Fatima urgently needs capital to peddle other types of merchandise as she cannot rely solely on selling mango pickle.
God answered Fatima's prayers through Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Central Sulawesi’s Friends of Indonesian Micro Businesses (Sahabat UMI) program, with the support of generous donors. This program aims to support underprivileged communities that are severely affected by the pandemic.
Fatimah is one of many women who are the breadwinners of their respective families. They juggle with their business and their responsibilities as housewives.
"In Central Sulawesi, the ACT team and the volunteers conducted assessments and distributions of capital assistance almost every day. As many as 53 businesswomen have been receiving capital assistance," said ACT Central Sulawesi Branch Manager Nurmarjani Loulembah when contacted separately.
Nurmarjani hoped, through this program, micro businesses, especially Central Sulawesi, can continue to survive and improve. "The existence of the Sahabat UMI program is expected to be able to encourage mothers who support their families’ economy during the pandemic," she hoped