Suminah: I Don’t Feel Independent if I Haven’t Seen Others Happy

For Suminah, being Independent means, she can help others despite her economic difficulty. Therefore, she is proud of herself for being able to serve her thoughts and energy as an MRI-ACT volunteer.

Indonesian Independence Day.
Suminah or Mpok Minah distributes a free meal package to a resident. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, JAKARTA — Suminah (37), a single mother who joins Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI)-ACT Bekasi Regency as a volunteer since 2020 expressed her thoughts about being independent. The mother of three interprets independence by being a volunteer and hopes to provide benefits widely.

Suminah who is familiar as Mpok Minah has become an MRI volunteer since last year. Her neighbor encouraged her to register as a volunteer. With her strong desire to be useful for others, she decides to be part of MRI-ACT. In a year, Suminah has participated in various actions of ACT such as National Food ALms Movement (GSPN), Humanity Concert with Mell Goeslaw, and solidarity action for Palestine which was allocated for ambulance provision in Gaza.

On the eve of Indonesia's independence day, the ACTNews team interviewed Suminah about the meaning of independence for her. Through a telephone connection, she explained the meaning of independence which for her was simple and not grandiose, for Suminah, the important thing is that I can be useful for others. 

“Being independent means we can help others. I am aware that I’m still lacking economically, but I’m proud of myself for being able to help others through my energy and thoughts,” said Suminah, Monday (8/16/2021).

She then explains why independence is actually can be felt easily by everyone. She started from the story of her third child who died from leukemia, Suminah received help and support in various forms such as financial assistance from family, friends, and even strangers. That was the turning point of Suminah. She imprinted in her mind what to do to help others in need. Since then she has been determined that despite her mediocre economic condition, she hopes that her energy and mind can still be used to help others.

“So, I instilled myself, O Allah, I must be able to do it, if there is someone who needs my help because this is a form of pleasure for me to be able to help people. This action can help me in the afterlife," said Suminah.

Suminah also says that her version of independence means when she sees people around her are happy, including the happiness felt by her three children who accompany her until now.

“I feel independent when I know that my children are happy. If they are not happy, it means I am not independent yet,” said Suminah.[]