There’s no motivation like a mother’s desire to put a roof over her children’s heads. And that is literally what Ibu Rovina Surat, a 34-year-old mother of two, has been able to do since joining Kopernik’s Wonder Women program in East Flores, Indonesia.
Talking with her, it’s impossible to miss the pride shining in her eyes as she tells the story of how she is building a home for herself and her two daughters, 10-year-old Eflentiana Ati and eight-year-old Natalia Tewo, on Lembata Island.
Ibu Rovina’s struggle as a single mother and breadwinner for her family began in 2012, when her then husband went to Malaysia in search of a better-paying job. Unfortunately, instead of receiving remittances, she received news that he had met and married someone else. Left to care for her daughters alone, she valiantly and resourcefully made ends meet through various creative ways: from renting out her old motorcycle to neighbours in need, to gathering honey from the forest, to skillfully using a traditional harpoon to hunt squid and sea cucumbers.
In 2013, Ibu Rovina came to know Kopernik through PEKKA - our local partner in East Flores. She enthusiastically talks about her d.light S300 solar light, which she always carries with her when hunting for squid hunting before dawn.
“Squids are attracted to light,” she explained, “and fellow hunters saw how I managed to fill up my bucket quickly with big fat squids with the help of my trusty S300.”
This demonstration of simple technology in action worked better than any big budget advertising campaign could have ever done, and Ibu Rovina began to sell more and more technologies. Within a year and a half she had saved enough money to finish building her house.
“Kopernik,” she says, “provides solutions not only to save time or money, but also to sustain my family’s livelihood.”
But there is still much more she wants to achieve, and Kopernik’s business development support will help her as she looks beyond fulfilling basic needs. One of the first steps is to improve her financial literacy. Unfamiliar with the banking system, Ibu Rovina had been saving her money inside a soap tin and burying it in the ground near her house. Now that she has managed to secure a place for her family to live, it is time to look towards securing her family’s future through simple yet savvy financial management and investments.