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YBUL's work in Aceh (SERASI) Cetak
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YBUL's work in Aceh (SERASI)
Empowerment through services
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Conflict in the past has degraded local communities’ ability to: live peacefully, generate their own incomes in a normal way, and improve their local business for livelihood development.

To address these issues, in 2007, YBUL collaborated with IOM (International Organization for Migration) in implementing a two years community-led livelihood development project under the Support for Conflict-Affected Communities Project (SCACP) in the districts of Bener Meriah and Aceh Tengah, which encouraged communities to define their future in a conflict-free environment. By the end of project implementation, SCACP had established a solid foundation that:

1) Encouraged people from various backgrounds—ethnic, religious, political—to come together in safe and trusting environments;

2) Increased communities’ confidence and ability to access available resources to build their future; and

3) Helped promote conflict-free environments as an enabling condition for implementing local economic development programs.


Based on previous experiences, YBUL would like to build on its work and continue increasing local capacity to improve livelihood; an interest shared by local government and reflected in the district’s Mid-term Development Plan (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah, RPJM).The RPJM includes:

  1. Provision of essential capital (e.g., seeds) for developing local economies;

  2. Supporting community-led, participatory development programs through provision of technical assistance and training opportunities for shared learning exercises on important local sector development programs;

  3. Creating new initiatives for developing alternative energy and or energy efficiency; and

  4. Building local capacity for planning and developing a set of selected community-led livelihood development projects.

The Bupati of Bener Meriah has indicated his full support for the  continuation of YBUL’s work especially in regards to his desire to  turn his district into an “Organic District”. Ab out 80% of the  eastern part of Bener Meriah is dominated by agricultural  products, such as coffee; while the western sub-districts—Pintu  Rime Gayo and Timang Gajah—are largely involved with rice  production, and livestock and fisheries. It is in these two heavily  conflict-affected sub-districts that YBUL will concentrate its  efforts.

On February 23, 2010, YBUL entered an agreement with SERASI/USAID in implementing the one year Strengthening Community Development Initiatives project for Bener Meriah district. Three key activities are on the agenda:

  1. Holding a community convention which is aimed at building consensus on priority problems related to livelihood development, and obtaining commitments on ways to resolve these problems;

  2. Establishing a community learning center (CLC) in Simpang Layang village, Bener Meriah, which serves as a center for supporting and promoting community livelihood development efforts, especially in agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors; and

  3. Together with selected communities planning and implementing community development projects.

CLC will become the primary project focus, and is designed to be sustainable through a self-sustaining organization.  Services provided by CLC include: provision of training programs, technical assistance, organic agricultural seedlings, organic agricultural fertilizer and pesticides, appropriate technology expertise, etc.

Empowerment through Services

On 23 February 2010, YBUL entered a contract with SERASI program, funded by USAID/Indonesia, on a project called “Strengthening Community Development Initiatives in Bener Meriah”, Aceh Tengah.

The primary objective of the project is: community-led, environmentally sensitive livelihoods and vocational opportunities in Bener Meriah. Together with selected local community members, YBUL will implement three main activities:

  • Community convention which is aimed at obtaining consensus among communities on important problems and strategic ways to resolve the problems;
  • Establishment of a community learning center (CLC) in Simpang Layang village on the side of Bireun – Takengon main road.;
  • Development of community-based projects on agriculture, fishery and livestock (small ruminants).

YBUL selected 7 villages of two kecamatans (Pintu Rime Gayo and Timang Gajah) to work with:   Blang Rakal (fishery), Rimba Raya (agriculture – melon), Muara Pakat (agriculture - chilli and fishery), Sukadamai (goat), Pantan Pendiangan (chilli), Cekal (chilli), and Blok C (goat).  There about 10 beneficiaries in each village.  These projects will become community-based demonstration plots and the beneficiaries will act as cadres as well as trainers for other community members in their villages.

A community convention will be held in early May, to serve as the foundation in the future project implementation.  Important stakeholders as well as decision makers will be invited in the convention to agreed upon strategic issues on these three sectors: agriculture, fishery and livestock.  The convention will also build commitments of these stakeholders in joint efforts to overcome these problems.  Possibilities of other similar programs will be explored for potential collaborations.  The convention will also become a forum for obtaining recognition from the local government, as well as assurance that the program is supporting achievements of the regional development plans.

YBUL establishes a Community Learning Center (CLC) in Simpang  Layang village that will work with relevant line ministries and  complement existing public services to assist local business and  improve livelihoods. The Bener Meriah district government is  poised to sign a binding MoU once YBUL demonstrates that it can  secure funding for the initial start-up activities. The CLC will be  staffed by skilled individuals (CLC Facilitators) who will provide  information and trainings on a wide range of topics valuable to  the local productive sectors.

Facilitators will also play key community outreach roles in order to garner support from local public and private interests. CLC will cover three important sectors in livelihood development: organic agriculture systems, fishery and livestock development.  These livelihood and vocational activities, for examples: building appropriate pens for goats which will be integrated with organic fertilizer processing; improving pool design for fishery to expand possibilities in marketing fish under different ages to obtain more profit margins; improving livestock health through introduction of various techniques (synchronized mating seasons, feed block making, food planting techniques, etc); improving coffee planting through introduction of organic farming systems; etc.

The CLC will be managed by YBUL staff in close coordination with CLC Facilitators. It is envisioned that over the course of the project, CLC Facilitators will receive appropriate finance, management and other trainings to adequately prepare them for self-reliance upon SERASI-funded program close-out. YBUL believes that with a robust commitment by local government as embodied in the forthcoming MoU, the CLC will be more likely to sustain itself.

Indeed Bupati is very supportive to the idea of CLC and its wide functions. However, CLC is conceptually a community owned entity, and is not meant to become one of Government bodies/units.  Along the project implementation, if Government is interested in providing some locations for some of CLC activities, these would be very much acceptable and appreciated. CLC will have one “headquarter” that serves as the management unit.  As many functions as possible (e.g. sharing, training, seeds production, consultancies, etc.) will be held in this place.

However, as described earlier, demonstration plots do not have to be concentrated in the similar place. These demo sites could be unutilized community owned pieces of land anywhere within the kabupaten, which will be used for CLC purposes under shared systems to co-benefit between the CLC and land owners.  A simple house owned by local community in Simpang Layang is rent for the headquarter with relatively sufficient lands for small demonstration plots and seed production.

The CLC provides support and training to local communities in the above mentioned 7 villages to design and implement development projects which is financed by the CLC (with SERASI funds). These community projects will be selected based on their merit and in line with the RPJM. Sustainability and replicability will be two important selection criterion.  Sectors to be financed include: organic farming systems in agriculture, fishery and livestock.  Guidelines on appropriate technology developed under the previous IOM supported SCACP program will be used as referrence for knowledge and skills consistency.

Contact person in CLC: Dwibroto Agung Basuki (Field Coordinator), Ph. 0812-64117715

By Agus Widianto,  Executive Director of YBUL.


Download Photo Impression of the SERASI Program



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YBUL is a non-profit organization in Jakarta, established in 1993.

YBUL promotes community-based renewable energy development through collaborations and innovative solutions.

YBUL is experienced and specialized in promoting and implementing programs in:

Rural Electrification - Community Empowerment - Environmental Financing Mechanism - Clean Development Mechanism - Green Energy Development

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