“Mama” Margaretha SAKO – Indonesia

She is one of the Laureates awarded in 2006 with the Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life, given annually by the Women’s World Summit Foundation WWSF

She says: ”Together we are strong.”

Mama Margaretha SAKO - Indonesia.JPG

“Mama” Margaretha SAKO – Indonesia

Margaretha Sako (54), usually called Mama Margaretha, is the founder and driver of the Saku Maju Group in the Manumean Village (East Nusa Tenggara Province), which has played a key role in the development of her community and served as a model for other regions of her country.

After completing junior high school, she worked with her family, then later with her husband, using slash-and-burn cultivation. In this system trees are cut down, burned, then seeds are planted for two or three years before one moves on to another area where the process starts again. However, this approach is highly damageable to the land, and after observing other villages where agroforestry was used, she became determined to encourage her community to make changes. She followed courses given by a local NGO, and then decided to start a group in her village.

This was not an easy thing. Women in her village were even afraid to talk to strangers, and rarely had any say in decision-making. However, with great perseverance she finally managed in 1994 to get seven women together to start the Saku Maju (« enjoy moving forward ») group. The aim of the group was both to start developing new agricultural techniques and a village food kiosk. With continued perseverance, three other groups were born in the following years, and later on, a network (called Lopotani Manumean Lestari) comprising all the groups, came into being, all with a view to promote sustainable development.

Groups from as far away as East Timor, Philippines, even Australia, and other provinces in Indonesia, have visited this model group. Because the roles of women in this group were so advanced, a local government organisation donated a small solar power plant.

The practice of agro-forestry has substantially increased the income of families practicing this approach to sustainable development. (To read all, go to Rural-Life Prize, and click first on the year, second on the name).

Sorry, I can not get other informations  in english about “Mama” Margaretha SAKO, being certified it would be the wanted person.

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