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The Worst Can Be The Best

Life is like a wheel. Sometimes we’re up. Sometimes we’re down. And, when we’re down, be ready not only for the worst, but also for the best.

One day, my family had to face with the fact that we lost enjoyment living in a cozy middle-upper class people. My mom complained she was no longer received any money from my dad. While, my dad complained he had no money because the money went to the bank. There was loan that needed to be paid. My mom was so upset with the fact: we became poor!

Growing up in a traditional noble family, my mom learned that a man should become the bread winner, though actually she once had higher position than my dad at their office (a state-owned enterprise). But then she had to give it up because of a regulation, which mentioned a wife should accompany her husband. My dad was mutated to other town, and my mom had to follow him. She then became a full time housewife –something that was hard for her actually, but in later she enjoyed the status as middle-upper class wife.

And, suddenly, she had to face the fact that my dad was bankrupt.
It was like the end of the world for her.

Until one day, when my mom’s friend introduced her to a woman Cooperative. She offered my mom to join, and advised my mom it was better for her to have income. So, my mom began to explore her talented gift: cooking. She then started to run her catering business, and joined the cooperative with the help of her friend. She gave my mom a recommendation. It is one of the requirements if someone wants to join that cooperative. Later, when she needed to get a loan, she only needed to get approval from her group members.

The cooperative is known as “Kopwan Setia Bhakti Wanita”. Their famous system is called tanggung renteng, which could be translated into joint responsibility. Tanggung renteng means that if we can’t afford to pay the loan, then our group members will share to pay for us. Detail on the cooperative could be found on their web: Setia Bhakti Wanita.

Now, my mom is 71. She still sleeps late to cook (while I’m enjoying my comfort sleep). But, she loves it!
And, my dad will always smile in his long sleep.


amymorros's picture


This is a story of rising up to succeed out of a situation where many might not. Starting a business is not easy but it must be so comforting to know that one has the unconditional support of others. Thank you for sharing.


irmia's picture

Unconditional support

You're right.
Well, to be honest, actually it's all that we need to support other unfortunate women. My friend for instance, she was brave enough to take a risk to give livelihood aid to an old woman she met, while actually her bos was not allowed her to work on something besides their project. But, my friend thought deeply. With the support of the rest of the team, they finally found how to made a good justification so that their bos finally agreed.

Years later -when my friend had forgotten the old woman, she met her coincidentally, and of course my friend was very surprised. The old woman did remember my friend, and she truly expressed her gratitude to my friend. And, my friend were glad to know that two goats they gave to the old woman had become another goats :)


kati.mayfield's picture

Dear Irmia, I enjoy the way

Dear Irmia,

I enjoy the way you characterize your family - your mother sounds very resiliant. It must be difficult to have everything in front of you and then have it taken away. The cooperative must have given her a good support group, and through that group it sounds as though those women are working through their difficulties together.

Thank you for sharing,


*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

irmia's picture

Thank you

Hi Kati:

Thank you for your nice comment.

I feel blessed and gratitude that my family is always surrounded by good people. Though I see many cynical people throughout my life, but I always meet good people too :) It makes us strong as family and person.

That's why I think, we have to keep on believing on good things. Miracle happens because we believe in it :)


Breese's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story! It's wonderful that your mum was able to find a supportive group to help her gain independence and empowerment, and help her family at the same time!

irmia's picture

We should support one another

Thank you for your nice comment :)
Last month in my mom's group, they shared to pay the loan for a group member who suffered of accident, and for sure she could not afford to pay the loan as she had to use the money for her medical recovery. She's a widow (her husband died years ago) with one son who still studies at a college. She has a small store at a market, but because she got an accident, she could not work for weeks, which meant she earned less money.

The cooperative that my mom and also my elder sister join is very interesting. Once, they had to share to pay a loan for someone who just left without any confirmation and message. Their group's chairperson tried to collect the debt, but her daughter even didn't know her mom's existence. She said she just left. When, the chairperson asked the group's member what they should do regarding that matter -whether they should ask the daughter to pay her mom's loan, most them said just let them pay the loan, as it wasn't her daughter's fault. It's their fault as they approved when the woman asked for a loan. They said they should be more careful about that.

So, they keep paying that woman's loan up till now. And interestingly, this kind of fraud is low. In my mom (that is also my elder's sister's) group, this kind of fraud only happened once since the group was established. According to my mom, in other group, this kind of fraud also remains low -only 1-2 persons who did the fraud.

For me, it's very interesting, the more they put trust, the less is the fraud.


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