Working for economic justice on the island of Flores

About

I was born in Jakarta.  From Kindergarten to Teachers’ Training College I was educated by Sisters of a number of different Orders, including Good Shepherd Sisters.  When I received the sacrament of confirmation, I was given the name Euphrasia by the Good Shepherd Sister who prepared us.  From then I knew about our Foundress, St. M. Euphrasia and the congregation.

In 1971 I worked as a teacher at the school belonging to the Good Shepherd Sisters in Bogor.  The next year I entered the congregation as a postulant in Jakarta, and then continued to the novitiate in Singapore.

In Good Shepherd

Now I am working in Good Shepherd mission in Langa, one of the small villages in Flores, in the suburb of Bajawa. I live there in the house which belongs to the parish, in the same compound as the church. In that village there are 4,000 people and all are Catholics - many children and elderly people. Two Kindergartens, four Primary Schools and one Secondary School are available there.  To continue their studies after Secondary level, the students need to go to the city (Bajawa) for High School and later to another city for further study at the university.

The Challenges

The weather is nice, cool and green because of the mountains and plantations. The people mostly are farmers and the women do the weaving.  They have a simple life.  I am available to listen to people who have problems, especially the women.  The aim of our work is economic justice.  We offer empowerment opportunities to women and children through teaching handicrafts, using the weaving cloths they make as a basis.  I go to their houses to help them in colouring and designing their weaving cloths – using beads and threads - so that they may be able to get more profit from their work. Sometimes I teach the women how to cook new things, especially how to make snacks and cakes or cookies out of cassava, pumpkin, potatoes, or anything else from their farms.   

When I meet a good girl who has her High School qualification, and is interested in becoming a midwife, I will happily help and encourage her to go and study, because in the villages we have no doctor and only go to the midwife for our medical problem.  Already we are helping girls to become midwife and teachers by giving them advice and encouragement, and sometimes some small financial assistance. 

On the First Friday we bring the Eucharist to the elderly and sick people, walking from house to house, from morning to afternoon. Another Good Shepherd Sister comes to help me for this - from Ruteng, where our community is. The distance from Ruteng to Langa is 4 to 5 hours journey by public transportation.

The Inspiration

Throughout the whole of my life as a Good Shepherd Sister, I keep the spirit of St Mary Euphrasia in my heart and put into practice in my actions.

 

 

Projects

Good Shepherd Indonesia restructuring for Mission

Good Shepherd Indonesia restructuring for Mission

The story of cross border sharing of resources, province discernment, strategic planning and willingness to risk for the sake of Mission

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Report from the Asia Pacific Partnership Team

Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region