Papuan-to-Papuan Business Development
JAYAPURA Indonesia – Papua ranks last of 33 Indonesian provinces in human development indicators, with lack of access to formal education, few opportunities for vocational and technical training, and low rates of job creation. SERASI supported Pancaran Kasih, a community learning center (PKBM) in Jayapura, in its mission to expand access to quality alternative education to low-income youth. PKBM provides willing individuals with opportunities to learn new skills that enable them to earn a living.
Students practicing making organic green noodles, using spinach for coloring.
Given the high rate of formal school dropouts and large numbers of people with no employable skills, most Papuan young people share the belief that Papuans, especially women, cannot run a business, let alone start one. People also widely believe that migrants build successful businesses and that the best Papuans can hope for is to become employees.
Recently, Pacaran Kasih conducted a labor market assessment to identify the most in-demand and promising businesses in Jayapura. The results indicated that noodle or snack stalls, motorcycle service stations, and photocopy kiosks are among the most promising small businesses ideas. Based on these results, Pancaran Kasih supported 15 dropouts in apprenticeship programs at existing businesses for three weeks.
Most apprenticed at local businesses, while a group of three women went to Jogjakarta in Java to learn about the production of organic noodles and intern in a noodle shop. Upon completion of the program, participants received equipment to establish their own businesses and were asked to “give back” to PKBM by sharing their knowledge and tutoring other youth.
The noodle stall set up by the Pancaran Kasih business group, which is run by both indigenous Papuan and migrant women, is growing fast. The owners have participated in two provincial exhibitions and received a warm welcome from government and public. People are eager to try the “new noodle” that has appeared on the streets of Jayapura.
Adelia, a 30-year-old student, said, “I am really happy I was given the opportunity to go to Jogja. I learned so much there, not only about making noodles but also about being creative, work ethics, self-development, and continued learning. Now, besides taking Paket C equivalency program, I am tutoring other youth at the PKBM on how to make noodles and snacks. …I never imagined I would be capable of all this.”
SERASI is a five-year USAID-funded project that promotes community solutions to governance and social challenges. It is implemented by IRD.