Every year, The Directorate General of Higher Education in Indonesia has obliged every university in Indonesia to implement Kuliah Kerja Nyata (KKN) / Student Study Service as an intra-curricular activity that combines the three principles of higher education, namely: education, research and community service. KKN is a medium for students,to implement their knowledge to the society, especially in rural areas.
My name is Indah Setiya Alam. I’m an Archeology student at Udayana University and I got a chance to participate in KKN at Peken Belayu Village.
Peken Belayu village is located in the sub-district of Marga , Tabanan Regency. Why is this village called Peken Belayu? Before Indonesia became independent, the village of Peken Belayu was the economic center of the Belayu Kingdom (one of the kingdoms in Tabanan). This is evidenced by the existence of a market that still exists until now. The word “market” in Balinese is called “Peken”. Because it is the economic center of the Belayu Kingdom, this region is called “Peken Belayu Village “. A friendly society, a very beautiful landscape with a wide stretch of rice fields that attracts foreign tourists to come to this village, our stay in the village was really enjoyable. There is also several villas in this village as the area has been classified as an advanced village and suitable for tourism. As a result most of the population are government employees.
I participated in KKN at Peken Belayu Village for 5 weeks which started on the 21 July 2018 until 27 August 2018 along with 19 friends who take different majors.
On the first day as usual my friends and I cleaned our living place. We live in one of my friend’s houses. The house is located in Puri Belayu. Puri is the name for the residence of the Balinese nobility, especially those who has a close kinship with the kings of Bali. There are many areas that do not allow just anyone through, so we have to control our attitude and etiquette while staying there. Our living place has 3 bedrooms and bathrooms so we don’t have to queue for the bathroom.
We make duty schedules to cook food. Since most of the KKN teams are women, we can handle the food budget well. Almost every daywe buy tempeh and tofu, and we cook a lot of fried rice for our meals. Not all of us can cook, even though sometimes the food doesn’t taste good, we still eat it. This teaches me to appreciate food. We are happy when one of our friend’s parents visits us and brings lots of food, we feel like we have not eaten in a week and we eat all the food quickly. If we have a lot of activities and we don’t have time to cook, it is quite easy for us to buy food because our living place is located on the outskirts of the city and many people sell food.
The theme of our KKN is Sanitation. Our work program is:
Even though Peken Belayu village is already advanced, the public awareness not to throw garbage properly is still relatively low. The rivers in this village are filled with plastic waste. Here we provide an environmental awareness introduction to the society, especially to mothers (Ibu PKK) and the youth of the community (Karang Taruna), teaching them to not throw garbage in the river. We also provide training in the processing of organic waste and how it can be used as fertilizer. We teach how to treat plastic waste into bags, wallets, trash bins and etc.
Peken Belayu Village also has extensive rice fields with quality white rice. So we provide training on how to make body scrubs with ingredients that can be found in foods they use everyday such as white rice and coffee. PKK mothers in Peken Belayu were very enthusiastic during the training. They learned that they don’t need to spend a lot of money and can make their own body scrubs if they want. We also have a cleaning the environment program where every week we hold a cleaning the environment session in 5 banjars in the village in Peken Belayu alternately. This is one of the ways for us to be able to mingle with the society.
We have a special program for elementary students. Most of them don’t wash their hands properly. They keep their hands wet and sometimes they still leave dirt on their hands so we gave out an introduction on how to wash their hands and brush their teeth properly. We provided trash bags in schools and taught them how to sort organic and inorganic waste. We also taught english and math lessons every Tuesday and Wednesday and taught dance classes and silat exercises every Saturday. We delivered our material interactively by playing videos and inserting some games so that students did not feel bored.
Above is our main work program, there are still many assistance programs that we run such as :
Every afternoon, many kids come to our living place to do their homework. We welcome them happily and the living place is increasingly crowded day by day. After a few weeks we felt itchiness in our heads, it turned out that without realizing we were exposed to head lice transmitted by the kids, so we all agreed to buy head lice medicine and finally our hair lice were gone. It’s a pity we found out at the end of the work program so we couldn’t make introduction to parents to eliminate the hair lice.
We have programs for individuals called family assistance, each person gets one family to assist. The head of my family is called Mr. Nyoman Sukarya. He is 37 years old and has 3 daughters. The first child is in grade 1 of Senior High School, the second child is in grade 5 of Elementary School, and the third child was still a toddler and had not gone to school. Mr. Nyoman’s wife died while giving birth to their third child 2.5 years ago. While sad Mr. Nyoman told me that Mr. Nyoman and the wife were not blessed by his wife’s family. Mr. Nyoman was only an elementary school graduate when they finally decided to elope. The parents of his wife swore that their lives would never be happy, and in the end his wife died. Mr. Nyoman promised he would not remarry and planned to focus on taking care of his 3 children.
Mr. Nyoman works as a coconut picker every day. His income was mediocre but he was still grateful for the results he got. His first child is smart and got a scholarship, but his second child could not absorb the lessons given to her by her teacher since her mother died. Mr. Nyoman’s second child became naughty and very spoiled, Mr. Nyoman’s cellphone was slammed and damaged by his second child several times, so it became quite difficult for people to contact him to pick coconuts. I helped clean up Mr. Nyoman’s house, teaching school lessons as well as showing a motivational video about the value of a family to Mr Nyoman’s second child. At first the child was normal but eventually his eyes were teary and finally he cried. I don’t know what was stored in the child’s mind, but looks like a regret. I hope that after this Mr Nyoman’s child can love his father and not feel ashamed of his family’s condition.
Many things that I gain during and after this KKN.
When I was at KKN I found various friends. There are friends who are the most diligent, most lazy, most passionate and etc. There I learned to be able to understand different types of characters and how to respond to them
When night falls, we usually hold evaluation meetings and discuss for our next programs. During meetings it was not uncommon to have arguments until late at night, but after a few days we began to learn to respect someone’s opinion and find the best solution to the problem at hand.
Through Mr Nyoman’s family, I learned to love someone sincerely and always be grateful in any difficult situation.
It seems that KKN is over. I found new friends and family. 1 month 1 week so quickly passed. But the memories and life lessons will continue to stick with me.
Until now, the Village Head still often asks how we are, he also said that he missed us . It’s just like that. It’s true, it turns out that every moment leaves memories.
Written by Indah Setiya Alam, Act Global’s volunteer.