Video – Caritas Indonesia – KARINA

The Resilient Women from The East (A Video Profile of Maria Suel)


This video presents a profile of Maria Suel, a local women cadre coached by Diocesan Caritas of Ruteng. She is one of 16 coordinators of the assisted groups of the Project on Food Security and Food Sovereignty for Migrant Family implemented in Manggarai, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia. She was selected by KARINA – Caritas Indonesia, as one of the farmer representatives attending Caritas Asia Farmer Conference held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 22-24 of April 2016. From that conference, she got ½ cup of paddy seeds from Sri Lankan farmer and she planted it on her land in Keba, Manggarai District. She also learned a good practice shared in the conference by Cambodian farmer on making organic pesticide. She has been successfully replicating it in her village.

A Organic Farming Women Group from Wudi, Manggarai. Photo@KARINA
An Organic Farming Women Group from Wudi, Todo Parish, Manggarai. Photo@KARINA

In this video she recounts her personal experiences before and after joining Caritas Ruteng Project on Food Security and Sovereignty for Migrant Worker implemented in her parish. She has an exciting experience implementing the project. She says that by implementing the project, she is freed from her dependence to chemical fertilizer and pesticide. Before joining the project she was not interested to work as a farmer, because she did not get benefit of it. She was suffered so much being farmer, because she could not earn sufficient family income to meet her family basic needs, such as food, health and children education for her children. She could not rely on farming livelihood to meet their daily needs. To meet her daily needs she relied merely on hand-making woven cloth, and it was not sufficient, because the price was cheap.

Maria Suel is a widow of 46 years old. Her husband died last 10 years. She has to struggle by herself to grow her 3 children and 1 grandchild. She is one of the “married widows” accompanied by Caritas Ruteng through the project. Most of the beneficiaries of the project are the “married widows” abandoned by their husbands for working abroad as migrant workers. Some of them are suffered so much because they do not receive money transfer from their husbands working abroad, or even they don’t get any news from their husbands. As “married widows”, they are socially stigmatized as “free women” and the surrounding communities see negatively them.

Storage of solid organic fertilizer Photo@KARINA
Storage of solid organic fertilizer in Lengor, Beukina Parish Photo@KARINA

By joining this project they are freed from stigmatization and from their structural poverty. Since the project is also integrated into pastoral services, they feel motivated. They feel that the church, through Caritas in close collaboration with other Commission of the Diocese, has great concern to them. It is why Maria Suel says that her group has a motto “Finding love of God in the organic farming activities”. Other group expresses its experience by composing Caritas Ruteng song, which the lyric is as follows:

“Caritas of Ruteng Diocese is ready to serve,

To make happening prosperity of the people,

To build the Kingdom of God on the earth”

The song lyric is a simple but it has a very deep meaning.

Women Group of Cenai, Todo Parish who composes the Caritas Song.Photo@KARINA
Women Group of Cenai, Todo Parish who composes thCaritas Song. Photo@KARINA

As a cadre, Maria Suel is actively facilitating other groups for free. She has been facilitating 9 migrant family groups in making organic fertilizer and pesticide. She does not just share her skill but she also gives witnesses of her experiences. She attracts many women to join or to form a new group. She says that her skills and experiences earned is from God through Caritas Ruteng and she feels obliged to share it to the wider communities, especially to those who have similar experiences with her as widows. Maria Suel and other members group assisted by the project express their gratitude to Caritas Ruteng, especially to the field facilitator Mr. Heri Gesing who skilfully and passionately facilitates and accompanies them in strengthening their livelihood and their dignity as a human being.

In order to become more sustainable, the project is channelled to the local government program. Caritas Ruteng has lobbied the Agriculture Department of Manggarai District to support the groups assisted by Caritas. The Agriculture Department commits to collaborate with Caritas by buying the organic fertilizer produced by the groups. As an initial collaboration, the Department will buy 16 tons of the organic solid fertilizer from 16 assisted groups, with Rp. 2,500,000 per ton. The Department then will give back the fertilizer to the group members for their use.

Meeting with head of the Agriculture Department of Manggarai. Photo@KARINA
Meeting with head of the Agriculture Department of Manggarai. Photo@KARINA

Maria Suel and the widows of migrant workers’ wives have enjoyed the results of Caritas’s ministry. They don’t need  to buy chemical fertilizer anymore, but instead they can sell organic fertilizers they make. The money used to buy chemical fertilizer can be allocated to meet their daily needs. In addition, they also have enjoyed their agricultural produce, such as vegetables, rice and others. Their crops, in addition to being consumed by their families, are also partially sold to meet other needs. ***  (Adrianus Suyadi)

Video link can be found in the following link:

You can find also the story in Bahasa in the following link:


Come and be Part of this Noble Service!


Given there are still many needs of new groups in the Manggarai area, Diocesan Caritas of Ruteng, in collaboration with KARINA, will continue to replicate this good practice of service to new groups in other parishes. However at the same time, the old groups will still be monitored and accompanied until they are truly self-reliant.

Therefore, if you are interested in contributing to this project services, you may transfer your contribution to the following Bank Account:

BCA – Branch Office Puri Indah, Jakarta Selatan;

Holder Name: YAY KARINA; Acc. Num.: 288-308-0599

Please kindly inform your transfer by sending an e-mail notice to

On behalf of the people we serve and Caritas Indonesia Family, I would like to thank you for your generous contribution and compassion.


Wathc video >

“The Resilient Ones from the East of Indonesia” sebagai Best short film on DRR for Development di AMCDRR 2016 India


Selamat untuk Partners for Resilience (PfR) Indonesia! Film produksi CORDAID/KARINA KWI-Yogyakarta yang berjudul “The Resilient Ones from the East of Indonesia” terpilih sebagai pemenang pada kategori ke-2: Best short film on DRR for Development pada ajang Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 yang diselenggarakan di New Delhi, India. Pengumuman para pemenang dari setiap kategori diselenggarakan pada tanggal 5 November di Vigyan Bhawan Conference Center di New Delhi, India. Dalam acara itu, Kartika Juwita yang mewakili PfR Indonesia tampil ke podium dan menerima penghargaan tersebut. Sekali lagi, selamat!!


Wathc video >

Send your donations to :


Yayasan KARINA

Jl. Matraman No. 31
Kelurahan Kebon Manggis
Kecamatan Matraman
Jakarta Timur, 13150
Telp : (+62-21) 8590 6534, 8590 6540
Fax : (+62-21) 8590 6763
Email :
Facebook : Caritas Indonesia-KARINA
Twitter : @Caritas_ID


Bank Account:

Bank BCA
Account No : 288-308-0599
Atas nama : YAY KARINA
Cabang: Puri Indah, Jakarta