Cultivating Empowerment in the Umbulharjo Tourism Village

Nartukiyo is the Coordinator of Mutiara Abadi, a Wadah Community Activity Center (PKMW)  in Umbulharjo Village, Cangkringan, Sleman, Yogyakarta. His main job is a Civil Servant (PNS) at the Sleman Regency Transportation Service. Because of his high social spirit, Nartukiyo dedicates himself and is actively involved with the Wadah Foundation to assist the people of Umbulharjo.

Mutiara Abadi Community is located on the slopes of Mount Merapi, a volcano that is still active. In 2006, Umbulharjo Village became a dead village, because it was abandoned by its residents who were displaced by the eruption of Mount Merapi. The disaster caused deep trauma for residents affected by volcanic ash from Mount Merapi. In 2006, Nartukiyo formed the Mutiara Abadi community in collaboration with SOS Children Village to help school-age children affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi.

In 2008 Nartukiyo met Mrs. Anie Djojohadikusumo from the Wadah Foundation, who shared a common concern in forming an empowered and dignified society. It was at this meeting that the idea of establishing the Mutiara Abadi Community Activity Center (PKMW) in Umbulharjo village was agreed upon. Activities in the PKMW Mutiara Abadi began by providing assistance to children and families affected by the Merapi disaster through trauma healing and knowledge about the signs of disaster. Slowly, the community is being trained to build self-reliance of children and families in the field of productive economic recovery. Services and assistance are increasingly developing through learning assistance activities for teenagers, arts development through dance and pencak silat studios, religious education with the Al-Quran educational park (TPQ), as well as development of the agricultural sector. This initiative makes a major contribution in guiding and shaping the character of the younger generation as well as increasing religious knowledge and traditional arts skills.

At the same time as the community was increasingly recovering from trauma and seeing the great potential of Umbulharjo, Nartukiyo came up with the idea of turning a previously dead area into a tourist destination that could improve the community’s economy.

His initiative bore fruit with the birth of the Jeep Lava Tour and Umbulharjo Explore, which is a tourist attraction that traverses the lava flows on the slopes of Mount Merapi using a 70s Era Jeep and Open Cup Sedan. This brilliant initiative opens up opportunities for local communities to sell, provides toilet facilities, and provides culinary offerings for visitors, thereby creating an additional source of income for the community. Nartukiyo ensures that through this initiative, the economic benefits will truly be felt by the entire community in his village, Umbulharjo.

Nartukiyo also has a high commitment to building synergies and strong partnerships between society, government and non-governmental organizations. One form of this is building the Umbulharjo tourist village, Sleman Yogyakarta.

Nartukiyo leads his community by example, encouraging local economic empowerment, and improving the quality of life of local people. Currently the Mutiara Abadi Community is experiencing significant development. Slowly, society achieves self-reliance and empowerment. The idea that came from Nartukiyo has empowered other people. The children who were previously trained for 15 years through studios, learning assistance and religion have become individuals with character and life with a high social spirit and enthusiasm to serve others both in their respective work and home environments. For example Dwi Yuan, Suhandani, Mike and Jenius. Some of them, thanks to Nartukiyo’s upbringing and guidance, succeeded in school and work, and finally dedicated themselves to society..

Nartukiyo is a real example of a driving figure who has ideas and cares for the community by improving the economic level in his hometown. Through determination and enthusiasm in facing challenges, Nartukiyo shows that he is empowered and dignified. Nartukiyo proves that by collaborating with the community and building strong collaboration, the community is able to create real change in improving collective prosperity.

“Before living for others, you must live yourself.” This is a sentence that came from a Nartukiyo, who diligently encourages the people in the environment where he lives to be empowered so that they can have an impact on other people.

Author: Wahyuning Dwi Ndraha

Editor: Yan Ghewa


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