April 14, 2023
Human connection is at the core of rural communities. Taking the time to stop, connect, and bond with each other is what keeps the village ecosystem in place. A clear picture of this can be seen in the holy month of Ramadan. For countries like Indonesia, where the population is predominantly Muslim, Ramadan is largely a communal experience rich with community-based traditions. So this year, Jiva is taking the chance to bond with the rural communities by embracing Ramadan traditions, making connection with the farming communities through a series of events that we ran across six regions in Indonesia.
At heart, Ramadan is a moment to care for each other. We take this momentum to give back to the community through an event called “Jiva Berbagi”. “Berbagi” means “to share” in Indonesian, so in this event, our team went on the road to distribute snack boxes filled with takjil (quick trivia: takjil actually means “make haste to break the fast” — but because people usually have snacks to break the fast as they are quick to prepare, this term is colloquially used to describe light delicacies specifically eaten to break the fast) to passing commuters when it was nearly time to break fast — making sure that these people could hasten their time to break their fast even when they hadn’t reached home.
Our Growth Executive for South Sulawesi, Andi Alamsyah Mappatau Putra Sadikin, who goes by Alam, said that this event was a way for Jiva to give back to the community. “This is a great opportunity for our staff members to connect with Sahabat Jivas (our rural entrepreneurs) and farmers we are working with,” he said.
Other than that, Alam thought this event would “boost staff’s morale” as it allowed them to make active contributions in nurturing good relationships with the community around them.
“Buka Bersama” — literally means breakfasting together — is often a highly-anticipated event for many Indonesian Muslims. It is a chance for friends, extended families, or any community to gather and have a meal together. Our team in all six regional offices has been organising breakfasting events, inviting farming communities and their families.
When Eddo Tedjo, our Growth Executive for East Java and West Nusa Tenggara, first envisioned this event, he didn't expect to see high level of enthusiasm to come from the community. However, the outcome had turned out to be beyond his expectation — it was a memorable shared moment where our rural entrepreneurs, farmers, and Jiva staff members were involved together in charitable activity.
"Before we break our fast, we prepared takjil and shared them with people. It was rewarding to experience this moment with our Sahabat Jivas and farmers," he said.
Other than giving away free takjil, Eddo shared that some bonding moments spurred from doing mini quizzes while waiting for breakfasting time.
In South Sulawesi, the bonding moment manifested in how the farming community offered to help provide venues for the events in some areas where staff members had difficulties finding proper ones. “This event became a ‘vessel’ for our the farmers and Sahabat Jivas to directly interact with us and each other,” Alam said, emphasizing that both Jiva and the farming communities were contributing hand-in-hand to the success of the event.
In Lampung, one of Jiva’s newer branch offices, this Breakfasting event was the first of its kind. So when talking about the possibilities of what this event would come to be, the sky is the limit.
“This is the first time we conduct events like this in Lampung,” said Genadi Aryawan, our Growth Executive for the region, sharing that the event had ended up being a medium for our rural entrepreneurs to share their experience using Jiva for doing transactions.
“As we invite not only active Sahabat Jivas (micro-collectors) but also newly-recruited ones who haven’t done any transaction, the event provided a room for the active Sahabat Jivas to pass on their wisdom and share some lesson-learned from using Jiva to the new ones,” Genadi said.
Who would’ve thought a simple breakfasting event could become a space for our Sahabat Jivas to connect in goodwill?
Our way to connect with the rural community in Ramadan this year goes beyond the physical contact. The creative-minded team in South Sulawesi took community engagement to the virtual world by hosting a visual-radio in Instagram live dubbed “SawitYowit” (originally a Twitter trending topic where Indonesian twitterverse exchange funny riddles). In the break of dawn, when Ramadan-observing Muslims woke up to have a meal before fasting, our team host a thematic live broadcast, entertaining our online community with riddles and trivia and discussing a range of issues from the benefit of consuming nutritious corn in Ramadan, to the role of women farmers on the field — inviting farmers and Sahabat Jivas to join the conversation.
This initiative, according to Alam, is meant to build our online presence and interact with our farming communities on social media. “There are currently so few social media activities that allow us to interact directly with our Sahabat Jivas, so we initiate this Instagram live as a creative outlet to pursue online engagement with the farming communities,” said Alam.
Making connection with the farming community is paramount to us. So for our field team, Ramadan is the perfect time to pursue this as it offers plenty of opportunities to approach and bond with farmers and rural entrepreneurs through tradition-centred events.
According to Alam, these events are “true evidence” that we care about the farming communities — that when we connect with them, it is not only because we want them to procure with us but because we genuinely want to bond with them. This, he said, had proven to be “a perfect way” to maintain or increase retention rate.
Meanwhile, Eddo stressed the significance of these events as a space for the farming communities to connect with Jiva staff members and to share their experiences using Jiva with each other. For Genadi, other than to build trust and loyalty between Jiva and the farming communities, these events showed how we care and are always there for them. “Here, we can also share information and get feedback from the farming community,” he concluded.
Of course, the farming community is at the heart of what we do. After all, what sets Jiva apart in the industry is that we champion human touch as a cardinal element in our technology adoption endeavours. The community is our purpose; technology is a mean to that end. So when moments like Ramadan comes, we embrace this opportunity to be closer and become an integral part of the farming community.