How Cooperatives are Building Solidarity and Resilience in Indonesia

The economy belongs to everyone.

Screenshot from LSP2I’s video. Scroll down or click here to watch.

Cooperatives are social and economic organizations that strengthen communities — especially in times of hardship.

In Indonesia, as across the world, the pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable members of society. It’s become harder for people to feed their families, as they’ve lost their job or their customers, and sometimes even their home. Reviving cooperatives raises optimism, building solidarity and empowering people to help each other, by making the economy a shared responsibility.

This inspiring video by Heira Hardiyanti of the Institute for Indonesian Cooperative Development (LSP2I) showcases how the Cooperative Business Incubation Program is helping cooperatives to identify and realize their potential, in turn creating platforms for women and jobs for young people.

The video introduces the innovative Koperasi Produsen Masyarakat Muda Strategis (KMMS), which is organized around waste management and recycling, giving families an income while benefiting the environment. The coop provides a creative hub where the community can learn the skills required to recycle efficiently, allowing people to turn waste into a form of currency. “It sparks a new spirit, and shows that we are not defeated by the pandemic,” says Heira.

“It sparks a new spirit, and shows that we are not defeated by the pandemic.”

Next, we meet the Koperasi Kopi Lodra, a coffee producers cooperative that’s bringing fresh hope to people who live in and around the forest beyond the city of Bandung. The coop provides a place for improving skills and knowledge around coffee cultivation, processing, and brewing — empowering members to create opportunities for themselves, rather than relying on employment from others. As Heira says, “Jobs are not easy to get, but very possible to create.”

“Jobs are not easy to get, but very possible to create.”

Last but not least, we learn how the Muslimat Mandiri cooperative offers a lifeline for women who fall into financial difficulties, providing savings and loans without interest, as well as religious education and a place for community, connection, and support.

“The economy does not only belong to some people,” concludes Heira — it belongs to everyone. Cooperatives provide a way for people from all walks to life to participate in the economy while strengthening social bonds, creating sustainable livelihoods, and co-creating a shared future.

Three things you can do right now:

  1. Find out more about the work of LSP2I on their website.
  2. Help promote this article by sharing these posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Sign up here for email alerts when articles like this are shared on social media.
  3. Check out these info and resources on how to start your own cooperative.

Post Growth Fellow, Heira Hardiyanti, is a co-operator, a researcher at Institute for Indonesia Cooperative Development and Studies (LSP2I), and an educator at IKOPIN, where she completed her postgraduate degree in Management Studies.

Currently, she serves as a consultant for the Agency of Cooperative and SME in West Java and other institutions. Passionate about voluntary work, especially cooperatives, she is a co-founder and director of the MyCoolClass co-operative, a teacher-owned platform coop. She believes that the economy should be fair, ethical, and protect the environment. She was born in Bandung, Indonesia, where she now lives.

Find out more about the Post Growth Institute on our website.

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Guiding the way to a full circle, #postgrowth economy beyond capitalism.

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