Komang Suciani (48) came home with plastic bags containing dozens of flip-flops she had just bought from a wholesaler. She adorned the sandals with orchid-shaped trinkets from rubber that looked like real flowers. The sandals looked beautiful with orchid flowers decorating the middle of the strap. After that, she packed them in bags and drop them off at a souvenir shop in Bali.
Suciani has been selling sandals to support her family since her divorce six years ago. Although the income is not much, Suciani feels grateful to her sibling for allowing her and her youngest son, Agoes Kevin Dwi Kesuma Parta, to live in their house on Jalan Gandapura IV, Kesiman Kertalangu, East Denpasar.
A pair of her sandals is sold for Rp5,000. Meanwhile, she spends Rp3,500 for a pair and Rp8,000 for sandals with better materials to sell it for Rp12,000. “I can sell up to 300 pairs in a month, depending on the number of visitors,” she said.
Suci revealed that she only receives the money once her sandals are sold. The partner store will inform her when she made the sale. “I am supplying 2 dozens each time.”
Aside from flip-flops, Suci also sells bracelets from seashells. She picks up the bracelets from a craftsman and sells them back to a store owned by her relative.
A Single Mother
Suciani has two sons. Her eldest son currently studies at UNY Yogyakarta, while Agoes Kevin has just been admitted to UGM’s Faculty of Law this year. Despite being a widow, Suciani is grateful to have obedient sons who always understand her condition. The two sons were always diligent and excelled in class so they received a number of scholarships. The scholarships were very helpful in easing her burden as a single parent. She understands that the income from her job is not enough to pay for the children’s education. Even so, she is still able to give monthly allowance for the eldest son although she often borrows money from relatives. “I have been living in my sibling’s house for three years and I have been divorced for six years.”
From Kevin’s scholarships and achievements in poetry reading and martial arts competition, Suci admitted that the money could help her pay his school fees. She was beyond happy when Kevin was accepted to UGM and received the BIDIKMISI scholarship.
Kevin was also delighted to get the admission to his dream school. In his opinion, studying at Faculty of Law can support his activity as a member of youth organization in Bali. “I am currently appointed as a facilitator of national child forum and leader of Balinese youth forum,” he said.
His passion in organization rewarded him with a national award from Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection in the 2017 Tunas Muda Pemimpin Indonesia contest. “I received a certificate from the Minister, a laptop, and Rp2,5 million from the Minister.”
In this contest, Kevin was selected as one of four most influential youth in social life and education. Aside from youth organization, Kevin also joined a number of competitions such as martial arts, poetry reading, and dance competition since elementary school. In fact, he was often invited to perform Balinese dance in various events and celebrations in Bali.
As a single parent, Suci was proud of Kevin for being active in the community organization and for scoring national achievements. She opined that positive activities could at least encourage Kevin in spite of his parent’s divorce. “My husband and I deliberately postponed our divorce until the children were old enough to accept the fact.”