There have been many sectors of society impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for marginalized societies who often receive stigma and unfairness. Regardless of their vulnerability, marginalized societies can remain empowered and even become boosters in their respective communities in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This society can survive because, up to this moment, they have remained to move," said Sandra Hamis, the country representative of The Asia Foundation. He said in a webinar raising the title of "Learning From Marginal Groups: Inclusive Good Practices in Pandemic Period" organized by the Care Program/The Asia Foundation in collaboration with the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIPOL) on Wednesday (5/8).
He said that during a pandemic, everyone feels the changes every day, rich and poor, in cities and villages. However, in the midst of this challenging, still, life must go on.
The Peduli program supports marginalized societies, who, during this pandemic, undergo complicated vulnerabilities. Since 2015, societies supported by the Care Program have been working to foster social acceptance and empower themselves and get involved in the development planning process from village to district/city level.
This webinar introduces some resource persons and responders to discuss how the strategies of marginalized groups and civil society organizations in adapting and working on going beyond the impact of a pandemic.
Sandra said that people must learn from the margins and ways on how they deal with the pandemic.
"The process requires us to rethink about the periphery and the center, so we learn from them," Sandra said.
One of the presented speakers was Hasna, the Secretary of Mulpture Village, Sigi Regency, Southeast Sulawesi. This village, Hasna explained, is in an out-of-the-way area, causing discrimination, especially in providing essential services for residents. When there was an earthquake in this village, aid distribution hindered due to transportation infrastructure constraints.
However, under these conditions, the village can survive through the initiative of the residents who help each other.
"It has been solidarity to know efforts from the village whose impact is not too severe to provide food support and even provide a health post," he said.
According to Dr. Wawan Mas'udi, as the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, difficult times prove that the Indonesian nation has the good social capital, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We have a strong community. It has resilience amid the country's limitations, which in the early stages of the pandemic attack, there have been many failures and ignorance," Sandra said.
He also explained that the pandemic caused almost all government systems and public services throughout the country to experience extraordinary collapses so that the state could not quickly adjust. Therefore, this situation shows the many problems challenging the country, including regarding social and economic disparities.
According to him, since the new concept of new habit needs to be applied not only in an individual context but also systemically.
"This stuttering intends that we have a systemic vulnerability. It must be an important lesson for all of us how to take advantage of Covid-19 to rethink the current system we have and start to build a more balanced system," explained Wawan.
Translator: Natasa A