Kemadang Village Community, Tanjungsari District, Gunung Kidul, welcomed the sustainable community empowerment program that has been conducted by the UGM Faculty of Biology. Many benefits have been obtained by the community, particularly to boost the economy. For example, local community has been able to sell refined products which have higher economic value and able to market it to outside areas. "The benefits of this program are quite huge so we are very grateful to the holding of such activity. Hopefully, it can continue," said Kemadang Village Secretary, Subroto, when receiving the visit of program participants of I-MHERE EfSD workshop of Faculty of Biology, Saturday (16/7) at the Kemadang Village Hall.
Subroto’s statement is also supported by Winarto, members of the "Pandan Makmur" group. Winarto expressed his hope that such empowerment programs can be developed. Previously, they only sell raw materials or intermediate goods. However, this time they are able to sell refined goods and various handicrafts from pandanus fibers. "Our crafts from pandanus fibers have already developed into refined material, thus are more highly valued than they used to," said Winarto.
The field trip aims to bring the participant and speaker, consisting of 37 people to observe directly the activities of community empowerment as part of the process of Education for Sustainable Development (EfSD). Kemadang Village (Tanjungsari district), and Beji Village (Ngawen district) is a partner village of Faculty of Biology as a center of community empowerment that is implemented in a sustainable manner.
Dr. Endang Semiarti, M.S., M.Sc., Deputy Dean for Student and Research Affairs of Faculty of Biology, who is also coordinator of the PIC I-MHERE Project of the Faculty said that her party would fully support the sustainable community empowerment program in Kemadang. "This program (EfSD) is a sustainable program and we will continue to guide and train community through community business groups. UGM, through KKN PPM and Faculty of Biology will always communicate and coordinate," he said.
The current field trip event is also coupled with an exhibition and products display of community’s small-business, such as traditional foods gatot and tiwul, processed marine products foods, handicrafts from pandanus fiber, stingray leather handicrafts, and bamboo handicrafts. The participants were also allowed to try the pandanus handicraft making process starting from the rope making to the weaving process. The Grantee of I-MHERE Project Faculty of Biology-II sub-activity 3.1.1 also conveys the research activities conducted at both partner villages are associated with implementations of EfSD in the field.