Mrs Basaria also plays an active role in Mother and Child Health activities including the planting of nutrition gardens. These activities enable the community members to know and understand the importance of consuming food that contains protein and fibre in addition to the staple food (carbohydrates). The community members rarely consume food with protein and fibre, although the Mentawai is very rich in seafood and has a vast area for food cultivation. Therefore SurfAid encourages the community members to obtain protein from plants and animals by conducting nutrition garden activities.
Mrs Basaria is a role model and motivator for all activities conducted by SurfAid in the Sipora area of the Mentawai Islands.
Now 56 with four children, she lived in Gobik hamlet, Bosua village, in the North Sipora sub-district on the west coast. There were a number of casualties during the earthquake and tsunami on October 2010. Some of the community members moved to Bosua village and the rest moved to a new hamlet called Gobik Sibau, which is located about 700 metres from the previous hamlet and about a kilometre from the coast.
Twenty families moved to the new location, including Mrs Basaria. One of her daughters, Regina, a community health post volunteer, has also been actively involved in SurfAid activities.
When the Care Group was formed in July 2007, Mrs Basaria was active as one of the volunteers. The members of this Care Group come from four hamlets - East Bosua, South Bosua, Old Gobik, and New Gobik (which is now called Gobik Sibau hamlet). Mrs Basaria has always been actively involved in every SurfAid activity and has taught the lessons she learned to other families.
Mrs Basaria also joined the Maternal Health training conducted by SurfAid in April 2010. She is a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) in Gobik and quite active in handling deliveries in the hamlet. This has been very helpful because medical staff members are difficult to find in this location. The training was attended and opened by the head of the Mentawai Health Authority who came with his assistants. The trainers of the training were Dr Eki and Mrs Nur. The aim of the maternal health training was to help TBAs from all SurfAid-assisted areas be well trained in delivery so that the TBAs had sufficient knowledge in handling delivery and in using delivery equipment and tools in a healthy, clean way.
In these activities, Mrs Basaria also played an active role and motivated the training participants. The training was facilitated by her daughter Mrs Regina and assisted by SurfAid staff. These activities were held in Mrs Basaria’s house and she explained the concept and then following with practical work in making nutrition gardens, which was conducted in groups.
Posyandu caders (the monthly health clinic volunteers), mothers with babies/children, and pregnant women worked together to make the nutrition gardens. The plants in the gardens flourish and the community members can’t wait to harvest and enjoy the produce of the nutrition gardens so that the families, especially babies, children, and pregnant women, can obtain protein and fibre which are very useful for their brain development and growth.
It is highly expected that when SurfAid no longer assists Gobik hamlet and other areas, the groups that have been established will still be able to continue the goals to achieve hygienic and healthy communities. People like Mrs Basaria, who continuously motivate the community members, will still exist and increase in numbers. Although it is still difficult to observe a significant change in the behaviour of the community members, we hope that in the future, along with the increase in the motivation and interests of the community members, they can achieve better health outcomes.