Ria, The Winning Batik Designer From Pepe Village

With joy on her face, Ria, a fifth grader and a participant of Tangan Pengharapan skill training program, walked toward the podium to receive an award as a winning Batik designer for elementary in Kedung Jati sub district, eliminating other participants from 50 elementary schools.

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The contest was held last month. Participants had to make a design on a piece of paper first before moving it onto another piece of paper. They had to apply wax over the penciled in-outline of the pattern and then color it. it took about 4 hours to complete a design.

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Ria is a successful fostered child by Tangan Pengharapan. Some time ago, she became the third champion of an intelligence contest for elementary. With her 2 schoolmates, Aris and Wahyu, who are fostered kids of Tangan Pengharapan in Pepe village, she could answer most of the questions correctly.

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Pepe village in Grobogan regency is one of the village in Central Java supported  by Tangan Pengharapan. The villagers of Pepe don’t have their own land. That’s why they have to live on PERHUTANI owned land. Most of them don’t have any permanent job. They work as labors and firewood collectors.

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Being a firewood collector is a risky job. If local forest officers catch them, they must pay big fine. If they get caught, they must pay about two million rupiah to an officer. Imagine if 5 officers catch them. He surely must give them about ten million rupiah, which is impossible for the local people. As a result, they have to loan some money from the loan shark or even sell their houSangse. And the officers often come in group of more than 3 people.

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Its dry land makes life in this village even harder. Only corn is suitable for plantation since it can be planted in rainy season. On its containing lime land, only teak trees can grow.

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Though the brunt her family carries is heavy, but Ria doesn’t give up. With her abilities, she tries to build a better future and promote her family living standard.

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Thanks to the batik training school, Ria can develop her talent. Her expertise in designing batik is hoped could bring more various patterns to batik made by the children of the nation.

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