She could even spare some money for saving. Now, she has a saving account at Credit Union Sondang Nauli with monthly compulsory saving of minimum Rp. 30,000. “I even manage to save for my three children’s education. Every month, I also save Rp. 300,000 to support their education in the future,” she said, proudly.
The eruption has made me losing my business and land; yet the eruption has also given me the opportunity to learn about business and finance and has made me a better business woman."Susiyanti Br Sembiring
The eruption caused her family to live in camp in Kabanjahe, the capital of Karo District. During her displacement in the camp, Susiyanti worked as a farm worker to support her family and her husband also worked as local public transport driver. As a farm worker she got paid IDR 60,000 per day, but she did not work every day and only upon request.
When she learnt about the ILO’s programme in 2015 to help local communities like her getting back to their livelihoods, she immediately signed herself up to join the ILO’s training on Financial Education and Entrepreneurship using GET Ahead module. “Now I know how to keep a financial record, to prioritize the expenses, and to carefully spend money, especially during a difficult time like this," she said.
In July 2015, Susiyanti’s family received a donation from the government for housing and agricultural land renting with the total amount of Rp. 3,800,000. After receiving the donation, she moved to temporary shelter provided by local NGO named Jenggala in the radius of 6 km from Mt. Sinabung and close to Gurukinayan village.
Based on what she has learnt in the financial training, she used the fund not only for renting the agricultural land, but also for starting her business (small shop) in the shelter area. The GET Ahead training has improved Susiyanti's knowledge in running her small shop. She is now able to calculate the profit from her expenditure every week/month which she had never been doing previously.
“Previously, I could only buy and sell. I did not know exactly how much my profit was. But now from every expenditures spent every week or month, I know exactly how much I get from each item sold,” she said.
Since the starting of her small shop, she has received daily profit of approximately Rp. 150,000. She is also more certain about her future, especially for her family and her three children. “The eruption has made me losing my business and land; yet the eruption has also given me the opportunity to learn about business and finance and has made me a better business woman,” she said, smiling.