Leaders of Financial Institutions Build Decent Houses in Babakan Madang, Bogor

Leaders of Financial Institutions Build Decent Houses in Babakan Madang, Bogor

Heavy rain all night did not stop the leaders of financial institutions from attending the site on Saturday morning, 18 March 2023, in Karang Tengah Village, Babakan Madang.          

That day, 30 leaders of 11 banking institutions, insurance, and securities companies became volunteers who did virtuous deeds by building houses for low-income residents in an event called Financial Institution Build 2023. Volunteers worked hand in hand to build 3 houses, enthusiastically building foundations and installing brick walls.

In Babakan Madang District, Bogor, like in several other areas around Greater Jakarta, thousands of families live in inadequate houses with inadequate building structures, poor toilet facilities, and poor access to clean water. “Physically, the condition of our house is unhealthy and unfit for habitation. The walls of the house are made of woven bamboo, the pillars are made of wood and an earthen floor,” said Zainal Abidin, one of the residents whose house was built that day by the volunteers. Zainal said that he and his family were rarely able to sleep well when it was raining heavily, especially when accompanied by strong winds. 

The floor was muddy because the roof leaked here and there, and I was afraid my house would collapse. Because my house is on a mountainside, so when a strong wind comes, the house collapses easily,” added the man who works as a farmer.

When it rains, apart from water getting into the house, animals such as rats, cockroaches, and even snakes have entered the house. So if it rains, the children will not be able to study, and we are all afraid that the roof will collapse because it has leaks here and there,” said Mr. Adeng, who also lives in Karang Tengah Village, whose house was also built that day.

Habitat Indonesia, which has been present since 2010 in Babakan Madang District, Bogor, has carried out various interventions through community development in the form of providing 970 decent houses, 12 public toilets, 309 family toilets, 13 access to clean water, 10 school renovations and 28 micro business stalls, including providing financial management and business management training. However, even though it has been more than 10 years since Habitat has carried out various programs to improve people’s welfare, the backlog issue (the gap between the need and the availability of decent housing) is still evident in Babakan Madang. “Most of the people here work as casual daily laborers, casual workers, or farmers whose income is only enough to meet their daily needs, definitely not enough to build decent houses,” said Susanto, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Indonesia.

They hardly dream of owning a decent house. People who live in a deplorable economic situation like this are in stark contrast to the construction of luxury houses with all the flashy amenities in the Sentul area, which is only a few kilometers from Babakan Madang here,” said Rene Indiarto Widjaja, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Habitat Indonesia in his remarks. “Why do we just stay silent, looking at the condition of our neighbors like this?” he challenged.

The Financial Institution Build 2023 activity invites leaders from various financial institutions, including banks, insurance, and securities companies, to use their influence not just as company leaders but also to influence the development of the communities around them.

I think this activity is very good. We, who live in big cities like Jakarta, are allowed to come to the village to do good for the people here. As someone who lives more fortunately, today I can give back to society,” said Martin, a volunteer from a well-known insurance company.

In my opinion, overall, today was a great experience for us. Hoeing, iron binding; those activities are new experience for me and have advantages. We can develop Indonesia by building our community,” added Michael, Martin’s twin brother, who is also a volunteer from the same insurance company.

Martin and Michael hope that the families they help have a better life in the future, “Hopefully, in the future they can have a good career and path, and their children can have a better life than their parents,” concluded Michael.

In this Financial Institution Build activity, I saw the extraordinary enthusiasm of the leaders. I hope Habitat can hold the same activity with more volunteers next year, so we can help more people to get decent houses.” Susanto closed.

Together we build Indonesia!