International Women’s is Sunday, March 8. This day is dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programmes facilitate life-saving behaviour change and increased economic security by empowering female community leaders. Leaders like Tiboi Taileleu, Sibarani.

At 75, Mrs. Sibarani is the oldest female farmer and community health post volunteer (Kader) in SurfAid’s Katuerukat programme in the Mentawai. The region is prone to high poverty rates and low health indicators that have been compounded by natural disasters, including the 2010 tsunami that forced her community to relocate inland to an area lacking basic resources and minimal infrastructure.

The Katuerukat (prosperity in the local language), programme helps to combat these issues, with a holistic approach that combines health, sanitation, nutrition and agriculture activities to help restore their livelihoods. Mrs. Sibarani is a programme participant and she worked with SurfAid’s community development officers to learn how to optimize agricultural techniques that would ultimately result in the very first successful chili plot in her community!

How did this mother of 5 and grandmother of 11 do it?

Check out her inspirational profile and honour her efforts one of the ways below:

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$20 will cover the cost of basic health and sanitation training for a community health volunteer (Kader) like Mrs. Sibarani. Want more of an impact? Set your donation to monthly and by the end of the year, you can provide enough funding to establish 2 nutrition gardens in one of our communities.

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Turn one day of surfing into a year of support. Sign up to surf in a SurfAid Cup. Emphasis is on support for SurfAid and is open to all ages and abilities. You get to hang with the pros, but you don’t have to surf like one! Santa Cruz (26, April) Bondi (8, May).

SurfAid Success Story

 TIBOI TAILELEU a.k.a. MRS. SIBARANI

As told to Sri Wahyu Nengsih, SurfAid Community Development Officer

My name is Tiboi Taileleu, people also call me Mrs. Sibarani. I am a farmer, a farmer’s wife, and an active Posyandu Kader (community health post volunteer). My education was only up to elementary school, but I worked in a hospital from 1968 to 1978. I have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.

What does it mean to be a female farmer in your community?

You need to be someone who is a positive influence and a role model for other women. Someone who will motivate other women to get involved in farming and encourage them as they develop their land.

What motivates you to keep on farming? What does your husband say?   

I like being able to sell my harvest to help support my daily household needs and since my husband is supporting me, I can help my grandchildren.

What are some of the challenges that you and other women in your community face? 

I am fortunately to have the support of my husband, but there are many women who are not supported by their families. I am entrusted to be a Kader at my local Posyandu and help my community, and although I am no longer young and agile, I think women my age can still work and farm.

For women in rural areas, has time changed their role?

Although time has changed a lot, women still keep their manner to be polite and respecting of older people.

What would you say to encourage other female farmers?

As a woman, don’t just focus on the home. Go outside, plant something, bananas or chili. If you don’t have seeds you can ask other farmers.

Thank you MRS. SIBARANI for being an inspiration to your community and one of the many people we celebrate on

International Women’s Day.