AN ISOLATED VILLAGE OF
EXPLORES RESOURCES TO REALIZING ITS DREAMS
Where is Gowok Village located?
Gowok is a small village in the Samigaluh Sub-District, and Kulonpraga District of Yogyakarta Special Province. It is located in an isolated area of the “Menoreh” Mountainous Range. As a matter of fact it is located only around 2.1 kilometers north of a tourism alternative road of the City of Yogyakarta to Purworeja. Before the 1980s, people had to walk on barefoot around 4 hours to reach the closest city, such as Purwareja. It is on the west border of
What does Gowok look like?
Even though Gowok is situated in an isolated area, it has rich resources and strengths. Gowok used to be the center of Javanese cultures. Unfortunately some outside world views (it may also be caused by some religious teachings) have uprooted Gowok local wisdoms and values. It is reflected by several local folklores, such as the “Areng-areng” Mount Legend where Gowok’s heavenly ancestors stored 2 sets of invisible Javanese music instruments. The
Rev. Aart van Beek, a PC-USA minister who visited Gowok 25 years ago, said “Gowok is one of the most beautiful villages of
How will the Gowok people utilize their resources for a better future life?
Since 2005 the Global Education Partnership of Indonesia of the GEPOI Foundation has worked in Gowok. It has two programs there. The first one is an integrated community development. The second one is a monthly medical doctor practice and also alternative medication. Facilitated by the GEPOI Foundation, the Gowok community has founded “Gowok Manunggal,” a Self-Help Group or GM SHP. It is a means by which the Gowok community develops a better life through running small enterprises. They produce organic fertilizer, “Ettawa” goat breeding, “Mahkota Dewa” (Heavenly Crown) tea or instant tea, and some other herbal products. Because there is no retreat or training facility in the entire Kulonprada District, GM SHP plans to build a retreat or a training center. It will be a community based retreat or training center. The center can be used as a rural community empowerment center where Gowok and its vicinities will participate in community learning. It will be built, managed, and operated by/for the welfare of the Gowok community and its vicinities. The late Mr & Mrs Samuel Wiryasentana, founders of the local Christian congregation, donated their 18,000 meters square for the center.
In Phase I (2008/2009), GM SHP will renovate the Wiryasentana’s former house to equip this with an entrance gate, a meeting room, a public kitchen, a reading/computer room, an office room, a public rest room, a water reservation system and a parking area. The budget is $ 21,000 US. In Phase II (2009/2010), GM SHP will build 3 cottages. These cottages will enable GM SHP to accommodate 24 guests. The budget will be $ 30,000 US. In Phase III (2011/2012), GM SHP will renovate 6 houses of Gowok families to be home stay. It will help each family to host 6 guests. The budget will be around $ 30,000 US. The owners of the houses will be responsible for 50% of the total budget. By the end of Phase III, the center will be able to accommodate 60 people to have an event such as a meeting, seminar, workshop, course, conference, and training. Then, at the last phase, in Phase IV, GM SHP will rehabilitate 17,000 meter square of traditional mixed farming to be a modern horticulture farming plantation. In addition to that, two (2) members of GM SHP will participate in the Phase IV program. They will contribute around 6,000 meter square mixed farming in the program. This means that the entire farming land rehabilitation program will cover around 23,000 meter square land. The budget of Phase IV will be around $ 207,000 US.
GM SHP plans to utilize the new retreat center as its office, health clinic, information center, public gathering, rural community training, meeting, workshop, nature learning laboratory, local farming product market, and local art or cultural performance venue. In addition to that GEPOI Foundation plans to use the new retreat center for outbound activities, inclusive leadership, rural community development, entrepreneurship, communication, counseling training, group counseling service, meditation class, computer training, etc. By implementing those plans, there will be many more people coming and staying in Gowok Village. GM SHP guests will buy farming products directly from the local farmers. The isolation of
Besides a partnership with the GEPOI Foundation, GM SHP would like to invite those who share the vision and mission to develop some future partnership. Your future partnership will enable us to manage our resources better for the benefits of Gowok community and its vicinities. Our contact person is Rev. Totok S. Wiryasaputra, GEPOI Foundation Executive Director, Banteng Utama 38, Jakal Km. 8.5, Yogyakarta 55581, Telpon/Fax: 0274-880320, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Websites: www.gepoi.org. He is 1990 Th.M. Class of Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia (pastoral care studies) and now is doing his D.Min Program of Pastoral Counseling Emphasis in San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California. He is a grief counselor and a pioneer of pastoral care and counseling education and ministry in