Astaria, first row on the right side is the #TOP 27 of SIAP SCALE finalist
Credit: Instagram

Kartini Day is a day of revival for women in Indonesia, especially the indigenous people. The figure of Kartini who is a female hero in Indonesia is able to fight for women’s rights, such as getting an education and equal opportunities with men. Her struggle in the past continues to be pursued by other women in the present.

Including Astaria Eka Santi, a woman who is familiarly called Astaria participates in maintaining the values that exist in Kartini. How not, Astaria becomes an agent of change in the field of community empowerment in Rawa Pening, Semarang Regency. There is a problem where she lives and she is able to solve it. Water hyacinth farmers are the main source of livelihood for the local community. But unfortunately, water hyacinth is only sold raw at a very cheap price. Astaria took the initiative to help farmers to sell water hyacinth at a more competitive price. At that time, in 2019, she founded Bengok Craft, a local business that tried to turn the water hyacinth into useful creations, so she made water hyacinth crafts.

The name Bengok Craft is taken from a combination of the local language “Bengok” which means water hyacinth and English “craft” which means an activity involving skill in making things by hand. Hopefully, she is able to bring these local craft creations to the international market.

Early development in the first year was not easy for her. It takes a strong will to survive. She started training local people to become craftsmen. Not only that, marketing is still quite simple, she started to market her products offline with a local target market. Finally, at this time, she managed to improve the standard of living of the people around Rawa Pening and also managed to market his products throughout Indonesia, even in the export market.

Her track record of effort and success also deserves several awards, one of which is being the #Top27 Finalist of Social Innovation Acceleration Program at Social Changemakers Acceleration Lab and Ecosystem (SIAP SCALE.) SIAP SCALE is a 4-week founder-focus experimental lab that brings the social impact ecosystem together, designed to accelerate and scale ventures that pioneer social, economic, and environmental impact.

SIAP SCALE supports selected ventures by helping passionate social changemakers to find their tribe by setting up Lab and Ecosystem for their business to scale. This 4-week program has 4 main stage events. First, pre-stage: Changemakers Sourcing, Stage-1: Product & Partnership Showcase, Stage-2: Hands-on Business Guidance, and Stage-3: Impact Management Masterclass.

According to the SIAP SCALE social media, On 19 April 2022, the changemakers, including Astaria participated to showcase their product and pitch their partnership needs to scale business alongside City Connector!

For the next step, the 27 changemakers including Astaria are still struggling to get to the TOP 15 finalists from SIAP SCALE in order to get a chance at Stage-2 and Stage-3.

Astaria is today’s Kartini who can be a role model for women in Indonesia. It turns out that women can become a leader and a contributor to change for a better society. Hopefully, more women will be successful in fighting for their rights. Happy Kartini Day to all women in Indonesia!

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