Rusdiana is a tough woman born in 1972 in Polewali Mandar, West Sulawesi. Bu. Rus, as she is usually called, moved from Celebes Island to Borneo in 1991. To be precise, to Sulaiman Bay, Big Dipper, East Kalimantan.
She was known as an active figure in various social activities, Bu. Rus is very vocal in community forums and is involved in Village Owned Enterprises (BUMKam) and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (UMKM). Her concern is not limited to their social environment and community, she is also concerned about nature.
Their environmental concern led her to work in the conservation world in 2000. Initially, Bu Rus was involved in community capacity-building activities around the forest on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), which was initiated by a local non-governmental organization, Yayasan Komunitas Belajar Indonesia (YAKOBI) and Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC).
Since then, she has continued to pursue a journey in conservation. She was appointed as a cadre for an awareness program on the effects of greenhouse gases on the community, especially women, in six villages around her Area. In 2015, she joined the Forum Peduli Kelestarian Alam (Forlika), a local organization that received permission to manage the Sigending Area. She immediately served as the person in charge of empowerment. Bu. Rus is the only member who is over 45 years old, among other members who are still relatively young.
The Sigending Area is a magnet for Kampung Teluk Sulaiman with its natural charm and high biodiversity. Conservation activities carried out by Bu Rus, and Forlika are planting mangroves, forest patrols, and seeding fruit trees and forestry plants.
Not only that, in 2020, Bu Rus was entrusted with managing BUMKam. Bu Rus' experience in trading and organizing from a young age was why the Director of BUMKam asked Bu Rus to help drive BUMKam, which still needed to show results.
Bu Rus used their valuable opportunity to make improvements and changes with all her heart and energy. As a result, at the end of her position as BUMKam administrator for the first period, BUMKam generated an income of around IDR 30 million, from previously there was no income at all.
After her hard work, Bu Rus was appointed by acclamation to become the second Director of BUMKam. She also made several moves to advance BUMKam so that it is more beneficial for many people and nature. Among them is by collaborating with MSMEs, women's groups that sell local products such as shredded coconut oil, amplang (fish crackers), various kind of peanut candy, coffee (from Teluk Sumbang), and rattan handicrafts (Teluk Sulaiman).
She also paved the way for BUMKam to sell a variety of basic needs at kiosks and collaborated with Forlika to support Sigending tourism activities. Bu Rus wants to continue encouraging local potential, including the results of natural resources from the sea, gardens, and forests, to become BUMKam's mainstay products. During her leadership period, BUMKam can open jobs designated as managers of BUMKam business units.
Hard work, sweet fruit. During her term of office from 2020 until now, BUMKam has been able to develop the capital it received at the beginning of its term of Rp. 90 million, is Rp—one hundred twenty million, excluding original regional income (PAD), divided among villages.
Even at half a century old, she still dreams of growing BUMKam, providing benefits to many people, especially women, and being passionate about nature conservation.
"BUMK can later become a large company that can produce processed fish, especially fish that have no value to sell, such as single fish and tembang fish, a fish meal which can recruit local workers. BUMKam also provides opportunities/business space for women; BUMKam can sell local products based on local natural resources to preserve nature. BUMKam's income not only contributes to PAD but can also contribute to institutions in the village," she concluded.