Grace Pieters Batubara: Encouraging people affected by COVID-19

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Grace Pieters Batubara. (Photo: Roosyudhi/IO)

IO – The Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs’ Dharma Wanita Advisor, Grace Pieters Batubara, was present in Kampung Anyar, Parung, Bogor Regency to deliver the President’s Aid to the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Monday, August 3. 

“Today we distribute 666 presidential aids with assistance from the Pertiwi Indonesia Foundation. Tens of thousands of aid packets from the President will be distributed by the Foundation,” said Grace, wife of Social Minister Juliari Batubara. 

Grace was indeed often present in handing over aid to areas not yet covered by the President’s social assistance. 

After delivering the aid symbolically to five residents, Grace also went around meeting with residents in their homes. One was at Rukayah’s house. 

“This is the first time we have received assistance since there was a pandemic,” said Rukayah. “Neighbors nearby are not unwilling to help, we are all affected,” said the 63-year-old grandmother. 

Grace asked the residents to remain steadfast. “Hopefully this President’s assistance will benefit. You are expected to be patient and steadfast, hopefully, the pandemic will soon pass and we can return to normal life,” she said when visiting residents after symbolically delivering aid accompanied by the Chairperson of Social Affairs Fara Marina and Chair of the Pertiwi Indonesia Foundation in Bogor, Muliyaningsih Baiin. 

Anyar village, which is inhabited by 620 families, is one of the areas affected by COVID-19, although none of the residents has been diagnosed positive. Although this location is included in the category of the green zone, the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is felt hard by them. 

“Most people here work as day laborers and farmers. Since there was COVID-19, almost everything was laid off. Farmers who are used to growing vegetables, cassava, and raising fish mostly cannot continue their business due to capital constraints,” said Junaedi, Chairperson of Anyar Village Community Association. 

“We will continue to strive to serve, under the tagline ‘Ministry of Social Affairs’,” said Grace. 

The distribution of food assistance from the President will continue by the Pertiwi Indonesia Foundation in Jakarta, Bekasi, South Tangerang, and Depok. The distribution of aid will be carried out as soon as possible given the economic condition of the Indonesian people has not yet improved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pertiwi Indonesia has the task of distributing 22 thousand aid packages from the President of Indonesia through the Ministry of Social Affairs. (rp)