At 62 years old, Ibu Nurmawati doesn’t let retirement slow her down. A farm owner, she believes that she works for her farmers rather than the other way around.Ibu Nurmawati, 62 years old, has an open door policy on her immaculate home in Blang Kerjeran. Her gate and front door are always open to anyone who needs a word, a cup of coffee, or a rest. As the village matriarch at the service of her community nestled in the middle of the Aceh highlands, Ibu Nurmawati hasn’t let retirement slow her down and takes seriously her role as a strong figure in her community, particularly as a mentor to other women. “Women have jobs but they are not focused on how to work well. I work to empower women and show them how to raise the health of the family and their income.”
As a farm owner, she takes a more active role in the health and well-being of the farmers using her land. She has established a revolving fund into and from which coffee farmers can pay or withdraw. This, she says, will help improve the economic welfare of the farmers and their families. Her husband, a prominent government official, died 12 years ago leaving Ibu Nurmawati widowed, but not alone. With her four children grown with children of their own, she also includes the community and her neighbours as her family too and fills her days with service to others whether it is conflict resolution or throwing cultural functions like dances and art performances in her living room. Recently, Ibu Nurmawati harvested her own fields producing 10 kilos of coffee and sees potential for her own livelihood to grow with the newfound relationship with Aceh Coffee Indonesia. “I want to develop my land and get it working to its best ability,” she said.