Kg. Pinggan Jaya, Kuching

In the effort to support poverty alleviation in the state of Sarawak, Yayasan Sejahtera embarked on a community development project with Kampung Pinggan Jaya, a village situated just outside the Kuching city centre that was previously only accessible via the Sarawak River. Recently enabled to connect with the city by land through a new road, Kampung Pinggan Jaya is set for growth and there is a need for support to help the villagers find ways to sustain their livelihood.

Surrounded by nipah palm trees (Nypa fruticans), the village has developed expertise in harvesting the nipah sap to produce gula apong, which is a form of natural sweetener. Gula apong is one of the most popular local products in Sarawak, used regularly in the local cuisine as an alternative to white sugar. However, it is currently being produced traditionally and sold to middlemen at a low price.

The community development programme in Kampung Pinggan Jaya is aimed to establish a gula apong business hub that can include the participation by the whole community at various levels to uplift the low income households and providing them the opportunity to leverage on the resources made available to them. Based on Yayasan Sejahtera’s holistic approach, the activities are targeted to encourage adults, youths and children of Kampung Pinggan Jaya to work together and benefit from the development in the village.

In 2016, the groundwork at Kampung Pinggan Jaya started with the assessment of the village and a closer look on the existing production process of the main product, gula apong. The beneficiaries were also exposed to business, marketing and information and communication technology (ICT) training in preparing them for the next level. They are also encouraged to be innovative in coming up with gula apong related products that can be commercialized alongside the main ingredient. At the same time, the children of Kampung Pinggan Jaya are also supported in terms of their education in preparation for their future.

This project is currently ongoing and expected to complete in 2019.

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