From this “Cactus” I Send My Children to University

By Ona Tasoin,

Ephania Mbuik (54) a housewife Married to Absalom Mennoh and blessed with four children. Three boys and one girl.

With her family, Ephania lives in Kolobolon Village, Rote Ndao district, East Nusa Tenggara. Prior joined in TLM Foundation Productive Garden Program, Ephania helped her husband to manage their paddy field and from the annual crops, they sold rice to fulfill their daily needs.

But beside the harvest was only once a year, sometimes their paddy fields had crop failure. Ephania then decided to join TLM productive garden program. Ephania is grateful that since more eight years she attended TLM Foundation productive garden program, with other gardening group members, she got a lot of lessons through training and assistance how to grow various kinds of vegetables, beans, onions, cucumber and specially dragon fruits.

From gardening, Ephania is now able to generate income more than IDR.20.000.000,- from selling dragon fruits in one harvest season (December to May). Ephania could help her husband, Absalom to fulfil their daily needs, expand their kiosk business and moreover they can manage to send their three boys to the best universities in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara Province.

In addition, since Ephania grew vegetables by herself, she could save money because she doesn’t need to buy vegetable like she used to do. Ephania also does not need to go labor in paddy other paddy fields for additional money because she already has a permanent income source in the village.

She is thanking TLM Foundation for providing this opportunity for people like her to live independently in the village.

“I really thank TLM Foundation for introducing this “Cactus Plant” (Dragon fruit) to us. In the first and second year we planted 65 dragon fruits in the garden and in the forth year we expanded to 2 thousand dragon fruits and now in a season, each of us (28 members) we can generate income for more than IDR. 10.000.000,- I myself can get more than twenty million rupias. Praise the Lord, from this “cactus” I can send my children to higher level education with expensive tuition fees, more than five million rupias per semester. My husband and I, we had never imagined that we could give good education to our children. God is good.” Said Ephania.

Participated in the Celebration of the Nineth Anniversary of Village Law No. 6 of 2014 in Rote Ndao, TLM Foundation Showcased the Products of Its Village Assistance Program

By Ona Tasoin,

In order to commemorate the 9th anniversary of Village Law No. 6 of 2014, the Ministry of Village Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration (KEMENDES PDTT) chose Rote Ndao Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province as a celebration location, as well as a speech by the Minister Dr (H.C), Drs. Haji Abdul Halim Iskandar, M.Pd.

The event, which was held for a day at the Ba’a City lighthouse field on Saturday (14/1/2023), began with a working visit from the Ministry of Rural Affairs Gus Halim team to the southeast village of Indonesia, namely Dodaek village, South Rote Subdistrict, leaving footprints as inscriptions at Zero point of the Republic of Indonesia.

In his speech, Gus the Minister stated his reason for choosing Rote Ndao district for the commemoration at the border as a form of gratitude that the village law has facilitated the revival of villages in the periphery of Indonesia.

“The Nine-year-old Village Law has proven to be able to make achievements, fulfill promises, and contribute to the motherland. This is Nawa Warsa (Nine Years in Javanesse_red), the Nine Years of Village Law. Building Indonesia from the border,” said the Minister, who is familiarly called Gus Halim.

Meanwhile, the committee along with the local government, village heads and the community have crowded the location of the celebration which was also enlivened by National singer which is originally from NTT named Marion Jola, and several local artists.   The committee also provides tents for MSME actors both from districts and Indonesian SOEs, Village SOEs, cooperatives, NGOs and private companies to exhibit and sell their products both goods and   services.

Not to forget, TLM Foundation, which has been programmatic in Rote Ndao district, also enlivened the people’s party by exhibiting its empowerment programs in NTT, especially in the district chosen by Gus    the Minister to visit.

On this occasion, the Expert Staff of the Ministry of Rural Affairs for Partnership, Samsul Widodo with several colleagues when visiting the TLM Foundation booth conveyed his impressions when explained about empowerment programs   community run by TLM Foundation in Rote Ndao District.

“Wow , this is very interesting, I took your contact  number,  I will  contact you  later in case there  are things  we need to do together” Samsul said  to the YTLM  Staff after hearing  the explanation.

Rano Adu, one of TLM Foundation staff When visited by the guests explained the Foundation’s work programs that there are approximately 10 community empowerment programs run by TLM, but which are implemented   in Rote Ndao County is just a few of them.

“Our work programs in Rote Ndao such as Productive Gardens in Kolobolon, Lidamanu, Maubesi and Modosinal Villages. There are  Pig  farms in Lidamanu and Maubesi Villages,  Broiler  chicken farms in  Kolobolon,  Lidamanu and  Maubesi villages,  Home Industry training program  for processing organic ginger powder, banana chips,  onion beans, there is sewing training,  barbershop, joint BUMDESA assistance  in  Lobalain district,  Village  Law training and assistance  for 12 villages in  Rote Ndao District also has clean water programs  in several partner villages such as Oebole  Village,  Tolama Village, Oematamboli, Suelain, Lidamanu, Maubesi and Kolobolon.”     Rano explained.

  In addition to the description of the program posted on the banner, the products home industry such as Organic Ginger Powder from  Kolobolon village and  Maubesi village,  balado banana chips from Lidamanu   village, also dragon fruit was displayed and sold at TLM Foundation exhibition booth as a result of the TLM Foundation’s assistance. 

One of the  beneficiaries of the  program  from  Kolobolon village, Loisa Zakaria-Ndun,  whose photo of herself was made into a  background at the  TLM Foundation exhibition booth, said she was happy and grateful that there was assistance from  TLM Foundation.

“I am personally very grateful that since there has been assistance, especially the productive garden of Dragon Fruit in Kolobolon, we know that there must be income every harvest season.  In addition to being accompanied for planting and caring for plants during this time, we are also accompanied for sales, so we really feel the benefits of TLM assistance.”  Loisa said. She is also expressed her gratitude for the TLM Foundation’s attention to their garden group, especially for her family, which is now improving economically.

Dedication of a Bachelor in Developing Village Community

By jerrybrand,

Together with TLM Foundation Developing Nation from Village

Productive garden is a community development program that has been implementing by Tanaoba Lais Manekat Foundation since 2014 to improve poor families’ income in village by utilizing unproductive land. This program aims to transform unproductive land into productive so that the land can produce plants with economic value which can help community to enhance their life standard whether from health or economy aspect.

Since 2014 until 2018, TLM-GMIT Foundation has successfully implemented productive garden in 8 villages that located in 4 regencies of East Nusa Tenggara. Those villages are; Nekmese and Sahraen in Kupang Regency, Kiubaat and Enonabuasa in South Central Timor, Kolobolon, Maubesi and Lidamanu in Rote Ndao Regency and Ngaru Kanoru in East Sumba Regency.

This program was formed from survey done by TLM-GMIT Foundation’s facilitators on villages’ potency. One of the facilitators, Freand Tedi Neno, a bachelor who is willing to live in village and mingle with villagers to do all activity of village people such as farming, planting and harvesting paddy, climbing tuak/siwalan tree so that he can experience the difficulty of living in village as a poor and also can be accepted as one of village community.

Freand Tedi Neno or familiarly called as Freand was born in Kupang, 18 April 1984. He is a graduate of Nusa Cendana University (UNDANA) Kupang, department of business administration. Freand got married to Sofeni Octavianus in 2016. Freand has been placed as facilitator in village of Kolobolon, sub-district of Central Rote since 2014.

During his service in the village as a facilitator, he delivered agriculture training to the community like horticultural, cultivation, how to combine seasonal plants in order to earn regular income, organic farming, plants treatment and post-harvest processing. Aside from that, Freand also provides teaching and training of health and village government mentoring in planning and implementing village programs.

Freand added that a facilitator does not only do mentoring and supervising and the act as “facility” to accommodate community’s aspiration as a representative of institution where he works. To collect the aspiration, Freand conduct a regular meeting to discuss weekly activity of productive garden members and their next week target as well as to discuss members’ finance that they earn from the garden. The purpose of the discussion is to make sure that decision taking is the result of agreement between members and facilitator (TLM-GMIT Foundation).

Freand stated that with the regular weekly meeting, he can see that members have gone through a change in the way of thinking where previously they just planted to fulfill the need of daily consumption but presently they see garden products as income source that can increase their economy life. Moreover, with the regular weekly meeting that involved all members, they become more courageous to state their opinions and aspirations. In other side, Freand notices that the purpose of TLM-GMIT Foundation placing a village facilitator can be achieved where the community has been more innovative in making the most of their village potency. Members whose incomes are from productive garden are able to plan their future by saving.

Freand admits that serving as a facilitator is not an easy job, especially for university graduates who tend to have dream for getting job in big city. This is because he has to live far away from his family and has to adapt with new environment and new life style. But his job as a facilitator can be understood by his wife, Sofeni Octavianus who is now serving as a Vicar in Noebanu, East Amanatun. Sofeni’s service in village enables her to understand the hardship of the poor in village so she can keep supporting her husband’s work in developing village community.

Even if there are a lot of things that makes a facilitator as a difficult profession, Freand says that he is proud of his job because he can be a “changing agent”. With many positives change that has happened to community, Freand says that being a facilitator is a delighted service. Friend also states other reasons why he is proud to be a part of TLM-GMIT foundation as a facilitor;

“Working a village facilitator of TLM-GMIT foundation has helped me to improve my life economically and help me to achieve my goal to develop village community”. Freand also added that according to him, productive garden is a solution to create employment in village so the community can feel comfortable to live in village and not being pressured by economic recession to venture to big city as TKI/TKW (Indonesian Migrant Workers) to fulfill their life needs”.

Utilization of unproductive land into productive land

By jerrybrand,

Since 2014, TLM Foundation has been directly involved to help people of Kolobolon village to transform unproductive land into productive land to improve their income and welfare. TLM Foundation with its facilitator who lives in Kolobolon and people of Kolobolon started to process the 5000 meters unproductive land to be productive. There were 22 people (12 family head) involved in this process and it was known by local government

pembuatan pagar di lahan tidur desa Kolobon


tiang kayu untuk tanda tanah sudah di beri pupuk kandang di kebun pengembangan desa Kolobolon

persiapan lahan untuk menanam buah naga

At the beginning, they started to clean the land and it was started to be processed by sprinkling fertilizer on the soil manure to enrich the nutrient in the soil. TLM Foundation introduced a farming technique using organic fertilizer. This technique was introduced because aside from health and economy aspect, the source of fertilizer is available around the community. After being processed, the land was ready to be planted with productive plants like red onion (Allium cepa), garlic (Allium sativum), string been (Phaseolus vulgaris), green mustard (Brassica rapa), water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica), dragon fruits (Hylocereus polyrhizus), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and red pepper (Capsicum frutescens).

tanaman bawang lokal di desa Kolobolon


tanaman bawang lokal di desa Kolobolon


tanaman tomat dan cabai di lahan produktif desa Kolobolon


tanaman buncis paria, kacang panjang dan ketimun di bedengan mulsa desa Kolobolon


To irrigate the water for the plants, TLM foundation provided support by utilize nearest water spring. The water is irrigated using hydram technology through pipes and goes to several water tanks in the garden. This helps productive garden member to not walk too far to get water for the plants. Previously, the members had to walk about 300 meters to get water and when it dried up, they could not water the plants. By using hydram technology, the water now can be irrigated from its source that is located lower than the garden and the irrigation will stay stabile.

pipa hydram di desa kolobolon


pipa hydram menaikan air ke tempat yang lebih tinggi di desa kolobolon


penampungan air di lahan produktif desa Kolobolon


pemanfaatan air dengan teknologi Hydram untuk pertanian

In 7 Mei 2018, Regional Representative Board Member, Ir. Abraham Paul Liyanto visited Kolobolon productive garden. In his visit, Paul Liyanto observed and gave appreciation to TLM Foundation for helping government’s program, especially through productive garden, water project with hydram technology and village law implementation mentoring so that village community and village government can use village fund in the right way as well as arrange plan for upcoming years.

Anggota DPD RI Ir Abraham Paul Liyanto mengunjungi Kebun Produktif Desa Kolobolon


Anggota DPD RI Ir Abraham Paul Liyanto mengunjungi Kebun Produktif Desa Kolobolon


TLM-GMIT Foundation Gives A New Hope For The Poor in Village of Kolobolon

By jerrybrand,
  • Produktif) menjadi Kebun Produktif sebagai sumber pendapatan warga

  • The new hope is transforming unproductive land into productive land to be used as source of income

Kolobolon is one of villages located in Central Rote Sub-district, Rote Ndao Regency. Kolobolon was established in 1968. In 2018, total population in Kolobolon is 1.587 which 80% of them are seasonal farmers where their crops depend on water debit in rainy season. This causes garden and rice fields’ crops are used only for daily consumption not for sale. Aside from the lack of water access to water the plants, land in Kolobolon is dry and rocky and it is impossible to be used to grow productive plants.

In 2014, TLM_GMIT Foundation as one of community empowerment institutions who run community’s economy improvement program, through its staff ran survey on villages that will be made as its assisted villages. Based on survey and agreement with Mr. Watson Sodi Mbuik as The Village Head at the time, decided to enact Kolobolon as one of their assisted villages.

 The success of growing dragon fruits as top plants in productive garden of Kolobolon village is not just make it as the income source for local community but also makes Kolobolon as the only one village in Rote Ndao Regency that produce dragon fruits with unique taste.

Seeing the success,   Department of Law and Human Right   of NTT Province will try to give Kolobolon a patent right of dragon fruits as their top product.

Early Process of transforming productive land into productive garden


Unproductive garden that has been transformed into productive garden is planted with dragon fruits as top plant and many variety of vegetables


Community involved their families to work in productive garden because the sale the product is to fulfill families’ need

Community actively work in productive garden because they have known the result

Dragon fruits as the top plants grow fertile and ready to harvest

Selling dragon fruit with unique taste.