ACTNews, BELU – The heat of the sun didn’t dampen the spirit of Global Qurban – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) team to bring the happiness of Eid-ul-Adha. On Friday (8/23), by motorcycle, our team moved through hilly roads to the coastal area of Dualaus village, Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), to learn about the life of the Muslim minority in the village who mostly work as fishermen.
When we arrived, the Global Qurban team met Asri (45) who has spent decades as fisherman. In a shack behind his house, located very close to the beach, Asri told us his story, accompanied by his wife Khadijah (47). Asri told us about his life as a fisherman and the breadwinner for his family.
“I usually sail right after praying fajr, along with other fishermen. The distance to the fishing spot isn’t close; it takes approximately 3-4 hours. With the equipment we have, we try our luck. One person holds the fishing rod and another person flies the kite to lure the tuna,” said Asri, a father of three.
It takes less than an hour to catch one tuna. When they are lucky, he can take three to four tunas a day. Yet at times luck isn’t on his side and he catches nothing, forcing him to stay fishing until 9 p.m.
“We sail together with other fishermen. There are ten boats. Sometimes, of all the ten boats, only one boat gets a catch. If we don’t catch any, there’s nothing we can do; it means no income for us. It’s getting more difficult to catch tuna these days; the tuna population is running out while the number of the fishermen is growing.
There’s another problem Asri has to face. Every time his boat is broken, he has to stop fishing for a month. For the boat’s maintenance, he has to borrow some money to buy diesel fuel and to repair the boat. It costs IDR 3,000,000 to 5,000,000, quite a lot of money for Asri whose income is not steady.
This condition has forded Khadijah to find other sources of income to support her family. To earn some money, Khadijah sells fish in Atambua.
“Usually, I sell the fish that my husband catches in Atambua market, 25 kilometers from here. If he catches nothing, I buy small fish from fishermen in Atapupu to be sold in Atambua market. This is the way for me to feed my family,” said Khadijah.
Amidst the difficulties that they face, Asri and Khadijah are grateful for what they have, especially that Global Qurban sent them qurbani packages this year. “Alhamdulillah, just in time when we are facing difficulties, Global Qurban sent qurbani packages to Dualaus Village. This is the second time Global Qurban sends qurbani meat to the village,” he said.
Our conversation had to stop, for Asri had to prepare his fishing equipment for the next day, and Khadijah had to go to Atambua market to sell fish. From this short conversation, we learned about the immense benefits of our qurbani. Though they are just a few packages, they mean so much to those who are needy. Insha Allah, more qurbani will be done in years to come.