Depok, W Java (ANTARA) - University of Indonesia's (UI's) Community Service Team developed the ecotourism potential in Bungin, Bekasi, West Java, through beach revamping, boosting milkfish business, recycling garbage, and providing fishing nets and fuel oil for fishing boats.

"To support the development of microenterprises run by the residents of Bungin Village, the UI community service team offered business training and interest-free business capital loans averaging Rp4 million per business given to five microbusinesses," Chairperson of the UI Community Service Center Prof. Ir. Adi Surjosatyo PhD stated at the UI campus in Depok, West Java, on Friday.

The UI Community Service Team also facilitates technical training and SOP for power plant maintenance for youngsters in Bungin, in the hopes that the renewable energy (EBT) programs would be sustainable, so that the transfer of technology and management of electricity from renewable energy can be sustainable in future.

"Through integrated ecotourism pioneering activities, several supporting microbusinesses that match the potential and conditions of citizens can run," he explained.

The residents of Kampung Bungin lauded the form of support from the UI lecturers to tackle the problems faced by the residents. A local businessman Suri remarked that the business capital disbursed was quite significant in supporting business continuity, as most residents here were riddled in debt they owed to moneylenders.

"The helpless citizens, in order to make ends meet, have to bear the interest burden of the debt reaching up to 23 percent. Such debts are the reason behind the residents of Bungin Village reeling from poverty," he pointed out.

As a form of development of microbusinesses, youngsters from Kampung Bungin are also creating and improving the quality of handicrafts, taking into account the rising demand for their miniature boats.

"We are proud, as it turns out that we can work and make money with handicrafts that we made at the start to spend time on the sidelines while venturing out to sea," Muhlisin, one of Bungin's youth, remarked.

Their miniature works can be sold up to Rp250 thousand per unit owing to promotional support from the UI community team in the form of training in optimizing social media among Bungin teens.

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Translator: Feru Lantara/Eliswan Azly
Editor: Sri Haryati
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