Hening is the National Environmental Coordinator at the National Environment and Disaster Management Institution of ‘Aisyiyah, the largest Muslim women's organization in Indonesia.
Ta'awun is the basic teaching and morals of Islam. It contains the spirit to move the good deeds to help others, not in just giving aid or charity, but also to empower and to engage the people we help.
The scripture from the Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maidah (Chapter 5) verse 2 says:
…wa ta'āwanụ 'alal-birri wat-taqwā wa lā ta'āwanụ 'alal-iṡmi wal-'udwāni wattaqullāh - and cooperate in doing virtue and piety, and do not help in committing sin and transgression.
Ta’awun ala al-bir wa al-taqwa is an Islamic morality, the moral of a Muslim who gives and reinforces one another according to one’s ability. Knowledgeable people help with the science and practice it. Those who have enough help with their wealth. People who are strong protect and strengthen (struggle) in the way of Allah.
Ta’awun ala al-itsmi wa al-udwan means helping each other so as not to act immoral and violate the commands of religion, and the command of God in doing good to human beings.
This spirit of ta’awun relies on three principles, namely meaning, doing, and sustaining. It is based on the values of the Qur’an that sincerely carried with service and professional management. All assistance is not charity in nature, but rather empowerment that translates into fresh mind (refreshing mindset), fresh money (assistance that its benefits are felt immediately), and access for change (advocacy, assistance, and opening opportunities).
Alms (donation) is not only the process of giving change (coins donation) but giving chance (opportunities), the underlying factors of “Covid-19 Ta'awun Movement,” in the current pandemic situation
COVID-19 and ‘Aisyiyah Response
In late December 2019, a new virus, later named as Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) began spreading around the globe with the first case founded in China. As the virus spread to other countries like wildfire, on 11 March 2020 the World Health Organization declared the virus as Pandemic. It has big impacts on economic, social and environmental aspects in the world. In Indonesia, until 20 May 2020, there were 19,189 positive Covid-19 cases, with 4575 recovered 4,575 and 1,242 deaths.
Up until April 11, 2020, more than 1.5 million employees were out of work or terminated and laid off, with 1.2 million workers from the formal sector and 265,000 from the informal sector. This brings a sad social impact because of the number of poor people will increase that makes it difficult to make ends meet. In terms of the environment, the amount of household waste, masks and medical waste has surged due to the pandemic.
In the spirit of ta'awun, in the early period of the pandemic, ‘Aisyiyah launched a nationwide “Family Resilience to Prevent Covid-19” program. It consists the following four main groups of activities:
Families are requested to maintain healthy lifestyle by washing hands more often, wearing face masks, and trying not to be in crowd.
Activities include reducing trash, reusing what can be utilized, segregating waste before disposing, and family farming by planting vegetables around the house.
Smart Logistic Family
Families need to keep enough dried staple foods, and protein in the house
Family Care and Share
Families have to strengthen the relationships with fellow human being in their surrounding communities.
So far ‘Aisyiyah has prepared more than 5,000 food packages, buying from small farmer and food vendors, and delivering them to families that need assistance.
As a women's organization, ‘Aisyiyah has been successful in encouraging communities in Indonesia to implement the “Family Resilience to Prevent Covid-19” in the spirit of ta’awun for humanitarian and environmental movements. A number of individuals and organizations have also been inspired to apply this good deed for long-term programs.
Introducing Hening Parlan
Hening Purwati Parlan is the National Environmental Coordinator at the National Environment and Disaster Management Institution of ‘Aisyiyah, the largest Muslim women organization in Indonesia. She also works at the Multi-stakeholder Forestry Programme Phase 4 Project as the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Palladium International Indonesia.
Hening has been active in humanitarian and environmental fields for more than 20 years. Her working experiences include as an activist at The Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI); as the Secretary General of the Indonesian Society for Disaster Management, focusing on disaster management; and as the Director of the Humanitarian Forum Indonesia, working with 16 faith-based organizations.
Hening has also worked with UNDP Project on REDD+, UNOPS, Land Equity, HEKS and other national and international organizations.
At present Hening is most active in a number of organizations, namely as a member of The Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre, a climate reality leader of The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, a fellow with GreenFaith International, as well as with the EcoMasjid program organized by the Indonesian Ulema Council and the Indonesian Mosque Council
Hening holds a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Disaster Management. Among her continuing education are short courses from Harvard Kennedy School, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network, Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought and Civilizations, The Climate Reality Project led by Al Gore, and GreenFaith International.
‘Aisyiyah is an Islamic non-governmental organization in Indonesia dedicated to female empowerment and charitable work. It was established on 19 May 1917 by Nyai Ahmad Dahlan to facilitate women's access to education, health care and social services.
The organization provides livelihoods, small business development supports, family planning services, maternal and paediatric care, orphanages, training for female Muslim clerics, and standard preschool through university level education. In these sectors, in total, the ‘Aisyiyah manages 4,560 education units, 280 health facilities, 459 social organizations, 503 small scale business industries, and 3,785 islamic funding organizations.
The ‘Aisyiyah is able to expand its intervention due to its extensive organization networks in which are widespread in 33 Provincial Branch, 370 Regencies Branches, 2,332 Sub-district Branches, and 6,924 Village Branches. Aisyiyah is a wing of the Muhammadiyah Movement that focuses on women.