Kaohsiung, Taiwan – March 20, 2021 – It’s usual practice for Indonesian Fishers to form a group. Most of the groups are formed according to their place of origin in Indonesia. Some of them are also more widened. It is open to all the fishers and land-based migrants who wished to be part of the group. In Donggang, there is FOSPI, an organization that becomes an umbrella to the various organizations of the fishers.
How are these organizations? What kind of activities they do? How important for the members of these organizations to join? It’s important to enumerate some important facts about these organizations.
Many fishers experience big Solidarity in these organizations. Their Solidarity can be seen in difficult moments for the members. They would gather donations from its members to help their fellow in need. They would gather donations to be given to families left behind when one member dies. They even donate money to its member when their closed family dies. They will donate to those who are sick. They would extend a helping hand for those who are in prison. They even give money to their member who returns home. They see their organization as a family in a foreign land. They probably prefer to join these organizations than other types of unions because of the great Solidarity that they find.
Gather to Pray Together
Every time they gather together, they would pray together. For fishers, faith is important. In community prayer, they find the strength to face the difficulties in their work. It’s amazing to see the great interest and participation in prayer moments.
Gather for Celebrations
They have their way how to celebrate special moments. They would bring their way to celebrate special moments in a foreign land. Many times you would hear them say, « it feels like home. » They would cut « nasi tumpeng ». It reminds them of those big celebrations at home.
A Place to Share Their Struggles and Share Their Complaints
Many fishers only know their organization and have greater trust to share their struggles and complaints. They would share their stories honestly with their leaders and other members. Their leaders are trying to find ways how to help. In some cases, the leaders would refer the case to local NGOs.
We can see the importance of these organizations for fishers. Stella Maris is always there to support and walk with these organizations.