Werain Village, Selaru District

Southeast West Maluku


Month Opened:
6 December 2015

TBI Florence is located in Werain village in Selaru district, Maluku Tenggara Barat regency, Maluku province. This village is situated in Selaru Island, an island of which southern part is abutted on the Arafura Sea and the Australia continent. Directly abutted on Australian continent, the area is categorized as one of the frontiers and outermost regions in Indonesia – besides disadvantaged- according to the Ministry for Development of Disadvantaged Areas or Kementerian Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal (2014). There are two alternatives to go to Werain village from Saumlaki city, they are the direct line and district line.

The first line, the direct one, is using motor laut or ‘sea motor’. This sea motor does not depart to Saumlaki every day and vice versa.  Sea motor will only depart when the capacity is already full or when there is a specific occasion or necessity. The travel takes around 7 hours with Rp50.000,00 fare for the one-way trip. The second line, the district one, can be reached through the district using speed/sea motor from Saumlaki to Adaut, the district city of Selaru. The length of the travel is around 45 minutes with Rp60.000,00 fare for speed and Rp30.000,00 fare for sea motor for one-way trip. After arriving in Adaut, the travel then continued using a land motor (ojek). The length of the trip takes 2 hours at the longest with Rp200.000,00 fare. The road that is taken is a pathway road which is still full of bushes.

Werain village has the population of 554 people. The inhabitants generally work as farmers in plantations and seaweed farmers as well as fishermen. Some others work as crew members of boats, traders, and teachers. From all of the available teachers, only 14 of them have become civil servants. The income of the people in Werain village is not fixed with the average of Rp300.000 – 400.000/month.  The level of education of Werain inhabitants can be said as relatively low. The data shows that 32.8% of them are Elementary School graduate, 8.6% Junior High School graduate, 12.6% Senior High School graduate, 1.5% Diploma I/II graduate, 2.9% University graduate, and the rest is unknown. These past few years, the production of seaweed has been quite promising so some of the villagers could provide education to their children to the university level. However, it is such a pity that almost all of the children in Werain do not return to their village again. All of them go to the cities. As a result, the development of education is imperceptible in the village.

TBI Werain is located in one of the villagers’ houses, namely Mrs. Jeane Ribka Tonu. Mrs. Jeane is a figure who plays a significant role in Indonesian education because she voluntarily lets the TBI use her house and time for free for the children education purposes in the village. She also currently manages the TBI together with her husband. The opening hour has always been adjusted to the busy time of the children in the village. It is not a rare thing as well if the children come in the evening because it has indeed become the place for entertainment. Thus, books are the only entertainment that they can access there.