For two years, NEMESIS partner Social Enterprise International ran a training on social enterprise for teachers at Islamic schools along with the British Council. Pesantren Wisausaha Agrobisnis Aba, a school teaching business to teenage boys, was one of them, a fine example of community based enterprise.
The school offered free places to lads from poor communities whom, in return for their place, worked on the farm owned by the school that provided their main income. The business classes also had a phone recycling business. When the rice harvest failed, school gave each village a cow from the school farm, giving them an alternative income to help small farmers pay their landlords. Every weekend the staff and students would go out to the villages to help them look after their cows. If a village did well they received more cows.
Once a year the animals were slaughtered and sold to the rich to give to the poor as their Zakat duty (Zakat being a pillar of Islam, for which the rich must contribute to the poor). The profits from these sales were shared by the school and the villages. When the boys graduated they were allowed to take an animal from the farm back to their own home, to compensate for the lost labour to the family whilst they were studying. The value of the animal they took depended on how well they did at the school.
Islamic schools in Java
Social Enterprise International
Why is it good?
Innovation, community involvement and social enterprise