Asyiah Dewi Khairina, an Education Servant in a Hinterland Papua – Not many teachers are willing to be placed in 3T areas. If being given the opportunity to choose, they will be more likely to choose to be placed in big cities with an easy and affordable access.

However, this is not such with Asyiah Dewi Khairina, a cadre and General Treasurer of the Merauke Nasyiatul Aisyiyah (PDNA) Regional Leader who since 10 years ago has chosen to dedicate herself as a teacher at SMK Negeri 1 Okaba, in Kampung Es Wambi, Okaba District, Merauke Regency, Papua.

The school is 170 km from Merauke City. It is also not easy terrain to the  get there. Because we have to cross rivers using motorized boats, and muddy land roads that can not be reached by motorbikes.

The difficulty of the field that must be taken is not proportion to the attention given by the government to her and the other teachers who educate the nation’s children in the 3T area (front, remote, and underdeveloped), because it has been running for 2 years. However, it is not a burden, because educating children, especially in the 3T area for Dewi Khairina, is a commitement , as well as a field for da’wah. As the message of Alm. Eddy Soegono, his father who is a Muhammadiyah activist in Merauke from Gombong, Central Java.

Dewi Khairina said that when she received the CPNS Decree (SK) and was placed in the inland, it was her father who strengthened her to feel at home and willing to serve in the inland of Merauke, Papua. Through educational methods in the style of Muhammadiyah cadres, the father believes his daughter is capable of conducting this mandate.

With all the busyness of her duties as a civil servant, Dewi Khairina never forgets Muhammadiyah, which has been considered as a home to return to, and serves endlessly. She is grateful, having a pious Catholic boss who still allows her to be active in the organization.

“For my state and organizational duties, I have to be good at dividing my time. Thank God my boss who is also a Catholic activist and understands the duties of an activist as long as I don’t cause harm and ignore my duties at school, I am allowed to join the activities,” continued Dewi.

The woman who was born in Merauke 36 years ago added that at Persyarikatan Muhammadiyah she was forced to hold many positions due to the lack of human resources there. She served as General Secretary of the Regional Leadership ‘Aisyiyah (PDA) Merauke, general treasurer of PDNA Merauke, joined in KOKAMWATI, TSPM Pimda 196 Merauke, and MDMC.

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, Dewi Khairani did not stand idle, she and her husband and children provided themselves as volunteers for the burial of the Covid-19 corpse. Under the aegis of the Merauke Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center (MDMC), she and her husband and children serve the people who have died due to the viciousness of COVID-19.

In their place of duty, 99 percent of Papuan Indigenous People (OAP) are already Muslim. However, their Islam still follows the customs, they do not pray, and fast, but they remains to be circumcised and do not eat dog and pork like the people around them.

This is a special concern, therefore Dewi Khairani is slowly accompanying the surrounding Muslim minorities. Starting to introduce hijaiyah letters to Muslim children, teaching by example the attitude of the Prophet Muhammad, unexpectedly there was an OAP who was interested in and sincere, without being forced to say two sentences of the creed with her guidance.

“In Kampung Es Wambi where I work, the customary leader forbade the building of a prayer room. Let alone the prayer room, the Protestant Christian church alone is not allowed. So there’s only the catholic church. There is a prayer room in the next village which is 13 km away. So if the teachers want to pray Friday,  they have to go to the sub-district (district) which is 18 KM away,” she said.

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