PUSKAS BAZNAS is currently organizing a survey program of mustahik who has received productive zakat from BAZNAS called Zakat Community Development. The objectives are to gather data on how far the impacts of zakat productive program of BAZNAS are helping the mustahik in developing their prosperity. The focus areas of the surveys are spread throughout 20 regions including Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, Bali, Nusa and Sulawesi. From all these, approximately 2000-2500 mustahik will be surveyed. The survey program started in Sukabumi, Bandung and Sumedang. A total of 400 mustahik were surveyed with the assistance from the respected BAZNAS region (BAZNAS Daerah).

Bandung

In Bandung, PUSKAS BAZNAS and BAZNAS West Java visited the place of mustahik which is located in Padalarang, about 30 minutes from Bandung. The members of community development welcomed us warmly; we had a lot of exchanges including topics about their life conditions and also impressed to find out that the community has a joint enterprise which sells rice, sugar and any food commodities. In other hand, PUSKAS BAZNAS were shown the development of the Kindergarten which is funded by the BAZNAS West Java, and the cultivation of vegetables in front of the kindergarten.

According to BAZNAS West Java, this program has been running for a year and half with the assistance from the citizens of respective areas who take up the tasks of coordinating and guiding the members to be in line with the program and report periodically to BAZNAS West Java. “This program has been benefiting us, thank you to BAZNAS which has kindly helped us”, said one of the community development members, Mr Bambang as the chief distributor of BAZNAS West Java. Additionally, he said the first stage of the program was to guide mustahik to strengthen their skills and mentality to establish home industry as well as to create community’s saving into which every month from each member should deposit IDR. 10,000. The joint enterprise which sells food commodities was established from the community’s saving that follows the principles of cooperation. After the first stage, the next stage is they will be given a fund to use as capital for the member.

Sumedang


In Sumedang region the community development program has been running for more than 2 years. The survey took place in Dayeuh Luhur which is about 40 minutes from Sumedang city. The geographical terrain is quite difficult to tread as the place is located in the mountain. When we arrived in Dayeuh Luhur, the Village Chief and some mustahiks from the community development welcomed us to held a survey. The mustahik or the members of the community development are mostly farmers, with banana as the main commodity product. This commodity is the result of a productive zakat distributed by BAZNAS Sumedang. The banana is unlike a common local banana; it tastes very sweet, but the size is small and the locals call it “roit banana” (pisang roit). Before BAZNAS’s assistance arrived the roit banana was not a valuable good because the texture and the colour are not as good as premium banana. However, members of the community development have learned to add value to their bananas by processing the banana into sweet chips. The chips are now very popular for the visitors of Dayeuh Luhur. According to the Village Chief, “a lot of visitors purchase the banana chips because to them taste is very good and the colour is naturally red”.

PUSKAS BAZNAS and BAZNAS Sumedang also visited a mustahik’s house who sells banana chips to observe the production process. Surprisingly, the process is very simple; the banana is thinly shredded and then fried. The packaging is also good because BAZNAS Sumedang coached them to package their products properly. According to the one of the members of community development, BAZNAS has assisted them in the provision of seeds, fertilizer and capital. “I am happy that our condition is slightly better now”, said one of the members. However, they have hopes that this program will continue and that other assistance could reach them to improve their productivity.


After short visits to Bandung and Sumedang, PUSKAS BAZNAS believes that zakat for community development is very beneficial for mustahik because it proves substantial in the process of coaching and meeting their needs to establish their own home industry has made them survived. Therefore, the zakat scheme is very crucial to their survival. However, merely stating such does not mean that the job of BAZNAS is done. BAZNAS plays an important role to deliver a suitable development program according to the potential of the respected area, and BAZNAS have to monitor directly the program by observing the community’s place to ensure the sustainability of zakat development program. (Ridho/Puskas)