Shemmy Samuel Rory

Ashoka Fellow
,
Fellow Since 2003
Paguyupan Penata Parkir Surakarta

Citation

This profile was prepared when Shemmy Samuel Rory was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Shemmy is developing the social infrastructure to improve the economic and political status of informal workers, particularly those who serve the public in a variety of street-level professions. These include parking attendants, food and drink vendors, hawkers, trash collectors, and porters. Each serves an important need in Indonesian cities, yet each is subject to harassment, extortion, and even violence by authorities, criminals, and even their own employers. In addition to being unsafe, these professions also tend to yield a low income with few opportunities for growth or mobility. Shemmy is creating a way for the workers to address their lack of voice and recognition as legitimate citizens, while reorganizing themselves to take ownership of more aspects of their work and expand its profitability. His is the first effort aiming at countrywide action to integrate people in diverse professions.
Shemmy's mission started with parking attendants who are employed through a subcontracting system that gives them little chance to represent their own interests to the city. Realizing that much of the revenue generated by parking was being siphoned off through corruption, Shemmy helped attendants organize a company to bid on contracts for street parking. The company has won some contracts, and Shemmy has seen the future. The city was receiving more of the revenue owed to it, and the parking association was offering better pay under better conditions for its members.
Shemmy's next step is to reach out to others on the street, particularly small vendors, through an enterprise development program. After creating ways to reorganize their daily work, Shemmy focuses on broader developmental issues for the workers. Through dues, profits, and worker contributions, the association has set up a healthcare scheme for members and their families. A scholarship fund is planned to help members keep their children in school. There is a pension fund, as well, and a profit-sharing program that pays "livestock" dividends back to the workers in their rural homes.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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