IOM and SBMI Proudly Present: SBMI Mart Cooperative – The First Empowerment Initiative for Returning Migrant Workers in Maros, Supported by the Local Government

(From left) General Chair of SBMI - Hariyanto, Chaidir Syam - Regent of Maros and Zena Van Bemmel-Faulkner, IOM Program Manager at the SBMI Mart launch event in Maros.


On 20 May 2024, IOM in collaboration with Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI) as implementing partner launched the SBMI Mart Community-based Cooperative in Maros, South Sulawesi. The grand opening of the initiative was held at the Maros Regent’s Office and attended by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and IOM alongside the Mayor of Maros himself. The launch was opened with the performance of ‘Paddupa”, a traditional dance from Bugis-Makassar to welcome the Regent and all participants. 

The launch was opened with remarks from the Chairwoman of SBMI Maros, National Chairman of SBMI Jakarta, IOM representative, and the Mayor of Maros. Hasna, Chairwoman of SBMI Maros reported the initiative’s progress in her remarks and hoped for “continuous support from everyone especially the Government of Maros Region to kick-start the economic empowerment of returning migrant workers and their family”. 

Hariyanto, National Chairman of SBMI elaborated the contribution of each local government institution involved in the establishment of SBMI Mart. He also mentioned that “the initiative supports the implementation of better migration governance in Maros Regency in a collaborative manner and based on the local context”. 

Zena Van Bemmel-Faulkner, IOM representative, Programme Manager of the Migration Governance for Sustainable Development in Indonesia, expressed her appreciation towards “the collective efforts in empowering returning migrant workers and their families, and hopes that this initiative can lead to longer term initiatives that are sustainable and supported further by the local government to benefit more migrant workers in the future”. 

Chaidir Syam the Regent of Maros Region, formally launched the opening of SBMI Mart in Maros: “I am delighted that, Indonesian migrant workers are making a resurgence in Maros Regency by establishing a business called SBMI Mart, an effort to encourage the organization of returning Indonesian migrant workers in a safe, orderly, and regular manner.”

The cooperative is the first empowerment initiative for returning migrant workers in Maros and is supported by more than 12 local government institutions that have provided, among others, ongoing economic empowerment, business licensing, livelihood training and mentoring from their respective areas of responsibility. As part of its establishment, three Working Group Meetings were held to discuss the involvement of relevant stakeholders and gain the local government’s support and commitment for the initiative. As part of the initiative, a market assessment and mapping were conducted to understand more about the economic viability and market demand of the selected products.  

Supported by the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MMPTF), the initiative has empowered more than 100 returning migrant workers and their families from six villages in four districts in Maros through capacity building activities for community-based and cooperative-based economic empowerment. Assistance for entrepreneurs was also given to the members of SBMI Maros Cooperative. The SBMI Mart was established from the members’ potential, managed by members, and for the well-being of beneficiaries. The initiative marks IOM’s efforts to pursue the goals of the Global Compact for Migration, which aims to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration. 


SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals