Melanie and her mother

There are many anonymous volunteers in the Subud USA community who are not, nor need they be, official Elderberry Volunteers. We encourage them only to keep us posted as to the life status of their Elders and their pertinent information. They may do this by contacting their Regional Elderberry Board Members or mardiyahat@gmail.com.

We emphasize that the role of Elderberry Volunteers is primarily to provide the Elders with Latihan, either by joining them at their domiciles or bringing them to the Latihan hall.

Persons interested in becoming volunteers may ask their local Chairs if there are any Elders with Latihan needs in their state or region. They may also refer to the database on the website and then check with their Regional Board Members.

Volunteers need not be Subud Helpers, local, regional or otherwise. It is sufficient they be seasoned members who are not new to receiving the Latihan with other members.

Vouchers: Volunteers who take on additional responsibilities requiring extra time and effort, may complete an Elderberry Voucher explaining their extra contributions and send this to their Regional Board Members or to Mardiyah Tarantino, Finally, we urgently request all members, whether they wish to be volunteers or not, to inform us of any Elders who are not already in contact with Subud members and to let us know about them.


Do You Speak Elderberry?

By now, most people know that the Elderberry Program’s aim is to find all the elderly ‘Pioneers’  around the U.S. who may have lost touch with Subud through illness or an incorrect address. Elderberry’s next job is to find them a volunteer with whom they can do Latihan, or who will take them to a group.

I’m delighted to say, more and more members are interested in assisting with the Program, and for that reason, we have to be sure we’re all speaking the same language!

The terms we use are very specific to avoid confusion.  Not that they are the best terms, but they’re the ones we used initially to define what we mean. For that reason, it’s important not to interchange them. So to be sure we are all speaking the same language, let’s go over the vocabulary:

The Regional Board members:  These are members who have been willing to take on the responsibility of finding and collecting all the information on the Elders in their Subud Region which they then send to the Data Base.  Also, they are in contact with those who have volunteered or who will volunteer to assist the Elders.  They also distribute vouchers when requested to by a Volunteer.


Data Base:  At present, the Founder (myself, Mardiyah T.) and former Interim Chair (David McCormack) keep a data base of the Elders and Volunteers. The data base is necessarily ongoing and updated.


Volunteers:  Subud members who are willing to do Latihan at the domicile of an Elder, or transport the Elder to and from the Latihan hall on a regular basis. They need not be helpers, but preferably “Seasoned” members.


Caregivers.  “Caregivers” are never Subud members.  They are persons hired and paid for by an organization, such as Social Services or a nursing facility. It is important not to confuse this term with Subud Volunteers.


Vouchers: These are applied for by Volunteers who have gone “above and beyond” their usual service. They are checked by the Founder, and treasurer, Rosetta Narvaez.  These vouchers may include reimbursements for helping with paper work, gas and car expenses to a Congress, computer research, etc., but do not include caregiver service as described above.  Example:  the volunteer may assist the Elder in applying for social services, and this may be time consuming: “Above and Beyond” their usual duties for which they  may be recompensed. But the Volunteers themselves do not perform social or medical services.

The Treasurer is Rosetta Narvaez, who collects the vouchers, records them, and sends them to the Subud USA treasurer, who cuts the check and sends it to the  Volunteer. These sums are deducted from the Susila Dharma Grant allotted to Elderberry, as a Susila Dharma Project.

Nursing Homes: When an Elder Pioneer is in a nursing home, a verbal or written permission needs to be obtained from the Elder so that the Volunteer may visit freely and share in medical information if the Elder so wishes.  Please contact David M cCormack for more information regarding nursing home procedure.


For Elderberry  

Mardiyah Tarantino