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What does it mean to feel safe?

On SpiritMoves

What does it mean to feel safe? For many of us, we don't think about it until we've lost it. What I learned most from my work with these young women here in Nepal is that many women in this world do not feel safe in their daily lives, and worse yet, have never felt safe.

Our two groups (volunteers and Nepalese women) did a number of art games and exercises during the week structured to take us all deeper into and with ourselves as well as our relationship to our outside world. After each practice, we would share, in the large group of 25, or smaller groups. I think the greatest shock for me was the sharing on this topic. None of the young women who chose to share about the "safety" exercise felt safe in their world, and had never felt safe. They gave us pieces of their lives and their history, and through many tears, sobs, and much heartfelt stories, we followed each other through this very emotionally wrenching afternoon.

As women, none of us are truly safe until all of us feel safe in the world we live in. How can we each be proactive in creating and sustaining safety for ourselves, our families and our communities? What does "safety" mean to you?

16 : The Jack of All Trades

On Sui Generis

Lately I perceive myself as the most relaxed man on earth. From my graduation day back in February, until roughly this July, I could sleep all day long without thinking about what I’m going to do next. I feel like I could finish things up later, one by one, so that I don’t get tangled around them. My activities were mainly revolved around my personal preparation concerned with my postgraduate studies. I was collecting datas for my thesis, booking a flight and accommodation, and taking care of Visa. All of them didn’t really take much time, as I approach them carefully, well planned, and one step at a time. But it all changed on July 27th.

It was the last day of Ramadhan. I just went to sleep after eating my Sahoor meal at 4 AM. I woke up at 10, only to found out that my scholarship guarantor, LPDP, sent each of the awardee in my group, Leadership Training batch 16 (Pelatihan Kepemimpinan angkatan 16/PK 16), an assignment. “Tugas 1 Pra PK 16”, the email said. The task required us to choose a chief through a perfect deliberation mechanism. Among 125 name on the list LPDP has, each one of us has to agree on one name, and one name only. LPDP did allow us to submitted at least three candidates, but there will be no voting process allowed. Each of the candidate has to supply a full support for those who leads the race, and the rest of the group had to do so as well.

I was kind of shocked actually, because that was the very first time that I have to pick a chief from a bunch of people I barely even knows. And also the fact that we are a large group. At that time, we consist of 125 people. Even though, after a process of listing, we were actually only consist of 112 people, but it was still a big amount of 111 people I’ve never met and know personally before. And to make things even “exhilirating”, LPDP only gave us three days to deliberate this thing. It means that by July 31st, we have to submit one name to be our chief.

And so the discussion begins. Moderated by Abie (Ikhsanul Habibie), Nita (Anita Rahmawati), and Oli (Annissa Aulia Handika), we first discussed about the criteria. Most of us agree on two things : availability and accessibility. What we meant by “availibility” was that our soon to be chief has to be available 24/7, everytime needed. He/she has to have some kind of willingness, integrity, and passion toward this program. And also – the most fundamental charactersitic – is that our chief has to genuinely bridge the interests of our group with LPDP. Furthermore, our chief has to be able to mobilize easily from time to time, because he/she will be required to go back and forth to do survey, or simply meet up with LPDP. This is what we meant by “accessibility”.

After we agreed on the criteria, moderators gave us time to voluntarily run as a candidate. The first name that bravely came up was Adi (Adi Chris DPP Bangun). He is an awardee from Medan, planning to go to University of Manchester, undertaking Master’s degree. The second one was Faisal (Ahmad Faisal), who offered us maturity and efficiency. He was the most senior among other candidates, and planning to take Master’s program in University of Southampton. The third candidate was Danu (Rizky Danurwindo). He was the one with the most glimmering CV, as he achieved so much during his years in college. He’s going to University College London, taking Management as his Master’s degree. And lastly, there was me. Initially I was both shy and scared. Shy because I had nothing to offer, and scared because I’m afraid I will let our group down. But after receiving many encouragements from our group, I decided to take this opportunity as a learning process. After this process, it’s campaign time.

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