Kartini Mansmoor is a national UNV volunteer with the UNDP People-Centred Development Programme. (UNV)Amy Brathwaite is an international UNV volunteer Reports Officer for OCHA in Indonesia. (UNV)
02 March 2009 Jakarta and Teluk Mayalibit, Indonesia:
Kartini Mansmoor is a young Indonesian woman who, after graduation, decided to dedicate one year of her life to serve the Papuan community in Teluk Mayalibit by joining UNV.
Since junior high school she always had the desire to help people in need, she says. Now she is a UNV volunteer with the UNDP People-Centred Development Programme, she feels she is doing something both useful and satisfying at the same time.
Ms. Mansmoor was assigned to a community learning project, teaching children and adults different subjects and organizing activities and workshops. Her commitment was to contribute to people's empowerment, helping them to focus on and develop their capacities. “I helped people to see their strength through volunteerism,” she remarked.
The UNV experience made Kartini Mansmoor think about people's rights and how building capacity, particularly for women, in many Papuan communities has been overlooked. She feels, however, she has brought a little bit of hope. She says she was warmly welcomed and supported by the community and local institutions, which recognized her commitment and "the UNV reliability".
Amy Brathwaite is an international UNV volunteer Reports Officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Indonesia. The Canadian national works in coordination with partner organizations to look after vulnerable communities in post-conflict and natural disaster affected areas.
Because of her role she attended the National Volunteer Workshop in Serang, Bantem Province, which brought together 1,500 volunteers from all 33 provinces across Indonesia. The aim of the forum was to improve volunteer management and to share good practices and viewpoints about how to strengthen the role of volunteers in decision-making process at all levels.
As an international UNV volunteer, she was also asked to present at the Volunteer Leadership Forum to promote and discuss UNV in Indonesia, and to make linkages between national UNV volunteers and other volunteers who are deployed in an emergency.
As Indonesia is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, she stressed the crucial ability of volunteers to mobilize and organize an effective response in emergency situations, which reflects the Indonesian spirit of 'gotong royong' – working together.
By engaging over 1,000 men, women and children in the simulation exercise held during the forum, the volunteer movement ensured that in times of disaster the community would have the capacity not only to protect their community but also to save lives.