The dynamics of national development has become such a complex thing. This is an interesting issue studied by Wiranta Yudha Ginting, Executive Director of the Local Initiative for Occupational Health and Safety Network (LION) Indonesia, until now. He has long experience of community empowerment and development. During his study at Padjadjaran University, Bandung, West Java, he worked in the field for community empowerment and development programs.
Through the experience, Wira believes that the best development and social change come from the community. This encouraged him to study the issues of development and social change more deeply. It is also the reason for him to continue his study in the USA.
Luckily, he got an information about the USAID-PRESTASI Scholarship Program from his colleague. Through a long and inconvenient process–he was an alternate of the scholarship–he was awarded the scholarship from USAID-PRESTASI.
He was admitted to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. He took the concentration on Sustainable International Development. The program is focus on the dynamics of development and community development on an international scale.
During his study, He learned a lot about international-scale development. He met development activists from many countries in "The Little UN". In that organization, He has learnt a lot of development subjects in other continents, such as Africa, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, and Europe.
"This is the place where all of us studied, discussed, exchanged ideas and knowledge experiences with each other. I did not waste this opportunity to learn while building a wider network, "He continued.
He always tried his best to study hard since to study at Heller is competitive. To support his study, he also attended some activities on campus such as to become the facilitator of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Workshop. In the workshop, the students learned about the planning and implementation of development projects using participatory methods and PRA techniques.
He has also participated in several activities outside the campus. Such as, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Equator Prize 2014, UNDP. His duty is to review the development ideas from Malaysia and Indonesia. As the supporter of the environmental friendly and human development subject, he also participated in The People's Climate March held in New York.
The knowledge and experiences He had during the master in the United States, were brought back to this country by various program program related to community development. Since 2016, He was entrusted as the Executive Director of LION Indonesia. The position is a great opportunity for him to reflect his knowledge into his job.
"I am implementing the knowledge and experience I gained at my current workplace because the knowledge I learnt is coherent with the work I do every day. The lecture materials such as program planning and implementation processes, monitoring and evaluation processes, and reporting processes are closely related to the job I have now," He added.
The application of the knowledge that he gained in the USA has brought about a positive change in the organization where he is working. The organization can perform more effectively with a greater impact. This makes his colleagues more enthusiastic in carrying out their duties.
He admitted, USAID-PRESTASI plays an important role in his life. He was lucky to have a valuable opportunity to study the dynamics of development and social change in more depth. He hopes USAID-PRESTASI can reach many more people, so they can get the same opportunities as him to develop their capacities.
He encouraged the younger generation, "Do not hesitate to follow the idealism and do social work, because what you do is beneficial to others."