When we’re together, we’re unstoppable

안녕하세요. 저는 여기 있어요! It’s been a while since the last time I showed up with new and (hopefully) insightful post. I will do my best to keep this blog updated!

Last Saturday was a productive Ramadan weekend because I joined #BeADigitalPro workshop from Girls In Tech Indonesia.

Girls in Tech is a global non-profit organization focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of women in technology and entrepreneurship. Founded in 2007 by Adriana Gascoigne, the organization has grown from San Francisco to more than 50 chapters located in North America, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, Africa, and South America.

Its Indonesian chapter have been around since 2013 and they focus on the similar issue. Girls In Tech Indonesia have been actively conducting workshops, classes, conferences, and office visits.

I have been eyeing for their coding workshop but unfortunately, the seats are limited and I’m always missing out! But last Saturday I got a chance to join their Personal Essay writing class with Kamantara.id from Zetta Media.

Learning, Sharing, and Supporting Each Other
The class was packed with 30+ participants in Kejora HQ Building. For half a day, participants learned to write personal essay. Personal essay is a non-fiction writing that focuses on a certain event from a person’s personal point of view. A personal essay can be based on a personal experience that results in a lesson that you learn. It gives you a chance to showcase your experiences and personal opinion. If you’re not sure how a personal essay should be, head over to websites like Thought Catalog, where the essays are based on real life experiences of its community members.

Hanny, Managing Editor of Kamantara, shared one of the most powerful personal essays known titled “My Family’s Slave”. Written by journalist Alex Tizon, it covers the story of a woman called “Lola” who has served Tizon’s family for three generations – 56 years – without pay. Alex narrates that “Lola” had always been there for them since his early childhood in the Philippines. His family brought Lola with them when they moved to the US. And he was too young to question Lola’s position in the family.

The writing proves that a powerful personal essay can convey strong and bigger message to its audiences, not only about life lessons, but also teaches us about humanity.

During break time, there were also four women who won coding scholarship from Clevio and Girls In Tech. They presented their self-built website in front of the audiences. One of my favorites was by Mbak Mala’s e-commerce site. She’s a housewife & entrepreneur who sells children’s clothes online. From the scholarship, she’s able to build her own e-commerce site called “KostumPro” from scratch. She also did some content writing to drive more traffic to her website, which I found very thoughtful!

I was also so moved by Sediqa’s website. I thought she was Malaysian before she revealed that she was from Afghanistan. Sediqa teaches in a refugee school for Afghan refugees in Cisarua, Bogor. Her website wasn’t online yet but she showed a few contents in it, mainly about her slice of life as a volunteer/teacher and her students.

After the presentation, Sediqa was interviewed by a BBC journalist. Interested to get to know her cause, I sneaked shamelessly and had a small discussion with her afterwards. Fortunately, she didn’t find me bothersome. I asked her to notify me if her website is already online. She agreed and we exchanged numbers as well. The BBC journalist also showed us a video about life of the student’s of another Afghan refugee school.

She said, “You see, Afghanistan is not always about Taliban. There are also people like you, people who’s passionate to learn & educate themselves.” And I could not agree more with her. If you’re interested in Sediqa’s cause as well, you can find her on Instagram @sediqa_s.

During the event, I also did some live-tweeting which led me to get a free #WhyNot book from Girls In Tech. The book covers some life-changing experiences about Indonesian women who work in tech and how they started their journey.

The beginning of my #WhyNot moment.

I am looking forward for the next events from Girls In Tech. I hope there will be more events and communities who support women in digital and tech field, because when we’re together, we’re unstoppable.


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