Greenpeace Southeast Asia

I will return to share what I learnt here … We can make change… by Chuck Baclagon
July 27, 2010, 10:11 am
Filed under: Indonesia, Life at work, Volunteers | Tags: , ,

I am very grateful to be selected as one of the Greenpeace University (GPU) students 2010. There are only nine of us representing Indonesia and Malaysia. Of course that makes me proud. I’m proud to be here among those who came from various regions in Indonesia; Didit, Mayang, Novi, Rika, Sheila, Silka, Viktor, and Simpson from Malaysia. You are all my great friends.

From the beginning I promised myself that I would open my mind to accept all the materials that we would be given at the Greenpeace University. Many people didn’t agree with my choice to take part in GPU. They said things like “Greenpeace is eco-fascist”, “Greenpeace is not the organization that fights for the prosperity of communities”, “You should stay at home, you will learn more here…” But may people also supported me, congratulating me on being one of the chosen few to be a GPU student. I also asked to return to Aceh and help with their advocacy work after the graduation. Their motivation made me believe I will be able to become a better campaigner in future.

I’m very concerned with the environmental conditions in Aceh and Indonesia in general. I know there are companies that have been exploiting our natural resources, destroying our forests, causing pollution, seizing communities’ land. And communities received nothing in return, from, for instance, seeing their forests converted to palm oil plantations. I don’t know how much palm oil is planted there, or how many trees destroyed. But, the community got nothing except the big holes in the middle of the forest, pollution and many natural disasters. I want to contribute to improving the current conditions. I do not want to see Aceh devastated at my young age.

It’s been six weeks since I became a GPU student, I have learned much. We are introduced to all things related to Greenpeace; introduction to the organization, their activities, their campaign strategies, research and communications, political lobbying, project management and fundraising. I am also very impressed with the videos shown by Francis, our lovely Principal.  

I am happy learning at GPU. All the materials presented by the experts from Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Aha, GPU only currently operates in Indonesia, of course, that’s also the reason I’m very proud to be here. We also directly practice what we learn in the classroom, and outside. I was very impressed with the simulation of Non-Violence Direct Action (NVDA) held in the second week in Bogor. We are positioned to stop the operation of a company that has contributed to Indonesia’s forest destruction. We felt the struggle of a Greenpeace activist at the time.

I will share what I have learned in this GPU to my other activist friends. Before, we tried to follow Greenpeace’s campaign strategies, but we didn’t understand how then. I understand more now and will share it. Later, I’ll be back to tell to you what I learnt here. Then, we, along with Greenpeace, will try to make change for a better future.

Best wishes

Ina from Aceh

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