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DateTuesday, June 03, 2014   Comment

My late mother in law told me this story:

"When I was 12 or 13 –this was in the 50's—my dad worked in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace. So we had a special pass, that we could use to go to the Palace through the back door. This was during President Soekarno's reign. One time, when I was there, in the Palace's backyard after dropping some snacks my mom had sent for the President's afternoon tea, he saw me and waved me to come closer. He looked at me and asked:
"How old are you? Are you in school?"
"I'm 12, I'm in junior high, first year"
He looked at me intently, and said something I never forget to this day
"You're so lucky because you can go to school. Many kids your age can't, because they don't have enough. Once you finish your school, please share your knowledge with everyone from Sabang to Merauke. They're all your brothers and sisters"


The story sticks. She told me "I think the memory of that conversation assured me to be what I am today." As a matter of fact, she was an activist who traveled tirelessly all over Indonesia, to the most remote area, to promote various issues such as prenatal and postnatal care for mothers and newborns, as well as reproductive health until the end of her life.

Until today, I think there are still many people living with limited resources in Indonesia, something that prevent them from pursuing higher education. Not only because of financial reasons, but also because they lack access to modern facilities, new books, and internet. I see the web as an unlimited resource for everyone.

I always have this 'itch' in me to do something more for the community, and it's been my fuel in activism and working with community-based organisations. And when I heard the story, I was convinced to share what I have with others. To stand for a big cause that can be spread and shared with many people from different walks of life.

That was how I started to become a Mozillian in 2011.
Because it is a cause, a community, a foundation and a corporation built to provide an open web for everyone. Where people can contribute all they have and all they can, as well as using all of those shared resources for good reasons. Because Mozilla believes in doing good, and believes in privacy when you are using the web.

This year, I pledged a bigger commitment with Mozilla by becoming a Mozilla Reps. I was approved as one of Mozilla Reps in Indonesia on Mozilla's birthday, March 31st. Such an auspicious day to start doing more and giving more for the community. I want to become Reps because I am passionate about community and using community-based organisation to make changes. In doing so, I started my Mozilla Reps program by engaging with students from vocational schools in Indonesia.

Internet users in Indonesia grow rapidly every year. And for the past 10 years, I saw a phenomenon of how Indonesian youngsters have huge interest in the Internet and its technology. Many of them started this passion at the very young age, by enrolling to vocational high schools, and majoring in Computer Engineering (combined with Network or Software pathway, or both). However, many of these schools—especially the ones in small cities, lack access and information to enrich their education. I see education and the Internet as their hope and means to bridge the gap between their living situations and the outside world.

Working with students in different areas in Indonesia is building a connection to the future. I believe that this new generation of technology savvy youngsters possess the skill required to create the next Indonesian world-class IT professionals.

So if you see me and other ReMo traveling to different islands in Indonesia in the coming years, bringing Mozilla projects to students from Sumatera to Papua, you know that we're sharing our knowledge and expertise. That I am working with communities from Sabang to Merauke because I am a Mozillian and they are all my brothers and sisters.

Comment

OpenID Pol at 4:26 PM, May 29, 2016 said:

In addition to using Mozilla

Do you consider benefits, financial savings, available using linux for OS's ?

Also linux encourages users to experiment.

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