Re-Evaluate and Re-Discover My Purpose: Yoana

My name is Yoana, an inclusive art practitioner from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Early October 2019, I was honoured to participate in YSEALI Generation Workshop on Advancing Gender Equality in Brunei Darussalam along with other 49 participants from across ASEAN and Timor-Leste. 

Yogyakarta is a remarkably diverse city. Living here my whole life allows me to experience a dynamic cross-cultural interaction, as well as observing challenges and issues of human interaction in society. Over time, I realize that art can be an effective tool to embrace differences in harmony. It encouraged me to develop an inclusive art organization and it has been running for the past six years.

However, I realize that every so often we are overly focused on making changes for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. When this happens for quite some time, it could drain us and consume our motivation. 

Then, I recall what the flight attendant said before flights,’ Secure your own oxygen mask first, before helping others.’

However, how could I secure my own oxygen mask?

Wedu helps me with it.

The previous months, I joined Leadership Training and Orientation Program (LTOP) for Wedu’s Rising Star Program. I also participated in YSEALI Generation Workshop implemented by Wedu. Those experiences were a significant way to re-discover my own purpose, to care more on my own well-being. During these programs, I recall all the important things that I have known but unconsciously let it slipped away while learning new things along the process. One of the examples was when I reevaluated my purpose of living through ‘ikigai’ exercise during LTOP. 

Furthermore, each stage and session of these two activities also brought me together with many women changemakers from ASEAN and the Asia Pacific Region. I got the chance to share and discuss with them. This connection and interaction were a valuable and useful opportunity for me to ignite my own motivation. For example, when I was grouped for pitching a project for gender equality advancement, my group had the same concern about enablers’ well-being! We then designed a project related to this matter that can be applied across the region.

There are also many things that, turns out, I don’t know that I don’t know about it. Joining programs from Wedu, including the LTOP and YSEALI Workshop on Advancing Gender Equality, has provided me with the chance to discover some of the things I missed. It also has given me the right introduction to gender issues too. So, instead of commenting on what others do, it gives me examples on how we can improve ourselves and create changes.

Now, no matter how ambitious my goals are or how different it is from a conventional perspective, I would keep striving. Because I know what my purpose is and I know I am never alone to initiate the change!


About the Writer

Yoana is a Wedu Rising Star, and one of the participants from Indonesia at the YSEALI Generation Workshop: Advancing Gender Equality held in Brunei 7 – 11 October 2019. 

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