Beating the Odds: A Reflection on Indonesia Mengglobal’s Sixth Anniversary

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Indonesia Mengglobal President Josefhine Chitra shares her reflection on our Sixth Anniversary theme of ‘Beating the Odds’.

Maintaining an organization run by 100% volunteers across the globe is no easy feat. Yes, you read it right – Indonesia Mengglobal (IM) is functioning daily because of a large group of volunteers and contributors, who are willing to spend their few hours to either write, edit, give mentorship, communicate information, organize events, troubleshooting our website issues, or even monitor and evaluate IM’s impact.

 

Most of our editors, columnists, and contributors are still pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. at top notch schools. Our core management team and advisors all juggle between their family, jobs at consulting firms, start-ups, universities, think tanks, NGOs, or government agencies, and IM-related responsibilities. The team is not all based in the same city and we work in different time zones. Enough said that everyone in IM is busy.

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People often think that an organization or a loose community with part-time volunteers are bound to be unsustainable in creating impact. But, with the above context in mind, here we are – defying the prediction, beating the odds, and growing more than ever.

 

In 2017, we officially established ourselves as a Yayasan (foundation). Now we have more than 500 contributors and 1.000 articles (and counting) since IM’s inception in 2012. We also have published articles from inspiring figures such as Tasya Kamila, Maudy Ayunda, GKR Hayu (The Princess of Yogyakarta), Alanda Kariza, and the most recent one from Alyssa Soebandono. Almost every day I still receive registration forms from Indonesians who are willing to share their lessons learned and invaluable information during their study abroad period to other Indonesians. Not to mention, our Instagram followers almost hit 10K with rapid organic growth – demonstrating that our content is relevant to our audience. We also have started creating more public events besides our annual seminar, such as a discussion about UK education in 2017 or the most recent one was the discussion with admission committees about writing an outstanding application.

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So, in our sixth anniversary, I can’t help but ask myself how we as a community managed to beat the odds. As I contemplate, I realize that everyone in IM despite their location of residence, time zone, and specialties, has two things in common. First, we are the people who believe that many helping hands led us to be where we are now. Therefore, we now believe it’s our turn to become the helping hands for other Indonesians aspiring to study and or work abroad.

 

Secondly, we are confident that Indonesians possess a high potential to study and work at the world’s most excellent universities and institutions. Therefore, democratizing the access to information to study and work abroad becomes our mission.

 

This is the spirit that binds us together and finally to beat the odds as a volunteer-based organization.

 

At this point, I’d like to take a moment to applaud IM co-founders and my predecessors for making sure we stick to our core philosophy. And also I’m deeply grateful to each one of our volunteers, contributors, and readers for supporting us in their way until our 6th year of existence.

 

Inspired by the theme of this anniversary, this month, the editorial team will publish articles from individuals who have won seemingly undefeated battles (special physical needs, mental illness, financial problems, and others) – beating the odds by scoring achievements at top schools and beyond. Coinciding with the National Education Day which falls on May 2nd, our birthday wish is that Indonesia’s education system can be more inclusive and accommodating towards minority groups, especially our friends with special needs.

 

It takes a village to beat the odds – not only from an individual’s sweat. To create a strong support system, for the next 1 month, IM is opening applications to our flagship mentorship program, where we are going to match around 40 pairs of mentors and mentees to undergo a three-month intensive mentoring program. Therefore, if you are preparing to apply for schools (bachelor’s/ master’s/ Ph.D.) this year, wait no more to apply as our mentees! To those who have studied abroad or currently studying and you feel that you want to help fellow Indonesians obtain letters of acceptance from top schools, please apply as our mentors.

Beating the Odds

In the long run, we are going to have more events, information, opportunities, that can help you beat the odds. So, please keep an eye on our website and social media.

 

Eventually, six-year is still a young age for us. There are still many windows of opportunities waiting to be opened. But one thing for sure we hope you all – our esteemed readers, volunteers, contributors, and advisors – are always with us in this exciting voyage ahead.

 

Warm regards,

Josefhine Chitra

President, Indonesia Mengglobal