Van Deventer Maas Indonesia committed to creating a capacity building project, based on the needs of grantees. As a commitment, Van Deventer Maas Indonesia held a Citizenship Workshop with the theme “To build an Active Citizen for Sustainable Society Development”” on December 11 – 15, 2023 in Banyukuning, Ungaran, Jawa Tengah. This program is designed for capacity building of Van Deventer-Maas Indonesia grantees, especially for those assigned to be a leader in their university to develop sustainability in the society.
This program was attended by 20 selected participants from around Indonesia. It aims to provide the VDMI grantees with an understanding of sustainability and social development that can be implemented in the local society. On the day of arrival (December 10), participants were divided into five groups with five local potential resources: Torakur (tomato confectionery), Tofu Industry, Local Flower Farmer, and Shibori Batik.
On the first day, participants were given an insight to become active citizens, consisted of: “Aku, Kamu, Kita”, how to formulate the problem, and Presentation guidance by Xaverius Arsanh, Observation and Interview by Kristin Samah, Reflection of “Am I an active citizen?” and “Happiness” by Dwiani Fegda The session begins with a central topic about “Saya, Kamu, Kita”, facilitated by Xaverius Arsanh. He shared the purpose of this session was to get to know yourself, make new friends, and to build a strong bond among the participants.
In this occasion participants had a chance to meet a Founder of “Peduli Kebaya, Kopi, dan Buku”, an Indonesian Author, Kristin Samah. In fact, it’s not easy to interact and digest the information with new people or a society. The session then continued with technical learning about how to conduct interviews and observations as information-gathering methods. Participants were then assigned to develop their own question and observation list based on their group’s topics.
On the second day, the question draft that was already made, was tested at a role-play and feedback session. Each group had a chance to do a role play interview before local exposure. Facilitators gave feedback and evaluation regarding their technique of asking a question. This session can give them a preview and evaluation for digging for information before plunging into the society.
Continuing in the afternoon, the participants had a refreshment to define the meaning of happiness. This learning journey, they were equipped with a self-understanding exercise to help them find their happiness and understand their mental health and obstacles. At the end of the day, they did some reflection to refer to “Am I an active citizen?” so, all of them could identify how to overcome the problems and what kind of improvements that they have to do to be an active citizen.
On the third day, participants continued their preparation to interact with local communities and gather information and insights for their presentation project. The main campaign in Active Citizenship Workshop was the local exposure visit. Where the participants directly interact with local people, learn about their community, observe their residency’s potential, and then propose innovation ideas. The substance was aimed to prepare the participant to take a role as a problem solver. There were four groups that visited four different resources:  Torakur: Tomato confectionery  Shibori batik group  Local Flower Farmer  Tofu industry “Omah Tahu Sehat Serasi”. They learned how to capture initial data from any sources, validate the data through observation and interview, and create a simple problem statement and desired outcomes when the problem is solved.
On the fourth day, participants continued preparing the presentation of their project. Each group were identified about what kind that be improved to in those potentials at Bandungan. After finishing the main activity of the citizen workshop, continued with a team bonding to strengthen their solidarity among the team.
On the last day, participants present the results of local exposure based on their respective topics. Group 1 (Torakur) highlighted 2 points: food waste management and the tomato dried process. For food waste management, the team proposes to utilize it to be a natural-based fertilizer. Then for the tomato dried process, they recommend adding some lamps to improve the drying process at night. Group 2 (Shibori Batik) highlighted the community were often underutilized, lack of order amounts, and there’s a difficulty to gather up the elderly persons work schedule. The solution for its problems is by expanding the market of Shibori products by utilizing online and offline platforms. Group 3 (Local Flower Farmer) highlighted the vegetable farmers’ lack of income. They suggested the planting to harvesting process of the flowers as well as its future strategic plans on how to sustain and expand the business. Group 4 (Tofu industry) highlighted the obstacles in sourcing the raw materials (need to be imported), the pain points of the manual pressing process to obtain the tofu, and the waste management. They shared their ideas on how to tackle these issues, especially for the manual process aspect and the waste management.
Continuing at midday, Anisa (VDMI alumna of Hang Tuah University) shared information about the dangers of Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA). At the end of the Citizenship Workshop, all participants prepared for the art performance from each region. (Medan, Padang, Sunda, Java, Makassar, Pontianak, East Nusa Tenggara, and Ambon). They put on traditional dance, singing performances, also local martial arts and “lenong’ drama.