On February 3rd to 9th, 2020, VDMI held the second Regional Meeting in Bukittinggi, West Sumatera. The participants were VDMI grantees from Padang State University (27), Bung Hatta University (9), Andalas University (10), and Sriwijaya University (1). The current Regional Meeting is the new format of the previous program, Citizenship Workshop. By gathering all grantees from one region, it is expected that more grantees get a chance to receive materials that previously only received by the selected grantees. Two board members of the Van Deventer-Maas Stichting Netherland attended this event. Those are Prof. Benjamin White and Ibu Berit Van Huslt.
VDMI provided three speakers for this event to prepare grantees for life after graduation. On the first and second day, Bapak Ferdinand enlightened the participants to see the positive side of radicalism. Also, he encouraged the participants to be aware of the social problems faced by this country and be a part of the solutions. On the third and fourth day, Ibu Ani Fegda helped the participants to understand their strengths and their weaknesses so that they know what they can contribute to the societies after finishing their studies. On the fifth day, Prof. Benjamin White presented tips and tricks on how to enjoy scientific writing. He asked the participants to try to write 83 words within 5 minutes. Before the participants started, he suggested that no one would read their writing. Most of the participants could write around 75 to 126 words in 5 minutes. The simulation from Prof. Benjamin White showed that actually, students can write 1000 words per hour if they are less concerned about other comments on their writing.
On the last day, Ibu Reda Gaudiamo motivated the participants to start writing their own stories. Ibu Reda is an author of several books such as Na Willa, Bisik-Bisik Tetangga, and Tentang Kita. She was awarded a writer’s residency in the UK by the National Book Committee of Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture. During her session, Ibu Reda also performed five musical poetries that enchanted the participants. After her session, most of the participants determine to start writing once they return home.
In the local exposure session, the participants visited five local potentials of Pandai Sikek village, which are weaving house, carving house, brown sugar production house, farmers’ community, as well as Kurai Saiyo dance studio. The participants learned how to sustain all of those local potentials. At the end of the event, the participants and the committee voted for the best participant. Monaria Sihotang won the participants’ choice while Lusi Oktavia won the committee choice. On February 9th, all of the participants returned to Padang with two buses provided by Padang State University. They are full of spirit to contribute themselves to societies.