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WEA Women of the 2019 Indonesia Accelerator: Rubama

Project: Building Climate Resiliency in Indonesia

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Rubama is a community organizer from Aceh, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She has worked for fourteen years to engage the women of her community in an effort to protect the natural resources of the region. 

After her region was ravaged by a tsunami in 2004, Rubama recognized how the approach to disaster relief resulted in the degradation of the community social fabric and values, and how women became an increasingly vulnerable group in an already patriarchal society. Equipped with a vision and her personal mission of community resilience, Rubama strove to regain social cohesion while promoting sustainability and created a waste management program for her village. She continues to develop this resilience through her current work at the Gampong Nusa community, which she has transformed into a sustainable tourism destination. Rubama has advocated for the local community to adopt sustainable waste management, has trained women about upcycling plastic waste and composting, and has developed alternative economic revenue for the local community.

As an organizer, she is deeply passionate about establishing ecological justice based on gender-equality in her community. Working alongside other women in Aceh, Rubama collaborates with and trains them in creating handiwork, growing produce, and upcycling. Rubama also gives local women’s groups the platform they need in order to voice their concerns and fight for their rights in realizing ecological justice. She promotes social forestry, a village forest strategy which includes and encourages women’s engagement in discussing issues that disproportionately impact them. In this spirit, Rubama serves as a program officer for HAkA, an Aceh-based NGO working to restore the forest and protect the overall environment.

Rubama is furthering her advocacy work through networking and education, and will be apart of the 2019 Women’s Earth Alliance Indonesia Accelerator. She hopes to gain knowledge on project management tools and avenues of impact assessment to help strengthen her existing community organization skills. During this accelerator WEA will work with Rubama, along with her women leader peers, to develop strategies for effective communication, resource mobilization, and leadership, that will expand the reach and scale of their advocacy work. With this gained support and knowledge from the accelerator, Rubama will be able to return to Aceh with tools to advance her vision of gender-equality based ecological justice for her entire community, as well as a developed network to support and scale the impact of her work. 

Read more about the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, and stay updated on how the women leaders are doing on the WEA-Indonesia Facebook page.

WEA Women of the 2019 Indonesia Accelerator: Raihal Fajri

Project: Building Climate Resiliency in Indonesia

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Raihal Fajri is an activist from Aceh, Meunasah Manyang, Indonesia. After a tsunami devastated her region in 2004, Raihal witnessed a drastic deterioration in the quality of water coming from her community’s water source, which was located next to a nearby concrete mine. Noticing the way this pollution harmed the women and children of her area, she decided to take urgent action, engaging stakeholders such as the cement mine leadership, the government, and the media in the conversation. Furthermore, Raihal comes from a predominantly Muslim region which is governed by Sharia law, and she recognized the critical necessity of engaging her community’s religious leadership in order to make change possible.

By highlighting the connection between the Qur’an’s teachings and the importance of maintaining a healthy environment, Raihal garnered the support she needed to step into leadership and eventually mobilized her entire community around the issue. Her activism brought substantial attention to the mining pollution her community faced, and she succeeded in revoking the mine’s permission to operate.

Since then, Raihal has strived to find ways to extend her network and cultivate her advocacy around the need for a safe and healthy environment. Raihal currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kahati Institute, where she uses her experience as a mediator, analyst, and leader to influence public policy and encourage transparency in the environmental sector.

As a member of the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, Raihal will receive facilitated skill-building, knowledge exchanges with other leading environmental advocates like her, and work with groups that will dig deeper into environmental technologies, networks, and communities of practice from which she can draw in her activism. With this training and support system, Raihal will return to Aceh with a deeper understanding of how to best build her network and bring about policy changes that will ensure clean water and a healthier environment for her community and region. 

Read more about the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, and stay updated on how the women leaders are doing on the WEA-Indonesia Facebook page.