That’s exactly what I will be doing for a whole month very soon. Towards a place that I’ve never been to before for the people that I’ve never met.
But before we get to all the greatness that has to bring, let me just describe to you what it basically is: community service.
My university has established its goal to be one of the world class research universities. Placing an emphasis on research, they find that it’s highly important in developing in order to benefit our society. Therefore, what better way could it be to inject that enthusiasm in its students by including a compulsary activity called KKN or Kuliah Kerja Nyata, or Community Service Program. Other universities place this activity as optional but I have to tip my hat at Gadjah Mada University’s strong hold of this program and above is an example of one of the places students can go to.
So, students from various faculties or departments will join forces, focus on one area of interest, recognize the problems that the area faces, come up with a theme, and propose strategies for execution. The theme of a certain program can be various, like development of the creative economy based on local wisdom, improvement of water systems, education, to even women empowerment. This takes a lot of hard work of course, and not to mention teamwork as it not only places us in a working environment, but in the natural environment itself especially if it is new or unusual to us.
But no matter what, we have to be prepared for whatever comes, may it be extreme heat or humidity, or even the lack of access to water. At first, it sounded a bit out of my league but I understand the purpose of the university in producing graduates who are able to empathize with the problems of low-income communities and empower them the best that we can. Learning is more than just being cooped up in a classroom, it’s also about gettingout there and experience the real world because it’s not enough that we’re just basically smart for ourselves.
This may look like something they’re forcing on us and a short span time like a month couldn’t possibly be enough to help or revive a certain, but if we don’t start with ourselves, if not us, then who? KKN helps us get in touch with people whose lives we have the opportunity to influence, to realize problems that exists in our country, listen to their problems and seek solutions in accordance to the resources available. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I do feel like God always provide us a way to understand and not take the world around us for granted because no matter how challenging this program can get, there is nothing in this world that He puts on our shoulders that we can’t bear and get through.
Wish me luck!