What is it like living on Lombok as an honorary? What difficulties arise on site? What is it like to interact with the local people both linguistically and culturally? These and more questions were answered by our culture and communication expert Nini.

“Without Nini we would not have been able to expand our work in Indonesia last year to such an extent”, reports Tobias, founder and board member. “For us, she is the bridge over language and cultural barriers. Thanks to her, we can optimally align our projects with local needs and ensure that all donors know exactly whom their support is helping.”

Nini is 28 years old and was born and raised with two sisters and a brother on Lombok in Indonesia. In order to complete her university degree, she moved to Malang in East Java for 4 years at first and then moved to Bandung in West Java for another 3 years. After her graduation Nini finally decided to return to her home country. There she likes to watch movies, read books or sing karaoke in her spare time. She also volunteers for GMI on Lombok, enabling her to realize her dream of doing something for the island’s society. The young woman herself feels that her family has contributed a great deal to her dream: “The way I communicate and interact with my siblings makes me the person I am today.”.

Nini was introduced to our organization by a friend who is friends with our board member and founder Tobias Schüssler. Since June 2019, she has not only been translating our texts on site, but also acting as a cultural link between us and the people. Besides communicating with our microcredit borrowers, she is constantly looking for new partner organisations who would like to support our project. The opportunity to learn new things about society and to work with local organisations is what she likes most about this.

Before her voluntary work she was not able to participate in the events of her home country for a long time. She also enjoys working together with the inhabitants of the island. Nevertheless, she herself says “The work with the locals is both interesting and challenging.” Her work gives her the chance to learn more about the people and the organisations. However, particularly time management is a great challenge. It is very difficult to find a time for visits with the micro-borrowers or to set up a schedule for these visits. It also requires a lot of time to adapt to the work ethic of some borrowers. However, Nini does not let this get her down. After all, she chose our organization to try something new – a program that works with the people of her country, has a positive impact on society and helps people improve their management and lives.

Nini believes in her work and in ours: “GMI makes me realize that no matter how small, your action can have a huge impact on society. The impact I’ve seen during the visits has shown me that GMI’s plan is a big program with small and simple steps that are taken consistently every day – and that’s what makes it great”.

Concerning her future at GMI, she plans to do even more for the organization and the people, and to find more partner organizations for us to work with. Personally, she wants to focus on growing her own business in the future – providing psychosocial care to the people of Lombok. We wish her every success in this and thank Nini for her commitment and support!

Author: Anja Huber
Translator: Ronja Dzikus