Eifellyne ; Story about collage, actvisme and education community

Eifellyne is a student at the Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia, the Founder of the @KognitifProject student community for the preparation of students for higher education, and the 2030 Youth Force Advocacy Team. In 2018, Eifellyne became one of the participants of the #SehariJadiPemimpin Girls Takeover on the International Day of the Girl. Where she had the opportunity to be the Program Director of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia for a day.

The Plan Indonesia team had the opportunity to talk again with Eifellyne, after three years of being alumni of the #SehariJadiPemimpin Girls Takeover participant.

Hi Eifellyne, how are you?

Hello, I’m good. Currently, I have been studying online and active in several communities, both on the campus and outside the campus.

What are you currently focused on doing, Lyne?

Outside campus, I joined the 2030 Youth Force in the Advocacy division where I’m involved in the advocacy team. Ahead of the 2020 International Youth Day, together with the Jentera School of Law and Future Leaders for Anti Corruption held a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) together with the SDGs Secretariat of National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), and several other ministries. The FGD we held discussed anti-corruption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, we created a Policy Brief to oversee corruption issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, we were worried that during this pandemic, the news will only focus on health issues, and overlook the other issues. However, it turned out that the government also listened and immediately carried out the sting operation (OTT).

Actually, not only that, but I also advocate for issues related to the involvement of young people in the implementation of democracy. For example, the ratification of the sexual violence eradication and other bills which are very important to be followed up. Victims and survivors of gender-based violence and sexual violence need a legal umbrella to protect them. Many young people and activists have raised this issue, but in reality, recently the sexual violence eradication bill was issued by the National Legislation Program (Prolegnas).

Some time ago, you had the opportunity to promote Kognitif Project on your social media. What is the Kognitif Project? Can you tell me a little?

The Kognitif Project is a non-profit organization focusing on education to increase the capacity of children and young people who wish to continue to higher education. 

My two friends and I built the Kognitif Project because we were concerned about local children who were nervous about deciding to go to university. I and my friends live in Kediri. The access we have is not as extensive as friends who live in big cities. However, children and young people are very competent and have the opportunity to study at top universities. Unfortunately, there is no enabling environment. When we said that we wanted to choose a top-level university, we were even advised to choose a campus that was close to us, worried about not being able to compete and even getting bad grades, she said.

In response to this, my friends and I created a peer-to-peer learning community, to provide soft skill knowledge, as well as training related to readiness to enter university. Through webinars, we invite competent speakers to provide information about scholarships, how to make motivation letters, and a series of sharing sessions to prepare young people to be ready, able to compete, and perform in college.

Because I believe we all have the same potential. I want children and young people who live outside the big cities to be ready to compete, get out of their comfort zone, and have the courage to make decisions to achieve their big plans. I believe they too can be successful if given the capacity they need.  

Agree. A supportive environment can influence how children and young people learn and develop to prepare for their future. What made you finally have the courage to step out of your comfort zone?

In my opinion, participating in many activities opens my eyes to wider opportunities. Joining the #SehariJadiPempim Girls Takeover activity accelerate my abilities and my courage. I met Mrs. Dini (Executive Director of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia), Mrs. Dwi (ex- Program Director of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia), and Ms. Lia (National Project Manager of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia) who opened my eyes that many opportunities could lead me to my plans. 

A supportive environment gave me the courage to make my own decisions. This is what I got when I joined Plan Indonesia’s activities. Maybe if I chose to be in the comfort zone, I lost the opportunities that I could get when I moved to Jakarta and entered a top university. For example, opportunities for internships in large companies that are wider, participate in larger communities and projects. 

Besides, I want to bring change to my area. With the experience and knowledge that I have, I want to share this with friends in my area so that they can also experience the same opportunities, one of which is through the platform that I am currently building in the Kognitif Project.

In your opinion, how important is it for young people to get out of their comfort zone? What is the message you want to convey so that young people want to try to get out of their comfort zone?

I think it is really important for young people to get out of their comfort zone. Because many things can challenge us so that we can become a better version of who we are. For friends who are not courageous yet, they have to try to get out of their comfort zone. First, if we are more willing to take risks and decisions it will make us better individuals. Success or failure later can be our learning too. Second, getting out of my comfort zone makes me more optimistic about the things that I will do in the future. Third, I have more confidence in my abilities. Being away from family and friends, make me believe in my abilities and this will affect my life in the future. 

In your opinion, what kind of self-care is needed for friends who are currently out of their comfort zone and are struggling?

First, I often do self-talk or talk to myself. If I’m feeling something, for example, sadness, I usually encourage myself. Secondly, if for example, I feel that my performance is not optimal, I always instill that it is something I need to improve, not something that should make me sad and disappointed with myself. Third, I stop comparing myself to friends who are not apple-to-apple.Because I think everyone has a different start. So I’m just comparing how I’m progressing now from yesterday.

When you failed, how did you deal with it? 

When I started university, I faced many failures – or plans that didn’t go as planned. At first, I was really sad and thought why I failed but other people could. At first, I was down.However, I felt that I should not limit myself to other opportunities.

Therefore, to overcome failure itself, the first step I take is to anticipate the failure itself at the beginning. When making plans, I also see other opportunities that will arise. So, I made plans B and C too. Second, every time I fail, I write on paper about what makes me sad and upset, but I also write down things that should be fixed. This is material for my reflection, to try plan B and C. The third, open to other opportunities, because the road to success is not just one. Lastly, I always think that if we don’t work hard now and don’t get up now, we will be too carried away with sadness. 

The last question for Eifellyne, who are the women leaders that you idolize? I idolize Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. Because as we all know, Retno can bring Indonesia to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. I think that representing women and supporting women as leaders in various fields, including politics and STEM, is very important.