Ardoch welcomes Wuri as part of the AIYEP initiative

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Tutwuri Ayamiseba, known to her friends as Wuri, recently joined the Ardoch team as part of a 3-week internship through AIYEP (The Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program). We sat down to talk about her first impressions of Australia, Ardoch and her ambitions to motivate the senior Indonesian population.

“I’m from Manokwari, the capital city of the West Papua province in Indonesia. It’s a gospel city, a place where missionaries came from Germany to spread the gospel. My city is not really modern, but the standard of education there is good, but not so much in the country side.”

Wuri is taking part in AIYEP, a program that aims to link youth between 21-25 in Australia and Indonesia through a social, professional and cultural exchange. “The opportunity for young adults like Wuri to experience both Australian culture and our not-for-profit sector through organisations like Ardoch is invaluable,” reflects Eloise Dolan, Project Coordinator at AIYEP. “AIYEP is an amazing initiative that strengthens the bilateral bonds between Indonesia and Australia through the formation of people-to-people links”.

“There’s 36 of us here at the moment,” Wuri explains. “I really love volunteering, so I heard about the program and I put my hand up to do it. The only thing I knew about Ardoch was they dealt with helping children to learn how to speak and learn.”

When asked if there is a difference between Ardoch volunteers and those in her local community, she was quick to respond, “I was surprised about the age of those who volunteer in Australia! In Indonesia there’s no senior people volunteering. It’s something you won’t see. It would be good if it was like this in Indonesia. We have a big population and a lot of people who need help.”

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“When I go back home, I would like to encourage older people to volunteer by showing them what they do at Ardoch and how much of a difference they can make. If there is one person like me encouraging people to volunteer, there might be others, too.”

As cultural integration can be difficult for the students and young people Ardoch work with, we wanted to hear about her own experiences assimilating into Australian culture, if only for a few weeks.

“In Indonesia we say Jam Karet, which literally means ‘rubber time’. Meaning that we are relaxed about start times and maybe being late. It’s a culture shock for me. In one way it’s a positive thing and another way it’s a negative thing. I didn’t even realise I was like this until I came here. I think when I go back home, I’ll tell them how I thought everyone was in a hurry, walking fast, and always on time. I think it’s so hard for Indonesian people because everyone appears so busy but we don’t feel like that.”

“There are so many people who need our help; there’s people who are homeless and children who have issues with literacy. I think Ardoch would be great for my city and I hope one day to work for a similar organisation in Indonesia”.