Maura Lillis currently volunteers at Yayasan Dian Desa in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
I initially had trouble mentally mapping out YDD because, with a large staff across three Indonesian offices operating across many specialties of community development, its dynamic activities almost refuse to be pinned down. Peoples’ roles change over time, job titles are never set in stone, and YDD’s founding philosophy is that the target population is to be credited for any positive developments, not YDD or its staff. It seems easy to ascribe this to disorganization, but on the ground, it feels more like fluidity.
I’ve found my current daily niche helping to translate, update, draft, and edit all kinds of reports, archives, and communication in support of our project operations, particularly focused on YDD’s gender and energy initiatives. I love what I’m doing right now because I can learn about these theories and project design justifications through the translation work I’m doing, while also going out to the field for site visits.
Recently, an Expression of Interest I helped draft for a project with a major international development organization was short-listed for consideration (fingers crossed for acceptance!). And soon I might be working on a Best Practices book for incorporating gender theory into Indonesian energy-related project design. I’d better keep studying my Bahasa Indonesia!