Yayasan Dian Desa (YDD), Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Education: Iowa State University, B.S., Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Sociology
Reason for Joining VIA: I appreciate VIA’s commitment to education and cross-cultural understanding, and would like to contribute my own skills and experiences to their efforts. I also have a strong interest in the SE Asian region and am looking forward to growing professionally while immersing myself in a unique culture and community.
Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., International Relations
Reason for Joining VIA: When I read VIA's mission statement and learned about what their volunteers do abroad, I felt a strong desire to participate. I was looking for an established program where I can put my college degree towards helping others and experience living in a third world country. VIA was also extremely attractive to me because of the variety of tracks I can pursue in researching or participating in. Southeast Asia is a developing at a high rate and my interest is in economic as well as sustainable development.
The fellow's main responsibilities are to develop and/or translate reports into English as well as provide English courses to the organization's staff.
Dian Desa, which means "light of the village", was founded in 1972 to spread the use of appropriate technology and improve living conditions in rural Indonesia. Dian Desa introduces new ideas to communities, which are then refined and spread by villagers themselves, and is active in many areas including clean drinking water and small-scale industry.
Fellows are usually posted in Yogyakarta, however, some fellows occasionally are posted to Bali. Yogyakarta (Yogya) is a province located in Central Java that includes Yogyakarta City as well as rural areas. Yogya is one of two traditional Javanese cultural centers along with nearby Surakarta. Yogya functions as a center of tradition, art, music, and tourism. It is a university town with many active non-governmental groups and lively cultural events.