On 17-27 July 2019, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember through its Directorate of International Partnership in collaboration with Widya Mandala Catholic University and Wijaya Kusuma University, were conducting a short-term summer program called the Community Engagement for Development program or abbreviated as “CED” 2019. This program is formerly known as Engineers in Action (EiA) program, the annual international summer program held by ITS Surabaya.
Seven partner universities are invited to join the event, they were National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) Taiwan, Saint Louis College Thailand, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok Thailand, University of Asia & Pacific Philippines, Universiti Kuala Lumpur MFI Malaysia, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology Vietnam, and Tan Tao University Vietnam. There were 40 participants representing students from each university participated in CED 2019 to jointly carry out community service in the village of Puhsarang, Kediri, East Java.
CED 2019 was officially opened in Surabaya, 17 July 2019 at ITS Rectorate Building. With a special opening ceremony by the traditional dancer, followed by speeches from each rector from the host universities and representatives of some partner universities, a brief explanation about the whole program, an Indonesian Language Course and the Traditional Games Session, this was a great kick off to start the program. Later on the evening, a welcoming dinner was held in Wijaya Kusuma University. A special dinner with the taste of Indonesian cuisine, filled with the traditional dances and sings along the dinner. Probably the best thing we have done to end the day.
In the following day, the participants were getting new insights through workshops and site visit. The workshops was led by Dr Liu, Jhy Chern from NTUST Taiwan and Dr IDAA Warmadewanthi from ITS Surabaya. Later on, they visited Taman Bacaan Masyarakat Keputih (a small library in nearby village), Pusat Daur Ulang Jambangan (a solid waste management place managed by Surabaya government), and Tris Flower (a famous plastic recycling place). The participants were having fun filling up their curiousity, asking lots of questions, all getting ready for the project implementation which started the next day!
The next seven days were the Project Implementation Week held in Puhsarang Village, Kediri. The welcoming ceremony was held in the main hall of Wisma Betlehem. This is the moment when the participants meet the villagers. They were sharing foods and goods from each country, talking about things even though there was a language barrier. Not a big problem, everyone was happy to meet each other the first time. In Puhsarang, the participants were divided into smaller groups because they lived in the villagers house. Different countries, different cultures, now is the right time to explore more!
The participants were divided to eight different groups to fix seven different problems there. The problems consists of library renovation, computer (IT) renovation, toilet renovation, solid waste management in school backyard, solid waste and digital marketing workshop for small enterprises, roselle flower utilization, and also toilet, trash, and sanitation mapping in the village area.
Days of working haven’t been easy, with all the obstacles in the process. Working day and night, burned by the sun, sweating all over, and arguments between group members. But the smile from the kids in the school everyday were one of the energy boost to keep on working hard. Even some of them were helping the participants after school. Besides on building and renovating things, the participants also held some workshops for the villagers. The villagers were really kind and cooperative.
Not only doing the community service, the participants (especially the foreigners) also introduced to traditional music and dance of Indonesia. Every evening, a traditional music and dance practice was held in the village, before finally it was presented on the “Cultural Exchange Night” which conducted the night before they go back to Surabaya. All of the participants and the villagers really enjoyed the spectacular show. A great memories that will never fade.
In the end of the community service in Puhsarang, the participants were going to the Head of Kediri District’s office and presented their projects that have been done with the hope of a better Puhsarang in the future. And after that, a closing ceremony was held in the main hall of Wisma Betlehem, giving the certificates, photo session, and going back to Surabaya.
What a wonderful journey we already had. See you in the next event!
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