Conducting community services or engagement is compulsory for every single student of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) especially those in the undergraduate and Diploma 4 programs. Every year, UGM send around 7,000 students to remote areas all over Indonesia, covering 34 provinces and hundreds of regencies/cities.The students have to live with the community, literally living in their houses and live the life as how they live their everyday life. For most of the students, this can be a life-changing experience.
This year, I am assigned as a supervisor of a group of students conducting community services in Talaud, the northernmost regency of Indonesia’s. The island is close to Miangas, one of the most famous islands when it comes to sovereignty issue. From Jogjakarta, Talaud can be reached by three flights in around 15 hours. What a long journey.
I had an opportunity to visit the students on 23-37 June 2017. It was a very interesting experience since they were there during the Ramadhan. Yes, most of them were fasting and the village where they lived is a 100% christian village. No Moslem at all and that became a very rewarding experience for everybody. My notes in Bahasa Indonesia has been published at http://ugm.id/KKNTalaud