Plan International Indonesia
Occupation: Community Mobiliser
Occupation: Community Mobiliser
Building bold buildings: Peeking into Ririn’s life as a Development Planning Technician in disaster-prone areas
Climbing up roofs for measurements, inspecting up-close on the construction materials, and providing expert technical advice on construction materials in a disaster-prone area are just a few critical tasks that Ririn IrIyana of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia conduct on a daily basis.
"Working as a Temporary Classroom Development Planning Technician of Yayasan Plan International Indonesia’s Lombok Earthquake Emergency Response Team is like a dream come true for me. I don’t mind the tiredness or being bombarded by the dynamics of work and the constant challenges, as long as I can continue to work on these 6 temporary classrooms in West and North Lombok. This project brings me happiness because at the end, children can revive, be cheerful and get their rights,”
Having born and studied in Lombok in Indonesia, Ririn went against the then social norm by enrolling into a course on Civil Engineering in University of Mataram. At the time, engineering was stereotyped as a course for men only. She conveyed her firm belief, "There is no such jobs that can only be executed by men because women are equally capable.”
When she learned about civil engineering opportunities with Plan Indonesia, which also strives in fulfilling the rights of children and especially girls, she did not hesitate to apply. Upon joining, Ririn was not surprised that she was the only female technician in the Education Cluster of Education in Engineering. She grabbed the opportunity firmly and considered it as a strength for the cluster where voices of women were being taken into consideration in various stages. She said, “During the processes of decision-making, planning and implementing development, it is important to involve women since women have different specific needs. For instance, construction of toilet facilities in temporary classrooms should be girls-friendly as well.”
Ririn is well-known for her commitment and hands-on approach reflected through her active involvement in executing tasks. She mentioned that there were several technical aspects that are crucial in constructing a building in a disaster-prone area. These include: Deepening and widening the dimensions of the foundation; Choosing lighter materials (for example, using wood and synthetic materials rather than bricks, and using cement boards as roofs rather than clay-based; Paying attention to pads or "empty stones" in the building, so that if a shock occurs, the building remain intact; Collecting building’s measurement thoroughly to ensure that the building was in accordance with the specified standards.
"In our work, children are not treated as passive recipients of assistance. We involve children in decision-makings during the development planning process. That is also the reason why the temporary classrooms built by Plan Indonesia are predominantly in white and pink, since according to the children's input, these colors motivate them and make them happy," said Ririn during a discussion squeezed between her busy schedule.
“The earthquake had a profound psychosocial impact on children. However, children must immediately get their rights and rise afterwards. The project carried out by Plan Indonesia helps the community, especially children, to restore their psychosocial conditions. In addition to the assistance provided physically, the temporary classroom paints a picture of hope and motivation for 2,400 children as beneficiaries of this project. Though these children have been affected by an unforgettable disaster, their strong spirits remain unshattered,”