In East Lombok where I live, knowledge of good hygiene and sanitation is very minimal, nearing nothing at all. A lot of people do not have a toilet in their house and open defecation still happens in many areas. Additionally, many people still drink and cook with unclean water from various water sources. Health is my biggest concern for the community and health problems in this area mainly result from poor hygiene practices.
That’s when I decided to join local NGO Yayasan Masyarakat Peduli (YMP) and my my work educating my community about hygiene and sanitation began. I went from one village to another to introducing this new idea to people. I guess I had an advantage because I had already been working in the local health center. People knew me but it was not always an easy process. Thankfully, slowly people became aware that a healthy life only starts with hygiene and good sanitation.
YMP later partnered up with Kopernik to raise awareness about the importance of drinking clean and safe water. And that was when I first saw one of Kopernik technologies, the Nazava Water Filter. This water filter really helps people in the community to access clean and safe drinking water, as there is no hassle in boiling water. Many people used to drink directly from the well. Of course, this is not safe but they did not want to waste their time and energy to boil the water first. Thanks to Nazava Water Filter, people can now consume purified drinking water with very little effort and minimal cost.
Through the YMP-Kopernik partnership, I learned how simple technologies can change people’s lives. Not just water filters but also other life-changing technologies, like solar lamps and biomass cookstoves. I was so inspired about their potential to make such a difference that decided to join the program and my journey as a Wonder Woman began.
Now, you might ask me, would I prefer people to address me as a sanitarian or a Wonder Woman? The answer is, it does not really matter. I can be either one or I can be both, as long as I can best serve the needs of the community.