Lely, Woman in Tech & Youth Leader of Mataram Earth Hour

#womenwe&earthlove 3rd Edition

Only a few women who we know have the chance to be a leader, commit to social and environmental causes plus have a background in tech. In this month’s edition, we would like to introduce you to one of them, our good friend Lely a former coordinator of Mataram Earth Hour.

We met her in person when we invited Mataram Earth Hour to our first eco-festival in 2017 after that continuously met each other as well as collaborated in supporting each platform. We know her as an enthusiastic and hard-working woman leader with a positive vibe, and so do her team members, it is always a pleasure to work and talk with her.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organised by the WWF. They have an annual event promoting the energy-saving activity encouraging everyone to turn off non-essential electricity and lights, for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on a specific day towards the end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet. Besides that, as a youth-led community, they also do routine campaigns and projects such as Mangrove Planting, Ecobrick Class, Bike for Nature and many other environmental projects.

Here is her story that we captured during our #interviewfromhome :

Q: Hi Lely! Can you share a little bit about yourself?

Childhood Memory of Lely

Hi everyone, my name is Nurlaily Agustiarini but most people call me Lely. I grew up as a very quiet child. You might not believe me, but I often got scared (well, I am still a bit till now), I had low self-esteem, and I often had difficulty conveying what I was thinking. Yes, it sounds like anxiety, I did frequently feel anxious about what people might think or react to me.

But on the other side, I was an active child too, kinesthetically, and into activities that relate to creating a lot. One more thing that grew deeply in me and I am proud of is my love for my Nation, Indonesia. Not only because I was born on 17 August (the same day as our National Day) but it might also be because of my unique family background where my Grandpa was previously a politician, civil servant and religious figure in our region, while my Grandpa from my mother side was a soldier.

I started to be involved in an organization activity when I was in senior high school. Then, started to be more active and embodied a “free-spirit” personality at University. Since then, I started to be more open and brave to speak my opinion.

Q; Let us know the story of how you started participating in Earth Hour Mataram and why do you choose to continuously work for encouraging youth and community work together for our earth?

It was actually started from my wanting to contribute myself to any environmental-related activities. I ended up joining Earth Hour (EH) Mataram in 2015. With all the goodwill and care I had for planet earth, I tried to keep contributing through EH. Since then I got a chance to meet many people from different backgrounds. They are all fun and motivating. My first impression when I first joined was, “whatever the idea is, it will get appreciated”. It was another point that keeps me going until now: the flow of ideas.

Street Campaign conducted by EH Mataram

At the end of 2015, Earth Hour Mataram hit the lowest point. I, myself, as a new member, was sent as a representative to join KUMBANG Earth Hour Indonesia (an annual national gathering event). Through KUMBANG, I gained new confidence. I learned a lot about the history of Earth Hour, the movement in every region, Do’s and Don’t, and anything I could possibly learn.

After that, with all the knowledge I learned and confidence, I invited the Earth Hour Mataram team to prepare for the 2016 celebration. We tried to approach the Mataram city government and finally met the Mayor. Fortunately, He supported our movement. We tried our best from preparing for the day of celebration. It was reborn for Earth Hour Mataram.

Received Support from the Mayor of Mataram
Mataram Earth Hour 2016 Celebration

After all those moments, I felt like finding my passion for the environment. I tried hard with all the good and bad experiences to make EH Mataram standstill and even grow better. Then, in 2016, I was chosen as coordinator. The first thing I did was recruit new volunteers. Good thing was that there were still many youngsters willing to join the movement. The team was working hard to extend EH relations with companies and other organizations in Lombok, trying to gain public sympathy. With a very low budget, we try to keep the campaigns running.

In July 2017, Earth Hour Mataram launched “1000 Ecobrick for KAwis Krisant” project. We started by collecting plastic bottles. All volunteers have the responsibility to at least collect 2 bottles. We also conducted a street campaign and open both accepting plastic bottles. It wasn’t as easy as we thought. We changed the strategy by asking the small restaurants and cafes to collect their bottles to us. Well, it was still not enough to collect 1000 bottles. We ended up reaching some schools & colleges in the city who supported us by collecting bottle plastics and donating to us.

In 3 months, we reached the goal of collecting 1000 ecobricks. The ecobricks were formed into Earth Hour 60+ iconic shaped with the height of approximately 1,5 meters and were placed in open space at Kawis Krisant Smart Park. Up till today, EH Mataram ecobrick campaign is still running in collaboration with Waste Bank NTB Mandiri.

1000 Ecobrick
Mangrove for Earth 2018

The next year, EH Mataram conducted another campaign “Mangrove for Earth” collaborating with another 15 EH cities all over Indonesia. The target was to plant 26.000 mangrove seeds. And yes, we did it! We succeeded in planting 550 seeds of Mangrove on August 5, 2018. The activity was joined by school and college students, and environment enthusiasts, a total of 50 people and lasted from early morning to afternoon.

On the night after the event, the big 7 SR earthquake hit Lombok. That one will be listed as one of the unforgettable moments in my life. Lombok was in pain. North Lombok area suffered the most, 99% of the region was destroyed. Hundreds lives gone, thousands of people lost homes. It was a tragedy.

We didn’t want to just stay doing anything. Earth Hour team worked on collecting donations. I joined LEIC (Lombok Eco International Connection) placed on a volunteer team. We distributed basic needs supplies and medical help for the survivors.

In LEIC, I was responsible as a project coordinator. I arranged schedules to distribute donations with the non-profit DORRA (Doctor for Asia-Africa) which provided basic medical needs. We tried to discover as many places as we could. Despite the hard work, I love this volunteer experience! I got a new experience playing with kids at the camp and connected with so many good people. The project continued as we built 3 Eco-School as an open learning space for kids and the community to learn about ecology and nearly everything beneficial for the community.

More and more good things happened, in October 2018 I got a chance to share about the EH Mataram Ecobrick program at the Idea Fest event together with WWF-Indonesia and Arifin Putra (Indonesian Famous Actor and Environmentalist) where I shared the story about the origin of the Ecobrick program and Eco-School initiative from LEIC. Besides that, we were able to conduct the second event of Mangrove for Earth with more people and more seeds planted. In the following months, in our 2019 celebration, there were 10 schools that took part and together we made 1000 ecobrick. Our impact got bigger!

Q: What constitutes a happy and meaningful life to you as an empowered woman?

Happiness for me is when you can do a good thing for others even its small. Not only for human but for nature, and for all God’s creature.

Q: How do you portray yourself or the community you assist (people in Lombok) in the future? We heard a good news that you got a chance to study in Korea, and how it will affect your contribution to your concern about the environtment?

I wish for a balance between nature and humans. More people work together to do actions and positive activities in order to protect our mother earth.

Regarding my study, I have just currently started studying at Chonnam National University in South Korea. I am so grateful that I got a scholarship for the Integrated program (Combined master’s and doctorate degree) from a Professor in the Department of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineering. Related to the environment, I believe that every major can be integrated to address and find solutions to environmental problems.

From my discussion with my lecturer at my previous University, he said that he is interested in utilizing natural heat to be generated by our carbon footprint to be generated as renewable energy, and my current major can be related to that issue. I hope I can participate in finding sustainable renewable energy as an alternative to Coal. My motivation is that everything which I learn in my study now, I will use it for the better of nature and the community.

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Learn more about Mataram Earth Hour here or Lely here.
#womenWe&Earthlove is our first series edition where we want to share the stories of 12 women in Lombok who promote sustainable living and yet empower their community, knowing someone that people should know about? let our team know and email us in info@gumibamboo.com

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Gumi Bamboo

Gumi Bamboo

Gumi Bamboo is a Lombok based Social Enterprise working closely with women group (previously employed as stone miners) to produce earth friendly product sourcing bamboo materials from their Community Forestry, providing them leadership & life skill through Bamboo craftsmanship.

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