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July 1, 2014

About Asri Wijayanti

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I am Asri, an Indonesian woman who, due to her interest and passion, has been establishing a career in the fields of disaster management and communication. I am also passionate about understanding culture and social phenomenons, as much as I am curious about the wonders of the universe. I love to learn, read, and travel for those help me find the answers to my curiosity, gives me chances to cherish the beauty and uniqueness of the many places in the world, as well as gets me in touch with people from various cultural backgrounds. I take a lot of photographs, take notes, and write stories as the souvenirs from my journeys.

From December 2012 until June 2014 I have worked as the Communications Officer of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), where I was in charge of the Centre's communication activities both during disaster emergency and non-disaster emergency times. Prior to joining the AHA Centre, I worked for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)' disaster risk reduction projects in Aceh, Indonesia. I started in 2007 as the Liaison Associate, where I was responsible for establishing networks and coordination among DRR actors as well as devising DRR public information activities and materials. Later, between 2010 until 2012 I served as UNDP's Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Public Awareness and Education Associate. I was in charge of co-managing DRR public awareness programs. To establish community's knowledge and awareness on DRR messages and knowledge to the community, we worked closely with government agencies as well as information front-liners including community and religious leaders, traditional artists, and journalists.

I began my involvement in disaster management in 2006, after a magnitude 6.3 took over 6,000 lives and devastated some areas in Jogjakarta and Central Java, Indonesia. I decided to establish Friends for Java Project, a fundraising and voluntary project to support communities affected by the earthquake. We provided relief goods, school equipment and supported psycho-social activities for children, as well as supported mobile medical service for affected communities. As I witnessed the impacts of the disaster and worked with other volunteers and community members, I wondered if one can actually do something to prevent or reduce the loss and sufferings. The disaster invoked my will to work in disaster management.

My decision work for disaster management field in 2006 was a major career shift after five years of career in broadcast media. I started my broadcasting career in 2001 as a broadcaster and producer for talk show programs in Trijaya FM Semarang (now Sindo Radio). In 2005 I reached the program director position in other station, Female Radio Semarang. Both Trijaya FM and Female Radio belongs to leading national radio networks in Indonesia. Between 2004 to 2006 I also worked as newscaster and talk show anchor in TV Borobudur Semarang (now Kompas TV Jawa Tengah).

Prior to that, between the years of 1998 to 2000 I built my communication career as the account executive for - a web developer company, event support staff in some event organizers, and as the assistant coordinator for communication, information, and education affairs in PILAR PKBI, an NGO working on youth reproductive health advocacy and services. 

I had been privileged to have the opportunities to join for exchange programs: the 1996 International Exchange Program for Junior Red Cross and Red Cross Youth Volunteers in Japan organized by the Japan Red Cross Society, the 30th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) which took me to Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan in 2003, the 2004 Asia-Europe Volunteers Exchange (AEVE) in France organized by Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS)-UNESCO and Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF), and the 2006 Renaissance Youth Leaders Forum organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan. Those experiences significantly developed my knowledge and interest on cross-cultural understanding issues, which added with my experiences of encountering challenges in DRR coordination, led me to the decision to pursue a further study on intercultural communications. In 2008 I was granted with Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master's Degree in Intercultural Communication in the State University of New York (SUNY) in Albany, New York, USA. 

I believe that I must give back to my community, as I have been blessed with many opportunities to develop myself. Since I lived in Aceh until now I volunteer to teach or facilitate learning activities on disaster management, cross-cultural understanding, and communication. In 2011 came back to SSEAYP as the discussion facilitator for cross cultural understanding promotion topics, where I facilitated series of discussions on cross-cultural understanding issues for youth from ten ASEAN countries and Japan. This year, 2014, I am again granted with the chance to give back through my appointment as the discussion facilitator for the topics of Natural Disaster Reduction. 

My desire to share led me to develop this website. Here in you will find a recollection of my thoughts, views, and opinions, mostly in the topics of disaster management, cross-cultural understanding, and communication. Here I also share some publications covering stories or lessons learned from my previous projects, as well as publications in which I have been involved as the author, co-editor, or as the resource person. I would also love to take you to the places I have traveled, through my stories and photographs.

The followings are the list of the sections in my website:
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