• SIE@FSU

First Blog: Angelina

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Women’s rights has been something I’ve been passionate about for years, and I have become increasingly interested in it especially after starting college. I even joined a club that focuses on empowering women and learning about feminist issues across the globe. When I found out that the first site visit we were doing was at a women’s center I was extremely excited to look around and meet the people who are part of the center. The goal of the women’s center is to empower women and children with special needs and help them feel like they have a place in society. As soon as we walked into the center, the environment was so welcoming, and felt very family oriented. There was a sweet little girl and her mom who welcomed us at the door, and then the woman who ran the center, Ibu Seri, took us on a tour. She showed us around the community garden where the women and children tend to the plants and help harvest them when they are ready. They also have a little “zoo” as they call it with chickens, goats, and pigs. In addition to this, the women make handcrafted goods like purses, scrunchies, aprons, etc. By having these women make products, sell them, and receive an income through this process, it empowers them and gives them responsibilities. The topics of mental health and single women are quite taboo here in Bali, therefore it is extremely important work that is being done at the women’s center. After the tour, Ibu Seri sat us down for dinner and the food that was made by the women of the center was served. Ibu Seri gave the women the opportunity to practice their English with us while describing the food. The food that night was beyond delicious, some of the best food we had on the whole trip. After the dinner, Ibu Seri told us her life story. Hearing how she was divorced, has not been allowed to see her daughter for FIFTEEN YEARS, and used that pain to create a successful enterprise was so powerful. The pain from her past and passion to help people who are systematically discriminated against makes Ibu Seri a strong force that cannot be stopped. This visit and meeting Ibu Seri has been the most memorable experience of the whole trip so far for me, and I will never forget her story and work.