Cahaya untuk Boti

Light for Boti

Nutrifood Leadership Award (NLA) 2016 is an annual event organized by Nutrifood in order to find young Inspiring Leaders in Indonesia. NLA itself has been held for 11 times and this year NLA brings a different concept by conducting leadership training sessions by traveling to different areas of Indonesia.

The journey to become the top 10 finalists of NLA is not an easy one, I had to go through a series of selections, starting with administrative, regional, until the semi-final selections attended by 35 students from all over Indonesia. I never thought that a mere ‘trial’  would be fruitful and would bring a tremendous opportunity to be able to meet great people, one of whom is the CEO of Nutrifood – Mardi Wu, as well as providing an opportunity for me to visit a secluded tribe in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), namely the Boti Tribe.

On 3 November 2016, I began my journey to Kupang. The trip was not made all by myself. Even if, I was the only woman in a team of five people who came from various universities in Indonesia. After a long discussion, we finally determined the travel destination and a project which we named “Light for Boti”. This project has basically three main sub-projects. The first is the planting of solar panels as a source of energy for lighting for the Boti tribe, which until now did not have access to electricity and lighting. The second project is the Imagination Project where the objective is to give hope to children of the Boti tribe who have never had a dream and to invite them to look at the wider world again. Our last project is Glowing Forest as one of the efforts to provide a hallmark of the Boti tribe is expected to provide a distinctive impression to tourists by making the glow in the dark lights made of liquid phosphorus and hanging them on trees among the Boti tribe. These lights will absorb sunlight during the day and turn on at night time.

The trip that took three days and two nights made me learn the meaning of simplicity. In the midst of this modern era, the Boti tribe still cling to the customs, how they believe that the earth will always provide for their need as long as they are kind to the earth. On the other hand, the Boti tribe is very steadfast in principle, but it is still open to change. It can be seen on how they still want to receive the solar panel technology that we brought. Their show of enthusiasm for learning was really great, making our effort to explain to them the use of solar panels easier.

The project, which previously had been doubted by the managements of Nutrifood because it was considered as a less than realistic goal. We can prove that the impossible is possible! It has been an honor for us, the Light for Boti to be awarded The Most Inspiring NLA Group in 2016 and was named the most Inspiring Leader .

However, my trip in 2016 NLA is much more than just to be able to win. NLA in 2016 taught me the meaning of being a leader who did not come to compete, but a leader who is willing to collaborate. Struggling along with other outstanding students from across Indonesia taught me to always be humble and continue to strive to give the best for our beloved country, Indonesia.


Sarah Lucia

Vice President of Student Unpar (2016-2017)