Stories of Change

Top: Vicha and other farmers rice seeding, Middle: Vicha planting corn, Bottom: Vicha collecting data for farm groups

Vicha and the Power of Learning

On most days, you will likely find 21-year-old Vicha exploring the world from the comfort of her home in northern Indonesia through various books. Vicha is the oldest of three siblings and is passionate about learning and caring for her family. When her father passed away in 2019, Vicha decided to dedicate herself to practicing and learning about agriculture. Now, when she’s not snuggled up with a book, she’s likely with her mother at their garden, where they work together to produce a harvest they can sell or cook to feed their family.

Vicha knew that by learning more about agriculture, she could increase the quality and quantity of their harvest and share her knowledge with other farmers in her district. When she was younger, Vicha dreamed of becoming a doctor. This desire to care for others is also present in her new career path as an agriculturalist. In pursuit of this career, Vicha applied for and earned a scholarship to pursue a degree in agriculture at Tadulako University. She is now in her 8th semester and is working on her final project.

Recently, Vicha’s university partnered with CWS’ local partner, INANTA, to invite students to participate in our program, DREAM 2. By joining the program, Vicha has been gaining field experience while learning about irrigation systems, land management, organic fertilizers, organic pesticides, climate-smart agriculture and agricultural product marketing. Since Vicha had to learn through online classes during the pandemic, she is especially thankful for the hands-on experience. She also shared that the program has allowed her to collaborate with her community through farm groups that focus on rice seeding. Through these groups, she is part of a collaborative effort to care and provide for her family and neighbors.

Vicha told us that she believes education can eradicate poverty and lead her to a life full of hope. She is grateful for her family’s support and the opportunities she has received and hopes that other youth like her will have the same opportunities. Through education and compassion for her community, Vicha has become a leader and change-maker, ready to inspire others and make an impactful difference.