Fedri Ruluwedrata Rinawan, dr., MScPH., Ph.D
This time we got the opportunity to interview one of the CIMSA National founders. Fedri Ruluwedrata Rinawan, dr., MScPH., PhD or should we say Fedri is the first National Officer on Sexual and Reproductive Health inc. HIV/AIDS (NORA) in CIMSA National. There are many things to learn from stories of his life, starting from being a NORA, going to school in Netherlands, and continuing his education to Japan.
Hello Kang Fedri, how are you doing? What are your recent activities?
“I just got home from Japan to pursue my PhD. I now want to continue my dream to continue studying while contributing to society, so in addition to teaching as a lecturer in Medical Faculty of Padjajaran University, I am also active in research.”
Why do you choose to become a lecturer and a researcher?
“Because in my opinion, as a lecturer, it is my obligation to focus on education, dedication to society, and research, especially a research that will be useful to the society, for example, the creation of an electricity saving mosquito trap, a cooperation with regional health care services, which surely aims to move the society forward with supporting innovative tools. Other than that, the results of the researches need to be advocated to the government and fundraising program, such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to create a further benefit from the research.”
When you were a student, what was the background that move you to be active in the community development?
“When I became a student, I actually wanted to become a plastic surgeon, because I am a conscientious person. During my period as co-assistant, I also loved the plastic surgery department, and it turned out that actually I could also become a plastic surgeon alongside the community. When I was an unsettled employee, I did a lot of home visits and lived side by side with the residents there, and I found out that there where so many problems in the society that can be fixed by correcting a little details. Then, after I finished my education, I got the opportunity to join the research in Netherlands, while at the same time going to public health school with the intention to be a plastic surgeon in the society, I still had the urge to become a plastic surgeon, but Allah had destined me to become a plastic surgeon within the society.”
After that, didn’t you also get the opportunity to pursue your education in Japan? How could you have gotten there?
“After I graduated in Netherland and got accepted to work in Padjajaran University, I got a sudden offer to pursue my education in Japan. Only within 2 minutes, I had to decide my choice and I chose to go. With the urge inside my heart and a little bit recklessness, I went to Japan for 2 weeks to join a short course. What’s nice from Japan is how they put the enthusiastic people first. What’s important is keeping your spirit up and being ready to work hard.
My interesting experience was when I looked for a scholarship to study in Japan. There was one scholarship program that I had targeted before. I had all my data completed, but it was already too close to the deadline, so I brought the data myself to the office, and because I was in such a rush, I had an accident. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the scholarship, although there were so many sacrifices I had done. Nevertheless, I kept trying, and finally, with a friend, I got a scholarship to Japan. If I had stopped trying back then, I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity, since it could pass only within seconds.”
Speaking about scholarship, what tips can you give us to get a scholarship?
“What’s important is the willingness to try hard and be enthusiastic! You have to try to apply to many scholarship programs and don’t give up if you haven’t been accepted yet. You need to keep moving, because without you knowing, those little steps can open a bigger door. It is also important to have relation to many people, because being connected to many people can help you finding scholarship.”
How did CIMSA change your life?
“When I was a junior high, senior high, and even college student, I didn’t have enough confidence that my academical and non-academical achievements had dropped. Then, during my college period, I was invited to join an AIDS caring community in SCORA. Although I wasn’t confident enough, I decided to join. When, I got the opportunity to become a LORA and attended a national meeting in Andalas University, where I got the offer to become NORA. At that time Indonesia also got the chance to be the host for HIV/AIDS Workshop in Asia Pacific Region. With the help of my friends, my confidence started building up.
In CIMSA, I really started from scratch. However, there were always friends who pushed me to learn and develop, that I could gain many experience although I had a very low. My life in college created my personality now, that I choose to always learn. If I had stopped, I wouldn’t have gotten to this point. Ourselves are actually the limit of our ability. If we believe that we can then we can always forward.”
What is your message to CIMSA?
“CIMSA is a fast locomotive, every little change that can move us forward can be missed only within seconds. The decision to move forward and backward depends on what path we choose. If we haven’t been trained to push ourselves to take a chance, it can affect our future. There will always be a hidden connection between our decisions now and our decisions in the future.”