Amidst the uncertain circulating info about this easternmost part of Indonesia, West Papua actually is not all about dispute and discrimination. Some say that the region’s stubbornness in facing the discrimination in aspects like development should be instead praised. Regardless of the imbalance development progress, West Papua is a source of inspiring stories. Recently, one of its young generation members, Gracia Billy Mambrasar has become one of the seven presidential expert staff members.
One may soon think that this is a government article. They may so, but we can ensure that they have not read much especially that in many articles in this website we also often criticize Jakarta. However, for the moment, let’s discuss something positive from the region.
Well, Billy was born in Yapen, Papua, 31 years ago as for now (2020). He grew up in a mediocre family, where his father used to be a freelance teacher, while his mother sold traditional cakes that Billy also often helped with the selling.
Although then living in a rural area that have not been electrified, Mambrasar’s enthusiasm for learning was, as many people regard, exceptionally strong. No wonder if he was continuously noted as an outstanding student. After graduating from Jayapura High School, he received a scholarship to study at the Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
After finishing his study in Bandung, Mambrasar pursued an MBA (Master of Business Administration) at The Australian National University (ANU), specialized in project management. In 2015, he graduated with an excellent mark and received Vice Chancellor Special Commendation Award, which usually only local students would be able to achieve that.
The fields of education and school seem to be an addiction for Billy Mambrasar. He recently took the Master of Science program at Saϊd Business School, Oxford University, England. One master’s degree seems to be never enough for people like Billy.
On an interview with Kumparan, Billy said that “My Father was just a freelance teacher and my mother sold cakes in the market. Who would have thought that I could eventually go to prestigious schools.” It has been also reported that Billy is currently preparing for his doctoral education at Harvard University, USA.
Founder of Kitong Bisa and appointed as member of Presidential Expert Staff
Billy is also known as the founder of the Kitong Bisa Foundation, a non-profit organization engaged in the empowering and educating youth and children in Papua. Today, the foundation, which was founded in 2009, has 158 volunteers and more than a thousand students. There are nine education centers operated by this foundation which are mainly in West Papua and Papua.
Kitong Bisa Foundation get its funding from two business units: Kitong Bisa Consulting and Kitong Bisa Enterprise. The Kitong Bisa movement has led Mambrasar to become a nationally well-respected mentor and be invited as a main speaker at various national and international forums around the country and abroad.
Mambrasar was also ever invited to meet the Minister of State Secretariat Pratikno and President Jokowi in his capacity as Founder and CEO of Kitong Bisa. Last July 2019, Kitong Bisa Enterprise was winning the first place among 32 participants in the 2019 World Indonesian Student Association (PPI) Start Up Competition Festival.
As reported by Detik.com, Billy Mambrasar is now one of seven young people who was appointed by President Jokowi for his presidential expert staff. Jokowi introduced Mambrasar and the other six at the Merdeka Palace on Thursday afternoon (21/11) last year.
“I am committed to (serve) the President. I said to him, ‘Sir, let’s build Indonesia from Papua.’ Since long time ago, the narrative has always been to develop Papua from Indonesia. But now, it’s time to build Indonesia from Papua. That’s the narrative that we will carry out,” Billy said confidently at the Merdeka Palace last year. (*)
This piece is crafted based on sources like Detik.com and Kumparan.com