April 21, 2021
Preserving or restoring nature does not mean you need to go to the field and get your hands dirty in the forest. There are numerous ways we can still do this, even from behind a desk.
Meet Cessika Sekalusya, Asset Controller of Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER), who’s in her own ways contribute so much to the restoration efforts on Kampar Peninsula and Padang Island in Riau, Sumatra, while at the same time nurturing her little happy family.
To celebrate Kartini Day, we sat down and talk with her to learn more on how she contributes to RER efforts. This is Cessika’s story!
Protecting the Forest Does Not Mean You Need to Go Into One
Most people picture a conservationist as a person with burned skin wearing field clothes carrying binocular and other survival gears to sustain life in the forest. However, this does not apply to Cessika. This young woman is mostly seen in office apparel stuck with pile of documents on her desk all day long.
Even so, she is an integral part in implementing RER long-term restoration strategy. She may be wearing different clothes and doing different things, but Cessika is nonetheless a conservationist like the rest of RER team.
“In RER, I am the person behind the desk that’s responsible for all the administrative works, from managing documents, arranging meetings, handling transportation, up to controlling assets, “ explained this mother of two who is aptly known as Cessi.
“Unlike any other women of RER, I tend to work more in the office than in the forest,” she said while smiling.
“Since I was in college, I often joined in adventure activities such as camping and mountain hiking. That is one of the reason why I want to work in a place that enables me to contribute to the preservation of nature,” she added.
“Once I have a family with two lovely angels, I thought that my chance to work for nature would no longer be possible. But as it turns out, it isn’t,” said Cessi while smiling.
On January 2020, Cessi was offered a position to join RER.
“I saw this as a good opportunity since I would still be able to be a part of restoration efforts without having to go into the forest and leaving my children behind. So, I said to myself, why not?”
Simple ways in preserving nature
Cessi believes that even though her role is different than most of the RER team, her contributions to nature preservation are still as important.
In her early period in RER, this 2019 Pekanbaru wall climbing athlete went to the RER forest for the first time. “It was really a difficult journey, but I really enjoyed the beauty of the forest. Even though when we travel on the Serkap River using ketinting, I felt quite anxious. The reasons were because the boat can only accommodate four people and I was told that there were crocodiles in the river,” explained Cessi.
Ketinting is a small aluminum boat that often used by fishermen in nearby Kampar River to catch fish.
“After the visit, my respect to our team grew even bigger, especially to the RER rangers and ecology team who spend a lot of time in the forest. The experience boosted my spirit to work for the restoration and protection of nature,” followed Cessi.
Working in RER has affected Cessi’s daily habits. “I have learned the importance to protect and nurture our planet. So slowly but sure, I began to change my habit to be more environmentally friendly. I started from simple things like choosing nature-based cosmetics, planting trees at home, and reducing plastic packaging consumer goods,” explained Cessi enthusiastically.
She hopes that the good things she practiced today will be embedded in her daughters’ mind and action.
“I want my children to understand the importance of preserving the environment when they grow up. And I want them to know that their mother also contributes in protecting it,” concluded Cessi while smiling.
In the spirit of R.A. Kartini, let us all appreciate women who have been tirelessly playing double roles as a mother and as a human being that strive to make this world a better place.
Happy Kartini Day!