Maria Angelica Christy Aka, recipient Anne van den Ban scholarship

Thanks to a contribution from the Anne van den Ban Fund, Maria can chase her ultimate goal of becoming a politician in Indonesia. She wants to become a minister and create a ministry or post in Indonesia for (gender) equality and social justice. She doesn't like how those are being handled there right now.

Maria Angelica Christy Aka, MSc International Development
Thanks to my scholarship, I am learning a lot in Wageningen about making good policy and looking at different perspectives. This is very useful knowledge that I will soon take home with me.
Maria Angelica Christy Aka, MSc International Development

“In Wageningen I can really pursue want I want, and make it reality. I’m from Indonesia, and I’m greatly interested in politics. I did a bachelor Political Science back home, and worked already as a research assistant and as a market researcher focusing on NGO-based projects. I’m passionate about human rights and gender equality. During my bachelors I protested for a bill against sexual violence. I did research on how the Indonesian government works, and I’m frustrated by it. Often politicians aren’t held accountable for what they’re actually doing.”

“At the NGO, I developed a voting advice application, Kawula 17, similar to Stemwijzer. Because in that way, citizens can focus more on the program during elections, and see what important topics are. My goal is to inform Indonesian citizens about the program, and that it’s not just about a charismatic leader. They get more knowledge about what a politician did and what not.”

“I always wanted to do a master. I want to be involved in Indonesian politics. I’m so thankful that with the Anne van den Ban Fund someone finally recognised me. Just based on my application letters, they choose me. I chose for the master International Development at Wageningen UR. It’s a very broad track, with room to explore your interest. I chose the politics track, and I’m learning a lot, like how to make good policies. I got more and more involved in thinking about colonialism. Here I got to learn diverse perspectives, and it’s very good for my own development, to take back home with me and accelerate discussion. Inspired by group work, we’re developing a digital map to highlight colonial traces in Wageningen. I love that this is so practical, not theoretical.”

“My highest aim is to become a Minister, and/or create a department in Indonesian government for (gender) equality and social justice. I think the government has too much power and is marginalising local people. Citizens often don’t know it, so the politicians get away with everything. In this I see colonial components. I want to know everything about politics and policies without imposing it on local people, eliminating the top-down structure.”

“But first I want to do more work on the voting advice application. We met with the Dutch Stemwijzer, to understand their journey. I also want to meet a lot of people: politicians, journalists, to have a good network. With my political ambitions it’s import to know the right people. In my free time I love to take an easy walk in Arboretum Belmonte. That’s my favourite spot. It’s different every time.”