A civil servant in the Ministry of Finance in Indonesia, Abdurrahman Alfarizi began raising awareness about environmental issues while on his debate team in college. He believes that working together is the key to the future of the climate movement, and is working to inspire the next generation in Jakarta.
Abdurrahman recently sat down to answer a few questions for us.
Why did you decide to become a Climate Reality Presenter?
The first time I became interested in the issue of climate change was in my college period; I joined a lot of debating competitions and I debated a lot of issues including the environment. Since then, I started to find out what’s going on with our Earth, and I promised to contribute to the effort of fighting against global warming. Joining The Climate Reality Project family and becoming a Presenter is a very good chance for me to contribute.
What has been your most memorable experience with The Climate Reality Project?
Every moment with The Climate Reality Project is always exciting and memorable, but what I always remember is when I accompanied Rodne Galicha and another Presenter from the Philippines in [an excursion around] Jakarta. They said they wanted to eat traditional food from Indonesia, so I decided to bring them to a Padang restaurant where all the food they had was presented to our table, so we could choose whatever we wanted and just pay for what we ate. They were quite shocked when the waitress brought so much food even before we had ordered anything. This was so funny since they were afraid to pay that much while we just had to pay for what we already ate in the table!
Who are you outside of The Climate Reality Project?
Besides being a presenter with The Climate Reality Project, from morning to noon I’m a government official working in the Ministry of Finance in the Directorate General of Taxes. I’m also a Management student at the University of Indonesia at night. During the weekend I’m still doing activities related to debate, and I’m coaching debate in 14 senior high schools in Jakarta.
What do you enjoy about being a part of the climate movement?
How our generation’s response to this issue will affect not only us but also our offspring, and [we] will be judged by history. I enjoy being a part of this movement since I have a very big chance to make a difference. Being a part of this movement makes me realize that we’re not the only ones who care, and it makes me optimistic that we together can make a difference.
Who or what inspires you?
All the people I know in The Climate Reality Project always inspire me. I’m very proud to have such friends who do their part in a collective effort to fight against global warming without expecting something back for them. But who I am inspired the most by is Ibu Amanda Katili, the Manager of The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, who always supports any idea from us and is a very attentive leader just like a mom loving her children.
Do you have a favorite book or quote?
My favorite quote is an old African proverb that I first read in Al Gore’s Our Choice book that says: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Al Gore said we have to go far and quickly. And that means we have to quickly find a way to change the world’s consciousness about exactly what we’re facing, and we have to work to solve it.