In October, EPALE’s Thematic Coordinator, Gina Ebner from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), attended the Adult Education and Development Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. There she met with Nani Zulminarni from the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE). Gina interviewed Nina about her work at ASPBAE as well as her involvement in the PEKKA movement for women and family empowerment.
/epale/en/file/interview-nani-zulminariInterview with Nani Zulminari
Gina Ebner: Hello, I’m Gina Ebner, from EAEA and I’m in Tbilisi, Georgia, for the conference organised by DVV International on the role of adult education centres. I’m very pleased to be here with a key representative of our sister organisation in Asia – Nani Zulminari from the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education. Nani, thank you so much for doing the podcast with me. Will you introduce yourself and ASPBAE?
Nani Zulminarni: Thank you so much. My name is Nani Zulminarni, I’m from Indonesia and I’m the President of ASPBAE. We are a network of educators and NGOs focusing on basic skills and adult education, capacity building, and also advocacy on education in general.
Gina: And you have just been elected President!
Nina: Yes, starting this year, for the next four years.
Gina: Fantastic, I look very much forward to working with you. Maybe you could tell us what challenges APSBAE faces and what issues you’re currently working on?
Nina: I think education is always a big challenge in our region, especially when we face globalisation, poverty and inequality in many parts of our region. We focus not only on adult education, but also on basic skills because it’s still challenging, especially for people in developing countries in our region. Poverty and inequality are the main issues on the national and regional levels, also, social and economic differences, which are effects of globalisation, as well as environmental destruction.
Gina: Very interesting! I can see there are quite a few issues that we share. Of course, also for us basic education and basic skills are key issues and we should definitely be doing a lot more on environmental education and training and so on. I guess there will be things we will work on together in the future. I also wanted to ask you – you are the President of APSBAE but you come from your own organisation – maybe you could tell us more about your organisation in Indonesia?
Nina: I’m the founder and also Director of an organisation called PEKKA. It is a women and family empowerment organisation. We are a women’s organisation that works with the grass-roots poor, with divorced and abandoned women who are struggling with their lives because of their role in society. We focus on women’s rights as heads of the household in terms of the constitution and in terms of development approach, and also we focus very much on education because 60% of them are illiterate. So we have a very strong literacy and legal empowerment programmes, because some of the women were abandoned by their husbands and don’t have a clear status. Economic empowerment and poverty issues are the main issue because most of these women are very poor.
We are working all over Indonesia, now with over 1100 grass-roots organisations; we are a women’s movement.
Gina: Fantastic! Thank you very much, that’s all very interesting.
Nina: Thank you.
Gina Ebner is the Secretary-General of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and also EPALE's Thematic Coordinator for Learner Support.