Faces of WISE | Jenny Wahyuni
Despite describing herself as fierce and formidable, Jenny Wahyuni confesses that she has an extreme fear of animals without jointed legs, such as earthworms, snails, octopuses and jellyfish.
A 23 year-old pharmacy student in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Jenny Wahyuni volunteered for WISE seeking to learn and explore things beyond her area of expertise. Her experience as a writer has exposed her to new perspectives on issues of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Lamenting the standards of sanitation and hygiene in developing countries, Jenny emphasizes the crucial work of NGOs in tackling these issues. Rapid population growth and economic progress in many developing countries have not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in access to clean water nor improvement in hygiene practices among the populace. Even in the cities of Indonesia, problems of WASH are rife as sanitation facilities struggle to keep up with rapid urbanization. Jenny highlights that with limited knowledge on issues relating to hygiene or sanitation, people in developing countries can hardly free themselves of the debilitating consequences of these issues that they face. In Indonesia, nine million children under the age of five suffer from stunted growth, a partial effect of contaminated water and poor sanitation. With the help of organisations like WISE, Jenny dreams of an Indonesia where WASH challenges are no longer as prevalent as they are today.
Jenny’s favourite author, Paulo Coelho, famously said in his masterpiece ‘The Alchemist’ that “when you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Jenny’s great conspiracy to eradicate issues of WASH in South-East Asia serves as a rallying call for all the universe, for governments and non-governmental bodies alike, to achieve this noble dream together.
✍ Enver Loh