Ima Articha is a young amazing woman who was born on Sumba – an island that is less than two hours flight away from Bali in Indonesia. Her family are rice farmers since generations and Ima took her life bravely into her own hands to become a successful and financially independent woman. It took a lot of courage to go that path. Ima is now living on Bali, living the life she always wanted to have.

As in other regions of the world too (e.g. on Lombok), young women – very often still minors – are kidnapped for forced marriages on Sumba. It became something society accepted. 

At the age of just 16 years, Ima decided for herself to not let this and the consequence of becoming a housewife to a man she has not chosen happen to her. 

A fight with her dad, key figure of the family, has started. Her dad refused to speak to her when she expressed her wish to receive education in hospitality business. Ima did not give up her dream at that moment. Instead, she fought for it and finally managed to enter as one out of just 50 young professionals the Sumba Hospitality school. 

With the help of this non-profit institution, Ima learned not only English but also everything else that helped her to move to Bali and find a proper job.

A large part of the salary that Ima is earning on Bali is being sent back to her family on Sumba. Another part Ima is saving for higher educational training as she wants to continue living her dreams. 

I loved talking to Ima and learned from her willpower, determination and joy. 

Today, we speak about the following subjects:

  • Women rights in developing countries and the fight for being empowered 
  • The beauty of the island of Sumba (Indonesia) and its big challenges – Sumba is one of the poorest regions in the world
  • How to get wings to fly away from your home town to become the person you want to be
  • Clash of different cultures and tension between a traditional lifestyle – rice farmers in a very rural area – versus the modern world and how to successfully manage them
  • How social media can be a door opener to see how other parts of the world do look like and to what extend this perspective is changing desires
  • Fear of parents that the children go „out into the big world“ and might loose their roots
  • Traditional roles as becoming a wife as a minor and how to break free
  • The threat of forced marriage, being kidnapped from your home
  • Balinease lifestyle and „Bule“ – the local Indonesian word for foreigners and/or non-Indonesian national, especially people of European descent
  • Importance of sustainable tourism development on Sumba
  • Stereotype of a „good“ and a „bad“ woman/ first category is the one that usually gets married, the second one is the wild one
  • Dressing up sexually/ Sexual abuse of women 
  • How to realize your dreams and visions/ financial independency  

Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of “The Human Project”! We are glad to have you with us on the journey of exploring inspiring stories.

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