grantees » Rita Mustikasari

Rita Mustikasari, Indonesia

Rita’s passion for the environment first manifested itself when she joined a nature discovery group in high school. The comradery in the group grew through her university years and eventually Rita, Hapsoro and Ruwi along with 3 other friends set up the NGO – Telapak in Bogor, Indonesia. The idea was a success and today Telapak delivers integrated sustainable resource management plans and works with many local Indonesian communities moving the country towards ‘sustainability, sovereignty and integrity.’

As the Coordinator of Telapak’s water program, Rita encourages local civil society organisations (CSOs) to raise awareness around river protection and says, the fact that people are ignorant of the plight their rivers face, means that water management and knowledge is poor in Indonesia.”

To learn more about tackling some of the water management issues in Bogor and skill up on new developments, Rita was nominated to be a JWH grantee and was successful. With the support of the JWH Initiative she completed a 5 month English course, which gave her the confidence to use the language professionally. She honed her English speaking and writing skills on a more advanced course and went on to produce a short interview about her experience – hear what Rita had to say about being a JWH beneficary.

Parallel to the language courses, Rita completed a course in hydrology, furthering her understanding of natural water processes, while also studying the social aspects of water management, governance, democratization and public policy. The theory was put into pratice when she initiated a social study on the Riverine People of the Ciliwung River. The study led to the Komunitas Peduli Ciliwung (KPC), a river management initiative based on public participation. As part of the initiative, there is an open blog, which to date has over 20 authors  and is a great communication platform for all involved. Rita would like to dedicate the KPC intiative to one of her closest friends, Hapsoro who sadly passed away in 2012.

Rita strives to better understand the peoples’ relationship with their immediate environment, and would love to see more donors, governments, NGOs, CSOs, and private companies do the same, but knows she must ‘think big and act small’.


Nominated by

Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto;  Telapak; President 2006-2012;  Indonesia.