Exciting news! Eun Jung Yi, Nurul Hidayah, and Prabaswari (Ruri) from the Comprehensive Security Cooperation course (CSC 22-2) initiated the Women Inspiring Women Network (WIWN) and hosted the inaugural gathering online on March 17, 2023.

After completing a course in Hawaii, many of the Fellows expressed their desire to stay connected and continue to build the friendships they had forged during their time together. Responding to this need, three alumni – Eun Jung Yi, Nurul Hidayah, and Prabaswari (Ruri) – have initiated the Women Inspiring Women Network (WIWN). This platform is designed to keep the Fellows connected and inspired by each other while also promoting peer mentoring and providing opportunities for mutual learning and growth.

The WIWN held its inaugural gathering online, with eleven Fellows from different parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, America, and the Pacific, coming together to stretch their thinking about professional development and leadership. The event was kicked off by DKI APCSS professor Dr. Miemie Byrd who gave celebratory remarks and encouraged the Fellows to keep growing and learning from one another. Dr. Byrd also suggested that the network could be extended to include Fellows from other cohorts.

During the gathering, the participating Fellows engaged in two sessions where they shared news about their professional and personal lives. In the first session, the Fellows discussed the challenges of achieving work-life balance, which was identified as a key topic. Many shared their difficulties over fulfilling multiple responsibilities as women without much sense of strategy. The Fellows also shared their experiences and suggestions to overcome these challenges. Some of the tips shared included the value of communication and partnership with family members, shifting perspectives to take advantage of both duties and accepting the challenge, and continuing to strive for it.

The second session, titled “I am your inspiration,” saw Col. Siliva Raradoka Vananalagi (Lipa) share her trajectory of becoming a leader in UN peacekeeping operations and Fiji’s military forces in an international environment. Lipa’s key message to the group was, “Own your responsibility and be bold.” The Fellows expressed their appreciation to Lipa for sharing her experience and wisdom.

Eun, Hidaya, and Ruri plan to continue hosting online sessions every quarter and hope to see more Fellows, both men and women, join in the future. The network provides a supportive and inspiring community that fosters growth and learning among its members. Long live DKI APCSS Ohana!

Please see the article on Globalnet or the alumni Facebook group for contact information.