Coming from South Jakarta, Mutia is the oldest in her family. Her parents got divorced when she was six years old. Her mother re-married a Thai man, gave up her Indonesian nationality, left to work overseas, and never returned. Meanwhile, Mutia and her younger brother were left to live with their grandmother and grandfather in Jakarta. Her grandfather used to work as a farmer, earning IDR 1.000.000 (approx. USD 73) per month which he used to pay for Mutia’s and her brother’s education. With that limited income, it was hard for them to meet their daily needs. The situation became worse when her grandfather, who was the only person earning income, passed away due to a health issue.
Mutia, her younger brother and her grandmother were left with no choice but had to rely on other family members to survive. Mutia finished high school in 2016 and worked at a Korean restaurant as a waitress and cashier. She worked more than 12 hours everyday and earned around USD 116 per month, whereas the minimum wage would have been around USD 270!
After working like that for more than a year, Mutia realized that she had to change something about her situation. So, she looked up on the internet to find a scholarship, because she believed with better education she will also get a better job. That is how she came to know about the Bali WISE program. She went through the screening process, saved up money for her flight ticket, convinced her grandmother that she will be fine and promised that she will look after herself. It was a big decision for her to come to Bali, leaving her grandmother and younger brother.
Mutia is now enrolled in Bali WISE and enjoys studying again. She promised herself to find a good job and make her grandmother proud of her. She has already paid the cost of being away from her family and wants to make sure that this is worth it.