Abigail Limuria & Grace Kadiman

Abigail Limuria & Grace Kadiman attended Biola University several years ago and had never thought that they would write a book together that sold for thousands of copies. Abigail graduated from SPH Sentul City in 2013 and went to Biola University, where she studied Media Management at the School of Cinema & Media Arts. On the other hand, Grace is an SPH Lippo Village alumni, Class of 2015, and studied Journalism at Biola University. We had the chance to talk with Abigail about starting the Lalita Project, writing the book, and how it has developed into a social movement.

 

How did you start the Lalita Project? What problem did you see & what are the goals that you want to achieve?

Grace and I grew up without any Indonesian woman role model. When we asked our friends, they also do not have any. It made us think, “Is there no modern Indonesian women worthy of being called a role model?” This realization sparked our curiosity, made us eager to do some research. I asked Grace to come up with the craziest profession that is very unlikely for an Indonesian woman to take up. She said “Astronaut!” I typed in “Indonesia’s first astronaut” on Google and the name Pratiwi Sudarmono pops up. As it turns out, Indonesia’s first astronaut was a woman. Not only that, she was also one of Asia’s very first female astronauts. Ibu Pratiwi Sudarmono still teaches at Universitas Indonesia and collaborates with NASA until now. We thought, if there are women such as Ibu Pratiwi, who is amazing but is unheard of, there must be more. We started to dig more into it and found a lot more. Then, we realized that this information is all scattered. Nobody has ever compiled and presented it in a modern and interesting manner. I told Grace that somebody should make a book about these women, and in the end, we decided, “Why not us?” That is the beginning of the Lalita book. We wanted to write a book to show that there are a lot of amazing Indonesian women who are still alive today and are worthy to be called role models.

 

How has the Lalita Project been progressing so far?

Until now the Lalita book has sold over 4000 copies. Considering that this is an independently published book, and also considering that this is our very first-time writing, it’s quite an amazing accomplishment. The Lalita Project Instagram community has reached over 13.5k for one year also. Through our social media, we get to push our core value, which is Empowerment through Storytelling. We have donated the Lalita book to many different parts of Indonesia, from orphanages, schools in rural areas, and even a women’s prison. We’ve been invited to speak at various events. To name a few, Festival Relawan, Universitas Indonesia, Festival Pemuda in Semarang, Jakarta’s Social Media Week, and even SPH Sentul City.

As of now, Lalita Project is developing its next product (which is still a secret). We are focusing on expanding the Lalita Project brand and community as well through a podcast, YouTube, Twitter, and community meet-ups.

 

What is your special message for our current students?

Because of an idea God put in our head three years ago, we went on a fantastic adventure. Because of an idea, I had the opportunity to enter Sri Mulyani’s office, had a tea with Susi Pudjiastuti, went to Najwa Shihab’s place, and chatted with Martha Tilaar. Because of an idea, I managed to open doors and stood on stages that shouldn’t be available to me.

I know that God created each one of us unique, with unique dreams and passion, to uniquely bless this world. Perhaps God has put a solution to some of today’s problems in one of your hearts; all you have to do is go after it. If our idea has brought me to so many places and adventures, who knows what doors will your ideas open and lead you to. Because a good idea is indeed your all-access pass to the world.