It is with profound sadness that I heard of the passing of an old friend from Indonesia, Herizal E Arifin. We first met in May 2003 in Jakarta to work together on the implementation of a workshop for human rights educators on economic, social and cultural rights. The workshop was facilitated by a team which included Herizal. Soft-spoken, he took his role as facilitator seriously, studying the facilitator’s manual and ultimately interpreting its contents in his own way. Humble and with a smile on his face, he always managed to engage his audience. As a result, there are a great deal more people who not only know about their rights, but also have learned how to promote and protect the rights of others.
Human rights and social justice were his passions, and the more we collaborated, the more I learned from his as a facilitator. By the last time we saw each other in Indonesia, I no longer felt that I had much to contribute to the process of facilitating workshops, since he and his co-facilitator and dear friend Yudha were wonderful at what they were doing.
I will remember his commitment to human rights, his passion and compassion, his humility, and his smile. He will be sorely missed.
Selamat jalan, Herizal.