Yosepha Alomang: A Female Warrior Who Won the Goldenman Prize Awards

Yosepha Alomang

Nothing in life is ever flawless, particularly for indigenous people. In the middle of modernism, they are often threatened by many problems.

This is also relevant for the people of Papua, particularly West Papua. They are often victims of discrimination, racism, oppression, and other human rights violations.

From all of these misfortunes, a powerful lady known as Mama Yoshepa Alomang arose. Let’s get to know her a little more with this article.

Who is Yoshepa Alomang?

Who is Yoshepa Alomang

Yosepha Alomang is a West Papuan activist who received the Yap Thiam Hein Award in 1999 and the Goldenman Prize in 2001.

She is from the Amungme tribe in Papua, near the Freeport mining zone. She is one of many fatalities from Freeport’s mining in Indonesia. When Freeport arrived in Indonesia, she was supposed to be an adult.

The Dedication Against Bad People

She became one of the witnesses to Freeport’s harsh extraction of Indonesia’s natural resources, particularly West Papua gold, expected to be the purest and highest-grade gold in the world.

That alone fueled Mama Yoshepa to become very passionate about fighting Freeport’s colonialism in the land of Papua.

Another reason is that she once lost her infant son due to hunger due to having to hide in the forest for a long time from the pursuit of military operations, which she said at the time were to ensure security during the protest movement against Freeport.

Furthermore, terrible hunger befell her family because the environmental harm caused by Freeport’s mining operations was pretty severe at the time.

Mama Yoshepa’s dedication was further tempered by her husband’s terrible lifestyle, who was a drinker. Papuans are indeed heavily dependent on alcohol.

She feels that Freeport is doing this to make Papuans foolish and easier to manage because we all know alcohol has a major explosive force.

Freeport and Mama Yoshepa

Freeport, an adversary and source of misery for most Indonesians, is constantly chastised. It has caused an endless sequence of issues in Indonesia during the decades it has been there.

Take the environment into account. They dug without consulting the indigenous communities bordering the gold mountain, leading to the exceptionally deep valley it is today.

So you can imagine how upset the Papuans are when Freeport continues to willfully ruin West Papua’s wonderful nature.

That being said, it can be concluded that multiple disputes have painted the relationship between the Papuan people and Freeport, backed by the Indonesian military.

The Heroic Deeds

Yosepha’s numerous protests against the firm and the military security guards on its payroll included an attempt to offer some advantages to locals.

Yosepha and several other women, with the help of the church, established the Kulalok community to market their fruits and vegetables.

Yosepha believed that Freeport should help the locals by purchasing from them. Yet, the firm bought these commodities from outside Papua, flying them into Timika Airport.

As a response, the women devised a strategy to bring Freeport’s attention to their cause. These female warriors trashed the imported fruits and vegetables. The ladies used the co-op money to pay for dwellings made of batako – concrete bricks – and wired with electricity.

In Summary

So that’s a wrap about Mama Yoshepa Alomang’s wonderful heroic story.

Although her life has been so tragic, and she has even been put in jail in feces and urine disposal surroundings, her spirit of fighting to defend the Papuan environment and Papua’s economic potential remains strong.

And the good news from her fight was that Freeport was finally willing to pay compensation. Mama Yoshepa then used the money to build some community facilities, including foster care.