The Bahasa Basudara Team – who are they?

Let’s face it, without the numerous tutors and facilitators, who are the most important cogs in this project, we wouldn’t have been able to conduct any of our classes. But there is also a group of people who work behind the scenes (other than Jeff Malaihollo) and whose names you may have seen or heard of, but haven’t been formally introduced to. 


There is the all-important Social Media (SoMe) Team, without them, we wouldn’t have an up-to-date Social Media platform, and Bahasa Basudara would be like any other online educational platform. They make us stand out from the rest! So, who are these people who so quietly and tirelessly work in the background and have given us the Movie Night, the Bastori Bulan Challenge, a weekly quote of the week, exciting quizzes on Facebook, information on our webinars, videos and last but not least the awesome BingoLingual Party. 


The SoMe Team is a diverse group of people from Ambon, the Netherlands and the UK and they get together once a week, to do some creative brainstorming. With all their different backgrounds, there’s a lot of creative input and many different areas are covered. As you can imagine, the SoMe Team (they all volunteer as tutors too) have had countless 'I haven't thought about that’ moments, during their weekly meetings. 


First, there’s Nataly Sopacuaperu (UK), who has a finger in every pie and anything Bahasa Basudara related. She’s is the driving force behind the SoMe Team. Originally from Hoogezand in the Netherlands, she has been living and working in London for nearly 15 years. Her presence during their weekly Sunday meeting is palpable, as she brings her immense professional event management knowledge to the fore. Her enthusiasm, drive and focus are infectious and admirable, and her main aim is to make Bahasa Basudara a household name on a global platform. She is surrounded by a group of talented people of various ages who all bring with them their professional skills and experience.


Richard Lalihatu is from Capelle aan den IJssel (the Netherlands) and is responsible for creating the videos. He has taught two classes and is proud that he can contribute to the development of his brothers and sisters in Maluku. He thinks that Bahasa Basudara provides a fun and accessible way to share knowledge with each other.


Ellia Wamese who lives in Ambon, started as a student and did an English Conversational Course with Oom Jeff Malaihollo. He has always been passionate about learning and teaching languages, which is why he joined Bahasa Basudara in the first place. Together with a good friend of his from Berlin, they taught a German Conversational Course. He is interested in creating things and wanted to work in an international team and became SoMe’s Creative Designer.

Brian Mahulette lives in  Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He only recently joined the SoMe team, and works in the Social Media Industry. His role is to create awareness and engaging content for and about Bahasa Basudara. He loves to share his knowledge and at the same time wants to learn more about what keeps students busy in Maluku. “The digital world enables us all to learn from each other. Not all classrooms have four walls!”


Tirsana Kailola joins the weekly SoMe meeting from Ambon. She is a tutor, but also a passionate educator and educational program developer and has worked for the Heka Leka Education Centre since 2017. She started their Early Childhood Program and is responsible for designing and managing teachers’ professional programs for early childhood education in Maluku. “I started this program because I believe that producing a better generation starts by producing better teachers and because I know that students need to learn to love nature and traditional culture if they are to grow up to preserve it.” Tirsa is our social media content moderator.


Ruben Manusama has been working as a photographer and lives in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). His personal project on the first generation of Moluccans is ongoing and looks promising. It’s no surprise that he is responsible for SoMe’s Visual and Graphic design. “I became a tutor because I wanted to help the people in Maluku in a more practical and direct way. I get a lot of energy and enthusiasm from my students and it’s the small unexpected and positive things that you yourself learn as well during the course, that give me a feeling of satisfaction.” 

Aqul Marasabessy lives in Ambon and looks after the Instagram and Tiktok accounts. He has attended four different Bahasa Basudara courses, which without a doubt would make him the current record holder (unless someone challenges him on this). All that effort has paid off though and if all goes to plan, he will be swapping Ambon for a place in the USA in 2021. He’s a dedicated environmental activist and cares a lot about nature and the environment – you should read his insightful Youth of Maluku tidy up Salahutu mountain blog


Joaniek Vreeswijk on the other hand is our spokesperson and resides in Utrecht, the Netherlands. With a masters degree in Governance, Diversity and Inclusion, she is the right person to promote Bahasa Basudara in the Dutch media. She has recently given a radio interview on Dutch radio and gave Bahasa Basudara some exposure on television. She has also published some articles for Marinjo, an independent Moluccan magazine for and about Moluccan people.


Our beautiful logo and certificates have been designed by the talented London-based Boya Latumahina (UK), who is originally from the Netherlands. It was her friend Nataly who introduced her to Bahasa Basudara. “I wanted to be part of the wider international Moluccan community and was excited about the initiative. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, I couldn’t be a tutor, but was thrilled when I was asked to design the logo.”


We’ve also involved a musician, Rob Wattimury from Hoogezand in the Netherlands, who wrote and produced our jingle. He used the deep sonorous sound of the Tahuri to create a traditional, yet modern and hip musical tune, which can be downloaded as a mobile ring tune.


And finally, there’s Susanne Muskita (UK), who's originally from Assen. She does most of the writing (website, blogs, proofreading, press releases) for Bahasa Basudara. “You sometimes forget how fortunate you are when you live in Europe. We take so many things for granted, like the internet and Wifi. To go back to your roots again and to meet all those amazing students/people is truly a humbling and eye-opening experience.”


If you’re interested in joining our team of volunteers and can spare some of your time, or if you have an idea or skill that you would like to share with us – then please do contact us: [email protected].