Felicia Hanitio, part of the Djarum Foundation team and working with APC member, Victor Hartono, shares her experience and learnings from a week-long attachment with APC HQ in December 2016.
Since moving to Jakarta six months ago to join Djarum Foundation’s Bakti Pendidikan (Education Program) team, flying back to visit my home country is always a treat. However, beyond the regular program of family, friends, and comfort foods, this particular trip held in store a specially tailored menu of strategic meetings and philanthropic learning experiences with APC’s headquarters in Singapore.
Coming as a representative of Indonesian APC member Bapak Victor Hartono’s philanthropic organization, my weeklong attachment with APC during December 2016 was designed to facilitate greater alignment and mutual support between APC and Djarum Foundation in a number of ways.
First, in preparation for the much-anticipated APC Indonesia chapter to be kicked off in 2017 and chaired by our very own Pak Victor, one main goal of the week was to develop and refine a Memorandum of Understanding for the chapter. In line with APC’s mantra of collaboration, mutual learning and exchange, Stacey and I met with some other prominent membership organizations in the region, including Endeavor and Family Business Network Asia, to hear their personal input and insights on setting up and running country chapters across Asia. From various models of legal and structural relationship between headquarters and chapters, to recommendations for the credentials and induction process of the country staff, to practical matters such as setting up a collectively-owned bank account for the chapter, we received many valuable suggestions that will help the Secretariat and Pak Victor set in place appropriate mechanisms for a chapter able to extend and enrich APC’s work in Indonesia.
The rest of my itinerary consisted of a mix of shadowing Stacey in her on-the-field work to build relationships with new APC contacts and potential partners, and visiting with sector experts in my areas of programmatic focus—early childhood education reform and young adult community leadership—for fresh perspectives and frameworks to translate back to the Indonesian context. For example, knowing that Laurence’s own family foundation, Lien Foundation, has been at the forefront of addressing early childhood education gaps in Singapore, I had been hoping for a meeting with them and was not disappointed. Program manager Gabriel Lim was extremely generous in answering my many questions and sharing beautifully designed, information-rich roadmaps on everything from preschool architectural designs to integrative programs for children with developmental needs. Moving forward, as we begin to pilot improved models of early childhood education in Kudus, these resources will serve as invaluable benchmarks and guides.
Another highlight was our lunch meeting with Dr. Tan Lai Yong, who guides university students in reflective community engagement and outreach at the National University of Singapore’s College of Alice and Peter Tan. Along with many other useful tips and suggestions, one of my most significant takeaways was Dr. Tan’s simple yet powerful reminder that students’ learning process, rather than the immediate “success” of their community outreach initiatives, is always the first and most important goal of such programs. Last week, thanks to inspiration from Dr. Tan and others, Djarum Foundation held its very first “Making Sustainable Change Happen” workshop focused on equipping our university scholars with guidance from community development experts and real-life examples from the field as they embark on their own community engagement journeys in teams.
On behalf of Djarum Foundation and Pak Victor, but also from me personally, thank you APC and all the partners I had the privilege of meeting with for an enriching, productive and surely catalytic week!