BY STACEY CHOE
It was exactly a year ago that the APC Indonesia chapter met in Jakarta to celebrate Victor’s birthday. Back then, the COVID-19 threat had not even taken hold in Indonesia, whose government declared that they had no cases. A year on, many of our Indonesian members are in Singapore to take shelter during this period, and the group met up again in this neighbouring land to catch up in person.
We did not forget the ones who were still in Jakarta, and the gathering thus became a hybrid—with Angelica and Tjahjadi zooming in together with other foundation teams for the update.
APC asked members if they were relooking priorities in their philanthropy due to COVID. With that in mind, we heard about everyone’s work during the pandemic. Cherie invited United In Diversity Foundation’s new President, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Oxford University Sir Gordon Duff, who called in from the UK to explain the Foundation’s focus on blended finance and SDGs via their Tri Hita Karana model.
Satrijo also called in from Paris to share on Tanoto Foundation’s COVID-related relief work and their rapidly expanding early childhood programmes in China. Jababeka, Djarum Foundation, Barito and Triputra Group also shared their active response on COVID support. Reachout Foundation also opened the invitation for other members interested to expand their teacher training programme into their respective regions.
During dinner, the group discussed deeper into issues on education in Indonesia. Cherie highlighted the importance of extending infrastructure so that children in remote areas would be able to gain access to online learning. Otherwise, such lack of access will further exacerbate inequality rather than help achieve the kind of equalizer that is often promoted by advocates of the digital economy.
Beyond all that, the best outcome of the evening was the opportunity everyone present to meet each other in person and learn about what they were personally busy with during these unprecedented times. In fact, it was Ario’s first time to meet most in the group, which made this a rare opportunity for everyone to connect. Belinda will relocate to China later this year, so also took this chance to ask Cherie about living in Shanghai.
No matter where members are based though, Asia remains a focus for their philanthropic work, and APC will continue to link you up no matter where you are in the region!