Growing the philanthropic engagement in Indonesia: one member at a time!

Growing the philanthropic engagement in Indonesia: one member at a time!

It has been over a year since I agreed to be the Chair of the APC Indonesia chapter, and I remember convening all the Indonesian members for the first time as a chapter in February last year, using my birthday celebration as the premise. It was a lively discussion! I recall Simon from Singapore also in attendance and passionately sharing on the issue of stunting in Indonesia. So we had both the local members and members from outside coming together, all focused on working together to tackle the most pressing issues in our country.

Since then, as a chapter we have really doubled-down on Education, the issue of greatest common concern and passion among our Indonesian members. One of the highlights of my 2017 was going through the process of producing the Catalysing Productive Livelihood report—or as we usually call it, the Education Giving Guide for funders—with fellow APC member, Belinda Tanoto. Through this journey, we not only saw many other like-minded funders and education experts come together for a common cause of achieving greater impact in Indonesia’s education ecosystem, but also learnt a great deal about what each other are doing and contributing to the sector. After it was launched, we have continued to use the report as a catalyst to hone in on 4 key areas for strategic impact, one of which I am heading, on vocational education improvement. In fact, my foundation team and I recently hosted a group from nine different foundations and companies to our area of operation in Kudus, to visit and discuss insights from the international-standard training programmes we have helped develop in local vocational schools, targeting various high-demand industries including animation, maritime, and hospitality.

The 1,000 Days Fund spearheaded by Simon has also taken off, with both local and international funders but anchored by APC members from Singapore. Besides these, I have had many other opportunities to learn about exciting programmes in Indonesia even outside of APC members’ work. Last month at the ASEAN Social Impact Awards Ceremony in Singapore, I was so impressed with Tri Mumpuni’s micro-hydropower initiative which is enabling remote rural communities at the fringes of Indonesia to gain a sustainable and reliable electricity supply. .

Every time we hold a members’ meeting now, it is like friends catching up, but the APC secretariat also keeps us on point and ensures that the discussion goes back to our philanthropic work. This group has catalysed quite a few new projects, and we have also been engaging new friends in the wider community to join our work and mission.

I am looking forward to learning more through APC, and more importantly, doing more good for Indonesia.

Victor Hartono
APC Indonesia Chair