Notes from the Region: APC visits Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia

Notes from the Region: APC visits Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia

As travel roars back to life in the first half of 2022, APC catches up with members from and working in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.


Travel has roared back to life in 2022—this means that APC was able to (finally!) catch up with our members around the region—meeting our members in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia in person after a long time, and catch up on what everyone is working on.


APC’s first stop, as travel restrictions began to ease, was Vietnam. We caught up with members, friends, and partners—and met with new stakeholders in the ecosystem, too. The last time we had been to Vietnam was November 2019, when we brought our members to Danang and Ho Chi Minh City for a site visit; so our focus this time was to reconnect, and to support the development of a local community for philanthropy.

Our Vietnam country representatives Mimi Vu and Van Ly organized a lunch session, co-hosted by Fulbright University with members and guests, who took time out of their work day to focus on their philanthropy, taking home a copy of APC’s Starting Guide from our APC Philanthropy Guide Series (a public version will be launched soon). In this and in several other discussions, one theme consistently emerged—that civil society is tightening in the country, with regulatory and other challenges increasing to follow suit.

Developing a safe space for the community to engage and learn from one another will continue to be a focus for us, and we aim to support constructive pathways for philanthropy to engage with other sectors.


Our next stop was to Kuala Lumpur in May. We had such a great visit that we decided to relocate our annual member gathering to this city, where our Malaysia members are engaged in very significant activities.

In Malaysia, a strong foundation for collaboration is present. Several of our members and other private foundations are actively supporting collective impact models, as well as many of the state-linked foundations participating in an informal network as a result of working together to coordinate COVID-19 responses to meet the needs of the community.

Despite this, vulnerable groups—such as refugees, indigenous people, migrant workers, and the B40—are often overlooked; members have been looking at ways to better support them. We hosted a roundtable to examine how technology can potentially impact these communities—both positively and negatively. And more recently, a consortium of APC members launched a new project on Vulnerable Communities—Towards Inclusion and Equality, which aims to improve the quality of life for these groups especially in the areas of education, healthcare, and employment, which continues to be in development for a pilot phase.


We also stopped by Indonesia in August, for our first in-person meeting in Jakarta since 2019. In a dinner co-hosted by Victor Hartono and Arif Rachmat at the Kempinski, we met new friends and reconnected with members after the long pandemic hiatus! Laurence shared about APC and our projects in Indonesia, plus upcoming initiatives that philanthropists in the region can look forward to.

Members and guests shared about how they would like to engage their children in more philanthropic activities—and such as potentially visiting the 1000 Days Fund’s programmes in Flores, which many APC members are supporting.