PCI Feature: Women Leadership at Project Child Indonesia

Written by Dara Ayu Ariane, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Working for an NGO to most people may seem like an easy job to do. But in reality, there is more than meets the eye.

“Aren’t you just playing around with kids? What’s so hard about it?” 

“Are you even getting paid?” 

“What are you going to get from doing this job?” 

Meet Anjani Tri Fatharini and Nadia Kristanto, managers at Project Child Indonesia, and these are some of the judgments from outsiders they have to endure in their line of work. Keep on reading to find out how they gave their all in their jobs regardless of the hurdles! 

Leading the Programs

Since her university years, Anjani has been interested in issues concerning low politics, especially humanitarian crises. She kick-started her career in the NGO field with Project Child Indonesia in July 2019 as a Program Manager for one of its programs called, Sekolah Pantai at Pacitan. Last year, she took on the position of Program Manager for the Yogyakarta office to organize projects as part of the NGO’s COVID-19 response for nearby marginalized communities. 

Her journey for most is seen as a privilege. With her postgraduate degree, as well as the ability to spread many positive messages and benefits to the people around her. But for Anjani, her work is all about “learning”.

 Meeting stakeholders, volunteers, interns, community members and children from marginalized communities have given her a lot of lessons on how to understand, listen and respect other people. Aside from that, building a sense of empathy as fellow human beings is essential, not just in her field of work, but for each one of us. 

“I think in life, learning is a continuous process that we can do anywhere and anytime.”

Anjani Tri Fatharini, Program Manager at Project Child Indonesia 

Reaching for Partners

As a Program Partnership Manager, people initially thought her work was all about securing funds. And while that may be true to a certain extent, Nadia makes sure Project Child Indonesia is well connected to its partnerships and build the right brand-awareness. 

Just like Anjani, Nadia’s journey wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. She finds her work to be “interesting”, as it differs from most expectations. Many fresh-graduates would aim for their dream company and hustle their way to the top. And Nadia is no stranger to this hustle-culture

After she resigned from her job at an embassy, she decided to dive into volunteer work, and most people questioned her decision. Telling her the resignation was a waste of great opportunity, and her volunteer work was merely a phase. For Nadia, every job has its own sacrifices; including her work for an NGO. Not a matter of salary or title, but more on bearing with people’s judgements of her passion. 

“Don’t worry, there is always a way for everything. I believe in what you’re doing,” expressed Nadia’s mother, one of her biggest support systems throughout her career journey. 

NGO project for marginalized community

Many people may see Nadia and Anjani’s work for an NGO as a mere hobby, and yet working at Project Child Indonesia has given them unexpectedly precious lessons they will continue to cherish. 

Women Amidst a Pandemic

“Women feel a big impact during this pandemic”, expressed Anjani. 

And yet, women’s full and effective participation, as well as leadership in all areas of life are detrimental for everyone. 

People might initially think that Anjani and Nadia’s positions are mere desk jobs, when it is so much more than organizing paperwork and holding meetings. Throughout their time working at Project Child Indonesia, they have witnessed countless issues that women at river communities in Yogyakarta are facing. Unfortunately, it is getting worse during the pandemic. 

Underprivileged and marginalized communities are facing difficulties in accessing nutritious food due to loss of income. The burden of local women becomes multiplied and poses another challenge. Not only do they have to take care of unpaid work, they are also earning less income from their additional side jobs, such as being domestic workers, due to pandemic restrictions. 

In trying to alleviate these negative impacts, Project Child Indonesia has COVID-19 response program and various projects. In June and July 2020, members of Family Welfare Empowerment organization (Ibu-ibu PKK) cooked food for a project called Public Kitchen. Combinations of staple food, side dishes, fruits, and vegetables sold to communities at affordable prices.

Not only did the project contribute to improving the people’s health during the pandemic, it also relieved some of the parents’ stress. “The mothers at these river communities have asked us to organize more programs like Public Kitchen, because we’re not only helping them financially, but also relieving some of the stress they’ve been feeling during the pandemic,” explained Nadia.

On top of that, an on-going program called Online Learning Assistance aims to provide internet data packages and online-offline tutor sessions. It aims to help parents at river communities, as they may have limited amounts of time and knowledge to constantly monitor and assist their children when transitioning to digital learning. 

“The roles of mothers in these communities are now increased, and suddenly they’re not just stressing over household chores and trying to put food on the table. They also have to become at-home teachers and assist their children’s learning,” shared Anjani. She also adds that these women’s struggles need to be more appreciated and understood, so that the division of roles in their families are not only accumulated on the female side. 

Anjani hopes that activities carried out by Project Child Indonesia, such as the Online Learning Assistance, can help out parents (especially mothers) and children in the river communities.

 If you are interested in supporting these programs but are incapable of doing it physically, Project Child Indonesia’s fundraising on Kitabisa.com is back online! Even the smallest amount of donation will be appreciated by the people in these communities. What are you waiting for? Head onto our fundraising page and let’s offer each other a helping hand!

“Every individual has uniqueness and strengths that can make them shine wherever they are and regardless of their gender. Appreciating each individual equally without gender bias is essential.” – Anjani Tri Fatharini, Program Manager at Project Child Indonesia