Six women, six different empowering stories on how they conquer the industries they’re in. These successful business women share their charity efforts in order to spread compassion and love.
May Farida, co-owner of the husband-and-wife transportation company Hurricane Indonesia, embodies the spirit of “paying it forward,” which is perhaps the aptest expression for describing her. She is aware that some people are still feeling the financial effects of the pandemic. May continues to offer assistance to smaller churches to ensure that they are able to endure despite the fact that the pandemic is drawing to a close.
Not only that, but May has also begun working on a massive project with several of her other close friends. The mission of this project is to provide assistance to homes for the elderly and children, as well as other types of residential care facilities, from assisting in the construction of churches and ensuring that they are attractive and well-kept to offering financial support to individuals who are actively involved in church activities to ensure that they are able to carry on with their lives.
“This is our biggest project for this year, and our goal is to provide assistance to these nursing homes and orphanages that are not well-known by the general public.” May explains her excitement by saying, “we are currently creating ways in which we can approach them in the appropriate manner.”
When asked why she is so eager to assist other people, May smiled and responded that God has been so good to her throughout these years, taking care of her and providing her with everything she requires. Therefore, it is only right and proper for her to continue the chain of kindness to those around her who are in need. “I believe that my purpose in life isn’t just for the benefit of myself. What God has given me, I have to also share it with those who are in need, and this can be in the form of anything; it doesn’t necessarily need to be money. It can also be in the form of attention, compassion, and love towards others,” shares May.
May volunteers her time with all of her energy, and she also explores new places with fervent enthusiasm. May has been keeping herself entertained during the pandemic by watching several Korean soap operas, and she now plans to travel to the country before the end of the year to satisfy her curiosity about Korea. A trip to New York is also on her itinerary for the latter part of this year. Prior to all these holiday plans, it’s business as usual. The primary focus of May and her husband is running their business, in addition to participating in a number of touring events with various automotive communities.
The dearest figure in Jakarta’s social scene was walking into the studio. Lolita Djong is a truly well-dressed lady. She is clad in a sparkly minimalist dress, adorned with simple jewellery accessories that radiate her elegance even more. In the middle of her tight schedule as the CEO of a shipping company, she always makes sure to live a healthy and fulfilling life. “As of today, I am currently busy running my business focusing on the maritime industry. I want to realise my dream where I can pursue business growth and help businesses reach wider audiences and gain new customers,” she said. “However, working too hard can lead to various problems such as fatigue or burnout. To reach a work-life balance, I try to enjoy life more by spending quality time with my family and dearest f riends”. As the season of happiness comes, Lolita Djong intends to show how to live life to the fullest by helping others, especially during these challenging times.
As one of the few female leaders who reshaped the maritime industry in Indonesia, Lolita keeps working hard to empower the underprivileged and marginalised socioeconomic strata community to get quality education. She believed every person deserves access to proper education, whether young or old. “In life, the balance has to be within you. The Almighty God has granted countless blessings, knowledge, and opportunity through my hard work, so I need to share the kindness with others, especially those in need,” she said. “First, we have provided financial assistance to communities or foundations in need, especially in the education sector. One of our philanthropic projects is providing scholarship management for less-fortunate children to continue to higher education, where they gain a better chance to achieve a bright future and be freed from the poverty cycle,” she continued with a soft voice.
One fact that most people don’t know about her is Tatler Tatler Features The Scene her love of travelling. Being a busy mum makes her appreciate the values, ideals, and history of each new place she visits—which is always unique and intoxicating. “Traveling is an excellent way for me as it acts as a brilliant way to cope with the tiredness at work,” she said. “I feel more refreshed and energised after spending some time discovering many beautiful places. Whenever I am on vacation, it is a must for me to visit several iconic buildings or enjoy the beautiful scenery. It makes me feel more alive as a human”.
Talking about her recent visits, one of her unforgettable destinations was when she visited Edinburgh and Switzerland. “Edinburgh is a beautiful city that boasts many beautiful architectural buildings. Meanwhile, Switzerland is one of the cleanest countries adorned with many beautiful tourist attractions,” she said. “For the next destination, I have plans to visit several European countries and the United States as more airports have opened amid endemic transition. I hope I can witness various natural wonders and places around the world in the future.” she closed the interview with a smile.
For Rinna Chiang, doing charity work sees no boundaries. The donation can be given to whoever is in need, despite their ethnic group or religious background. For that reason, she first made her charity organisation called Benteng Kasih. Just like its name, the organisation first started its charity work in the Benteng area, Tangerang.
“We are not only helping Chinese ethnic groups in the Benteng area, but also other local people. We don’t see ethnic groups when helping people. We surveyed places through the head of the neighbourhood to know who needs help the most,” said Rinna.
The organisation used to donate to hundreds of people per their background. For example, as Indonesia is a Muslim majority country, Benteng Kasih routinely held an iftar event for the Muslim society. “I remember when doing iftar event with those who need, there’s one lady who cried and said that she hasn’t eaten for a long time. And there’s also a garbage collector who said that her husband left her and she finds it hard to eat her daily. That situation makes me moved,” Rinna admits.
But the organisation was in idle mode when the COVID-19 rate was high. The pandemic forced Rinna to step away from the routine. Usually, she goes straight to the kitchen to make food, but the pandemic makes it hard to reach out to people directly. “My kids beg me to step away, for health’s sake, temporarily. As a replacement for that, my community did other donations, like giving face masks.”
But now the pandemic starts to fade, she starts being busy again, and she loves it. “My organisation already prepared for Christmas charity dedicated to 500 orphans. We are planning to bring the orphans to go restaurant or hotel in Tangerang, depending on circumstances,” she said in excitement. Just like the name of her organisation, which means “love”, Rinna knows precisely that love is what matters in the world. Not only sharing love with others, especially the unfortunate ones, but also loving oneself.
On that account, Rinna knows that giving herself a well-deserved break is part of self-love. Soon, she will go to Bali. “Initially, my reason to go there is that I was invited by an organisation who will give me an award. But eventually, my friends turn out will come to Bali as well, and we will enjoy the holiday together.” Rinna hopes that when travelling, people are still doing the health protocol. “Yes, the COVID-19 number is declining, but the virus is still there. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s for our health and comfort anyway.”
When Agnes Sutanto, the proprietor of Agnes’ Jewelry, was 25 years old, she began her career in the jewellery industry. Agnes claimed that the pandemic had an effect on all traditional business sectors, including the jewellery industry, particularly in the first three months when the gallery had to close temporarily in accordance with the government’s regulations regarding large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
Agnes revealed that the patronage of her diamond-obsessed clientele allowed her company to continue operating during the pandemic. Agnes, who is also a member of the Lions Club, has been involved with the club in providing help to those who are in need of cataract surgeries as well as providing care for children who are afflicted with cancer. Her motivation comes from the experience she has gained while running the business, as well as the unending support she has received from her customers.
In addition to that, while the pandemic was going on, Agnes continued to run her own charitable organization. She made sure that nursing homes and orphanages had access to personal protective equipment (APD) that would assist staff members in warding off the COVID-19 virus and preventing it from spreading. “Not only that, but I also sent APD to Alor Island. Because of the island’s location and size, access to medical services can be challenging for the local population.” Agnes explains, “I was very fortunate because at the time, I was able to collaborate with a cargo service, which allowed me to cut expedition costs while still ensuring that we provided the best equipment for the people of Alor.”
Agnes was successful in soliciting financial contributions from her circle of friends on Kartini Day this year, with the goal of contributing to foundations that assist individuals diagnosed with Down syndrome. Additionally, Agnes frequently hosted charity events at her establishment, Neighborhood, for which she would charge patrons an admission fee and then donate the money made from the event to those who are less fortunate.
When Agnes was asked about her favourite destination for leisure travel, she responded that during the pandemic, due to restrictions on international travel, she and her family were only able to travel domestically, and during that time, she became aware that Indonesia was home to a wide variety of stunning tourist spots.
The memories that Agnes and her family made during their exploration of Nusa Penida and Labuan Bajo and their road trip to Bali are so vivid that it’s safe to say that Agnes and her family are eager to continue their travels throughout Indonesia to new and exciting destinations. “I think it’s very important to create these nice memories for your family, especially for the children, and I see travelling as the perfect way to educate them on togetherness,” shares Agnes.
Time has always been an essential aspect of Windy Hartarto’s life. “Time goes forward, so we can’t live on something we already left behind,” said the technology entrepreneur. The pandemic has been putting many things in our lives on hold; that also happened in Windy’s life. But now that the pandemic has started to lose its grip, the world has begun to go normal. Windy is ready to chase what is on hold in her business, which is the sole distributor for IMPINJ, a technology of RFID (radio frequency identification).
Other than being busy being a techpreneur, Windy also live her life doing meaningful activities, such as running a charity organisation dealing with education called Jemima Foundation. Windy runs the organisation by herself, and she finds something disturbing about the educational system in the pandemic era. “Online school didn’t go smoothly as planned, and some didn’t take school seriously because of the online system. Now that the offline school has back, we will catch up with the lag.”
Besides education, Windy is also concerned about women’s empowerment, especially business skills. “I make a charity program for women with skills like sewing and placing sequins. That will be their capital and eventually can become their asset to grow into a profitable business,” she said in a hopeful manner. Yes, Windy spends most of her time doing business and caring for others in her charity. But that doesn’t mean that she is neglecting her own well-being. A holiday is her solution to a balanced life. One of the happiest places she could visit is the art exhibition and museum.
For her, these destinations can make her feel connected, as well as calming her busy mind. Even so, she understands how hard it is to get one when the pandemic was at its worst. Hence she tries to be realistic and sets her priorities and expectations accordingly. For her, a simple yet memorable trip is enough. Primarily because due to the pandemic, it is so hard to get together, even just for a 2-hour lunch. “When I got to gather with my family to do video call with my family, it is already a blessing,” she admits.
She plans to go on an overseas holiday by the end of this year. Her favourite go-to place for a holiday is somewhere rural. Her principal in travelling is not to waste time doing something she can do in her hometown. One of her memorable holiday trips was when she went to New Zealand and went around in a camper van. “That was quality time at its best because my family is always together for 24 hours. We buy our groceries, cook together, and eat under the starry night beside a lake. I am not afraid of being covered in sweat from doing outdoor activities. That is the luxury I couldn’t find in a busy place like Jakarta.” Besides outdoor activities, she also loves embracing local culture, like going to the museum and art exhibition “I love going to India and Mexico. I didn’t go there to seek glamourous vibes, but to have a taste of their fascinating art and culture,” she adds.
She wakes up before her alarm rings, jumps out of bed, gets dressed, makes some delicious breakfast and serves it warmly on the dining table before her husband and the kids get up. In the afternoon, she lounges with her kids at Jakarta’s hottest cafe to lead and give them some advice on growing their support community and voluntary services, Seeforcare, to help struggling communities and people in need. In her fashionable Moeslim dresses, the lady goes to her husband’s office to help with some of his work. After the sun goes down, she meets several dearest friends to unwind and connect with before returning home to spend quality time with her family.
That is how Ria Rusli, a beloved housewife, a philanthropist, and a humble lady known for always giving her best effort to aid society, spent her day. Tatler Indonesia recently got the chance to explore the inspiring story of Rina’s life, her relationship with her family, and her insightful philanthropic activities. On one fine afternoon at one of the lavish studios in Jakarta, she showed off her modelling skills as she posed against the beautiful thematic decoration clad in gorgeous Muslim dresses paired with bold fashion pieces such as the diamond brooch pin and rings.
During the break session, she told the Tatler team about her daily routine and exciting plans for the day. “Besides taking care of my family, I am involved in many social activities while helping my husband’s work,” she said. “After that, I helped my kids, who recently grew her support community, Seeforcare, to plan and execute some strategies, networking, and collaborating with acknowledged fundraising platforms”.
Ria is a humble lady known for always giving the best effort to aid society. Talking about her philanthropic action with her children, they made Seeforcare to assist unfortunate communities through direct action. “Although most of my philanthropic activities come from personal projects, I am currently directing my children, who founded Seeforcare, about how to manage collaborations with fundraising platforms, giving maximum services for society, and many more,” she said. “With its four pillars: health, economic empowerment, and arts and culture, Seeforcare now has been involved actively in many social and philanthropic activities. Recently, our support community collaborated with Kitabisa.com and Indonesian Cancer Foundation to raise donations to provide hope and support to local children battling cancer.”
One of her secrets to respite from the hustle and bustle of the city is travelling to many countries. “Whenever the holiday season comes, I always spend it with my family,” she said. “Our previous vacation in Bali brought us closer because Bali was not too crowded then, and we could play on the beach while breathing fresh air freely”. However, unlike her previous holidays, she planned to travel to Singapore and Canada, looking for a school for her beloved children. “This year, we will use our holiday season to develop the Seeforcare community and visit Canada and Singapore to get a full listing of overseas schools”.
Text by Cheryl Marella, Hesikios Kevin, Ayu Putri Dewanti
Photo by Mario Photographie
Concept & Styling by Yesar
Wardrobe by Maison Met & Maison Baaz
Jewellery by Agnes' Jewellery