Dewi Novita

Village Secretary SOS Children's Villages in Indonesia
photo: © 2018 Milena Partsuneva
Stay positive even in the worst situation

The reward of hard work and teamwork in times of pressure
One year ago, our SOS Children’s Village Jakarta team attended the LKSA[1] Berprestasi competition in East Jakarta. This competition is intended to appreciate Indonesian child social welfare institutions and programmes in order to improve their services. It also became a forum for the government to monitor the welfare activities for children in foster care. Participants are asked to present their activities, vision and mission and achievements and are being surveyed on the spot.

We were invited for a briefing contest that allows organisations to present their activities and achievements and went there with little preparation. We had created a presentation on paper, but not a PowerPoint presentation. Apparently, we were actually expected to improve our presentation. So, after returning from the meeting, my colleague Mr. Nugie, educator and deputy village director of SOS Children’s Villages Jakarta at that time, worked on this presentation and I prepared the photos and documents that we needed. A few days later, the jury team came to our Village in Jakarta to see our presentation. The result of our hard work turned out to be a success: We won the first place in the contest and deserved to go on to the provincial level.

On the provincial level, we repeated the same process. It started with data collection, doing a field survey and then making our presentation. This time, we did the presentation in a hotel along with other child care and youth organizations that also participated in this contest. They came from all over Jakarta.

Dealing positively with bad news and a lack of success
We felt we were the best parenting organization and that we do the best work with a well-targeted system and well-structured programme. We also did a good presentation which was supported by pictures of the children's daily activities. The presentation was made with honesty, and we showed everything we do and our strengths. We compared it with orphanages[2] who also did the presentation. We felt that we did the best, but apparently the jury team had another assessment. According to them, we were not the best and it turned out we only got the third prize. A few weeks later the jury team finally announced it officially.

I have to admit, we were very disappointed. We wanted to know what exactly the other participants had done in order to get the first prize. But then we thought: No, it is not good just to think about failure, because we actually did not completely fail. We remembered back to when we presented and that we had enough time to greet and get to know the other participants well. Mr. Nugie and I greeted and invited the other participants to work together with SOS Children’s Villages. As a result of these conversations, we ended up having many friends and new knowledge. This really gave us a new insight.

Mr. Nugie is a great colleague. He brings a new atmosphere to the spirit and performance in SOS Children’s Villages Jakarta. This greatly affects me. I got very excited about doing this activity with him, although I often felt tired because of long trips in often in jammed traffic situations. It all paid off - even though we only got the third prize - because we made new friends.

The reward of new partnerships resulting from a positive outlook
The result of the encounter with youth organisations in Cakung that are based in East Jakarta is that we got new knowledge, which is very useful for our teenagers in SOS Children’s Villages Jakarta. Our teenagers had a chance to exchange experiences and knowledge with other young people, which is a really good experience for them. 

One day, SOS teenagers were invited to visit the Karang Taruna Cakung (the Youth Organization) to directly see the activities what they did there: for example designing and printing patterns on t-shirts, planting vegetables on empty land and recycling newspapers into pretty handicrafts such as key chains, flower vases, fruit baskets, etc. Surely enough, this made the teenagers of SOS CV Jakarta become more excited because they got new knowledge and new ideas. The next activity was a collaboration with the Muslims orphanage. They came to SOS for performing arts. The two organizations all sang, played music and danced together. The interesting thing is that when the activity occurred, we invited elderly people who live at the elderly nursing home that is located next to SOS Children’s Villages Jakarta. This activity became very useful and good, as the collaboration was able to entertain the elderly people who live alone and away from family.

Indeed, we felt disappointed when we won the third prize at the LKSA Berprestasi Competition, but we surely cannot stay in disappointment. We have to keep moving forward and looking for other positive things that we can do for SOS Children’s Villages advancement. From this experience, we discover the positive things behind our failures. It's the best we can get. It becomes energy for us to go ahead and create new works for SOS, especially for our children. 


[1] LKSA = Lembaga Kesejahteraan Sosial Anak is the child social welfare institution in Bahasa Indonesia

[2] In Indonesia, institutions and programmes like ours are not yet recognized and familiar, so in such cases when our category “family-based-care” still does not exist, we are confused where to position ourselves. That is why we had to choose the category orphanages, even though in the government a LKSA term exists. However, in general discussions, we still use the term institution/program and we keep on explaining that SOS Children’s Villages is a family-based child care programme.

Dewi Novita,

Village Secretary, National Office, Indonesia

Dewi is aware that there is much more behind an administrative job than just administration. She knows that she serves the children and mothers, and this is only possible if you work with your full heart.

Dewi was raised by her mom after her father died when she was 3 months old. Living far away from her relatives makes Dewi feel lonely. She feels lucky to have many close friends, who are almost like relatives and make her feel likes she has a big family. She is married with one daughter.

In her free time Dewi spends most of her time reading. She also enjoys sewing patchworks like quilts. Dewi was born in Yogyakarta in Java Island and moved to different places during her school and university studies. She now lives in Jakarta and loves the city for its diversity, but also the connection between all Indonesian people.

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