In the Spotlight Blog posts are all about women who are doing the things they love to do and about pursuing their dreams. Years ago Ingrid and I were teachers at an International School in Jakarta. At that time she told me that she did not want to continue teaching and that her dream was to open an orphanage. We had quite a few conversations about this. When she finally took the step it was not easy to get all the legal papers and other things in place. It was a headache but also a must and today she is the founder of the orphanage Lestari Sayang Anak, please read the "In the Spotlight Interview" below to find out more about her.
What was your inspiration to start an orphanage?
The poor circumstances children in my neighborhood lived in, and I felt sorry for the abandoned children
How many children do you have at the orphanage and how old are the children?
Eight children, ranging from 3 to 8 years old
Have people come to adopt any of the children?
Twice, but in both cases the adoption didn’t happen, in one case the adoptive father was to old, and in the other case the adoptive couple was gay. Adoption by gay couples is not allowed in Indonesia.
What is behind the name Lestari Sayang Anak?
It means ‘forever loving children’. And in abbreviation it comes close to my daughters’ name LISA
You are from the Netherlands. How did your family react when you told them that you wanted to start an orphanage in Jakarta?
How many employees do you have?
At the moment 3 ibu’s (ladies)
What do you find most challenging in overseeing an orphanage?
To get enough funding, and to keep the staff happy.
What do you find most rewarding about it?
To see the children grow up happy and healthy. And also to hear many visitors say to me that my orphanage is such a happy place. That is the message I want to send out, that a good orphanage does not need to be a sad place, where people who visit leave in tears. Of course the reason why the kids are living here is sad, but the fact that they are now happy , and have opportunities for a good future is great. This also thanks to the sponsors, I could not have done it without them.
How can people help you with what you are doing?
Support my orphanage financially, and help me increase awareness of the fact that all children have a right to grow up under good circumstances. Now living conditions in too many orphanages are still below what children need to grow up healthy and happy, and I think that unfortunately it is what people think is normal , an orphanage per definition is a sad place for many people I think, and that needs to be changed.
Are there any other things/projects you are currently working on?
Not at the moment
Do you have any tips for other women who would like to do
Do things you want to do for yourself first like travelling, studying, etc.. because with an orphanage it is more difficult to find time for that. And be persistent.
Where else can people find you or Lestari Sayang Anak?
WA: 085 6485 96679
Others: Twitter: Lestarisayangan