Executive Director’s speech for the launch of Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial

Civic Rights in A Digital Age (CRIDA)

Executive Director’s speech for the launch of Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial

Humanis Foundation

Jakarta, 30 March 2021 – Honorable Minister, Excellency, Honorable Governor and Regent, Distinguished Guests, Speakers and Partners. Good Afternoon, Selamat Sore, Bon Tarde. It is with great sense of humility and honor that I welcome you today.

My name is Tunggal Pawestri and I am the new, and first, Executive Director of Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial. I am anxious but excited to be taking on this role in this difficult time, as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. I am aware of the big responsibility I have during the transition process from Hivos SEA to Yayasan. Not only in inheriting and continuing Hivos SEA’s programs but also leading a team in building and positioning this ‘new’ organisation as a leading voice on human rights, civic rights, gender equality, and climate justice in Southeast Asia.

The Yayasan will have to forge a new identity: at once local but international, working on Indonesia but also from Indonesia, influencing global debates on major developmental issues with Indonesian and Southeast Asian experiences and perspectives;

it is a huge task, but we are confident that we can do it. After all, Hivos is still part of our organizational DNA. We are committed to being bold and daring in our ways of work. And most importantly, the Yayasan inherits the committed, passionate and hard-working staff of Hivos Southeast Asia. We are also lucky to have the full support of the Yayasan board members, who are highly experienced in their fields.

There is an old Chinese proverb that says: “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills”. Instead of fearing change, a good organization will build windmills to take advantage of that change. Hivos Southeast Asia and Yayasan Humanis are embracing the change brought on by this transition and using it to power our future. Change is indeed inevitable. Over the past two decades, we have witnessed huge changes in the Southeast Asia countries where Hivos SEA works. In addition to democratic transition and incredible economic growth, there have been dramatic changes in physical and digital infrastructure. These developments have created space for new forms of political, economic and social engagement. They have brought benefits for many, but have also contributed to major challenges: environmental degradation, rising intolerance, shrinking civic space, and inequality, which mean that a lot of vulnerable groups are still deprived of their rights.

As well as strong states, a strong civil society sector and empowered citizens are essential to ensure that development is sustainable, fair and just. This is what Hivos SEA has been working on for many years with its allies and partners. The Yayasan will be a platform for continuing this work in a new way. With Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial, the majority of board members and senior positions are locally grounded and led by Global South actors. I believe this local and regional leadership, deep understanding of context, experience and decision-making can help to drive change and create long-lasting and impactful results.

Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial is proud to continue what Hivos has built. The Yayasan will maintain Hivos’ high quality in delivering its programs, seeking new solutions and pushing for a better world.

We are very much aware, in every change process there will be some challenges. But even if there are some glitches, I hope this transition process will put us in a stronger position to continue to support marginalized people and organisations to strive for just, inclusive and sustainable societies.

With your support, I am confident we can deliver our mandate successfully while remaining true to our core values: freedom and dignity, diversity, equality and justice. We will continue to prioritise consultation and collaboration with rightsholders and facilitate connections with other progressive stakeholders to achieve our objectives.

Again, I would like to emphasize what Ibu Dewi has mentioned earlier, as the first Yayasan Executive Director, I also would like to humbly ask every one of you to extend the support that you have given to Hivos Southeast Asia to Yayasan Humanis.

As a closing, I would like to say thank you to all positive messages that we receive today and also to all speakers, performers (nonaria and papermoon) and participants who join this launching event. I also would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to Biranchi Upadhyaya who has served as Hivos Southeast Asia Executive Director for almost 6 years, and played a significant role in the birth of this Yayasan. Last but not least, thank you to all the staff members who have been working very hard behind the scenes to prepare this event. Terima kasih.

Honorable Minister, Excellencies, Mister Governor and Mister Regent, Distinguished Guests and Partners, I present to you: Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial. Terima Kasih, Maraming Salamat, Thank You, Obrigadu Barak.

Let’s we work together, collaborate and innovate!

Tunggal Pawestri, the Executive Director of Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial, speaking at the launch event