Empowering marginalized children in the Jakarta City slums area, with the education and skills required to improve their capabilities, so that they can reach their full potential in becoming a productive part of society.
The padi plant has many uses and benefits, whether in its raw state or processed as one of the main staple foods of man. The philosophy associated with this plant will hopefully inspire marginal children to develop as self-sufficient individuals who contribute to the welfare of their families and communities.
Just as the padi plant bends lower as it ripens, so too do those who are more knowledgeable display greater humility. Our marginal children will hopefully develop inner potential, enhance knowledge, but remain humble in their journey towards adulthood.
Founder, Director of Strategy and Programs
Tia Sutresna is Founder, Director of Strategy and Programs at Bulir Padi Foundation. Tia believes in the power of education and the inclusivity of the marginalized community as the key factor in the development of a nation:
“My passion in serving the marginalized community has always been the driving force behind my efforts in ensuring equality in education and opportunities.”
Her passion for helping those less fortunate has been consistently apparent in all her life, from feeding the homeless, sponsoring for education, and ultimately manifested in setting up her own Foundation. In her earlier years soon after her first Post-Graduate studies in Marketing Management from London (UK), Tia started her career at Unilever Indonesia. Since then following her husband’s work relocations, she and her two children has lived in various countries - including Singapore, where she worked as Programs Manager at the nonprofit organization Aidha, and the Philippines, where she pursued her second Master’s Degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management.
Co-founder, Director of Fundraising and External Relations
Illiana Wijanarko fell in love with community and social work when she volunteered to teach reading and writing for street children with Matahari Foundation at Jakarta’s Gambir Station. She began reaching out to help underprivileged youth through community initiatives upon returning to Indonesia from her studies at New York University, where she received a B.A. degree in Individualized Study with concentrations on Communications & Culture.
She continued to be inspired by the NGO partners she worked with, on education and empowering the poor, in her role as Corporate Affairs – Vice President at Citi Indonesia as well as CSR programs while working at Citi Hong Kong.
Today, Illiana continues to develop her strong spirit for charitable work at Bulir Padi Foundation.
“I'm passionate about helping Bulir Padi Foundation advance its mission to empower underprivileged youth because it is something I believe in.”
Her journey at Bulir Padi has been about discovering the power in making dreams come true.
On the weekends Illiana and her labrador can be found enjoying morning walks in one of Jakarta's oldest parks.
Co-founder, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Chevita Siregar returned to Indonesia in 2001 after living 18 years abroad. Both of her parents are Indonesian, but she was born in the United States. Chevita had the chance to become US citizen, but she chose to live in Indonesia with her dream and passion to make some change in her country by doing professional work in the oil & gas industry as well as being part of a community development organization. She believes that with starting a small change in community development and continuous improvement throughout the years that the effort will eventually result with significant impact on the community in the area of education. Empowering high school graduates to find a job in the market by providing them with skills and information to apply and prepare them for job interview is one such endeavour. It gives her contentment when marginal children have access to school and education and eventually become successful in finding a job or career.
“To live is to give”
Co-founder, Director of Marketing Communications
Upon returning from her studies at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York with a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, Irma Isnaedi noticed a significant contrast in the access to education as compared to the numerous countries she had studied in as a daughter of a diplomat. Fusing her passion for helping children and her strong skills in design and communications seemed to be the perfect path that she continues to commit to in her work at Bulir Padi Foundation. Irma believes that helping one child in a deeper scale can give a ripple effect and make a big impact in the family and community.
“Contributing towards the future of marginalized youth and seeing the results over time - seventeen years - is very rewarding!”
After more than 15 years of experience in the graphic design industry, Irma is currently pursuing a balanced life focusing around raising her two children, Bulir Padi Foundation as well as her many passions, such as baking and creating.
Retno is passionate on education for children that led her and her family to establish an Early Childhood Education School for marginalized kids in Cakung, Jakarta.
After some years establishing that school, Retno felt that she needed to do more to help more children gain an education, and she found an opportunity to work with Bulir Padi Foundation.
“This is my first experience working with a Non-Government Organization, and I am so blessed and lucky to be part of Bulir Padi since I love dealing with children especially from the underprivileged community.”
Retno is highly motivated to do her best for Bulir Padi. One thing that always touches her heart is when she goes to the childrens’ schools and pays the tuition fees. In her role, Retno feels that it’s just not about giving help but also supporting kids to have a better future. She believes that her work provides a positive contribution not only to Bulir Padi but also to the marginalized kids who can exercise their basic right to receive an education.
Lusi has been a Bulir Padi field officer in Palmerah, West Jakarta. She first joined as Librarian for Bulir Padi Pustaka a few years ago, and now she helps the team on the ground to run the Foundation’s programs in the area. After more than 15 years working in a factory, Lusi felt moved to quit her job and serve her surrounding community in the field of education through Bulir Padi Foundation.
Lusi also often saw children in her community preoccupied with mobile phones and wished that they were more interested in reading books. In supporting Pustaka Bulir Padi library, Lusi feels that she is help build a love of reading within her own community. She also has the opportunity to have new friends from other reading parks and is often invited to join library related training programs.
“I also like to see children actively reading at Pustaka Bulir Padi, and I hope my community will become better in the long run.”
Because of her love for children, Suhendah first joined the Bulir Padi family as a librarian at Pustaka Bulir Padi in Bidaracina - the only public library in her area. She is now a field officer of the Foundation and helps the Bulir Padi team run its programs in her community.
Speaking about Pustaka Bulir Padi, Suhendah feels that the location of the library is now more alive, where it used to be very quiet as if there was no life.
“I am very happy that there is a library here, because children now have a positive playground for reading books, playing toys or just socializing with their friends.I am very happy that there is a library here, because children now have a positive playground for reading books, playing toys or just socializing with their friends.”
Throughout her journey in helping Pustaka Bulir Padi, Suhendah is happy to see children reading diligently and also to meet new people who come to the library as volunteers. She hopes that more children will like to read and more kind people out there are willing to contribute to Bulir Padi.