Ambassador Nancy experiences Indonesia
15 years of Collibri Foundation in Indonesia, the ideal time for an ambassador to submerge in the project. Nancy left for a 5-day immersion trip to Semarang, Java, joined by Jef Colruyt and two colleagues. She was introduced to the country, culture, schools and especially the young people. We asked her how she experienced the trip.
It was Nancy's first visit to Indonesia and it left a deep impression on her. "What a beautiful country, but so crowded! People are almost living on top of each other and traffic is one big chaos", Nancy says. "Javanese people are mainly Muslim, so at night you might be woken up by the call to prayer", she laughs, "but people are so warm and genuinely friendly."
"The need is high"
Nancy describes her week in Indonesia as busy, but fascinating. The delegation had a busy schedule and was accompanied by two external advisors who follow up on the projects on site. They visited schools and universities, attended a conference on entrepreneurship and visited a few students at home.
"We saw that education is not self-evident. Many youngsters start working at 15; it's the logical choice for them. But by studying, they have a chance of a better job with a better wage", Nancy explains. "The infrastructure often also lacks. The organisations we visited always stressed that they really need our help. For instance, a school had computers but they were over ten years old." The visitors were welcomed with open arms everywhere, "with speeches, dance and many local specialties, very hospitable!"
"The highlight of the trip was meeting the young people who did a work placement at Colruyt Group", Nancy continues. "In the meantime, they all found a job or want to continue their studies. One of the students even was a member of the entrepreneurship conference panel. I couldn't be more proud", Nancy beams.
Nancy took a surprise from the Belgian host families (all of them Colruyt Group employees) for the former interns. They all recorded a personal video message to wish 'their' youngsters the best of luck. "An emotional moment, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world."