Tag Archives: Work

GenBI: An Investment in Future Leaders

A strong nation needs competent leaders of good character, capable of achieving and inspiring greatness. With this in mind, Bank Indonesia, has for decades been nurturing some of Indonesia’s most promising young talent through the provision of scholarships.

But talent alone is nothing without dedication to the nation. Therefore, BI in 2011 decided to broaden the impact of its education program by setting up a community called Generasi Baru Indonesia (New Indonesian Generation, GenBI). This initiative provides BI’s scholarship recipients with training and soft skills to become future leaders, capable of engaging and empowering the public.

GenBI presently covers 77 universities located across Indonesia. Rather than just giving financial support to students, BI is also building their characters, so they will become agents of change. Specific training covers leadership, motivation, writing, public speaking and central banking education.

The program teaches young people to become independent, creative and innovative, as well as inspiring their sense of nationalism, so they will become responsible for the future success of their country. Recipients learn to work in partnership with different organizations and levels of government, conducting activities that help to close the socio-economic gap.

Members of GenBI have diverse backgrounds of expertise and specialization. Their abilities and insights are broadened to address future local, national and even global challenges. For example, members have undertaken initiatives to combat poverty, raise environmental conservation, and improve health and hygiene.

Positive Impacts

The GenBI program is not elitist but is based entirely upon merit. Members undergo self-improvement and acquire values on how to inspire a peaceful, tolerant and inclusive society, while enhancing national growth and competitiveness. Internship opportunities are provided in Bank Indonesia and in respected national and multinational corporations.

Bony Prawira, a student of economics at Jakarta State University, says GenBI has taught him that it’s never too early for the young generation to start making positive social change. “Before being educated in GenBI, my social spirit was lacking,” he says. “I always thought I was not ready to help others. Once in GenBI, I realized we did not need to be perfect to help others. What is important is the intention and the will.”

Rifki Budianto Arif, who became a member of GenBI while studying law at the University of Indonesia, says the program enabled him to become involved in various social activities, such as encouraging communities to adopt better health and hygiene practices.

“We received assistance not only in the form of scholarships, but also through training as prospective entrepreneurs. This fostered a sense of social responsibility through positive activities,” says Rifki, who is now a researcher at the government’s Financial Services Authority. He says these valuable experiences could not be obtained from attending university lectures.

In West Kalimantan province, GenBI is combating the serious problem of coastal erosion. Members joined forces with a local conservation group to plant 13,000 mangroves after wave erosion carved a small island from the mainland. Local GenBI chairman Ivan Dermawan says the planting was hard work, but a valuable lesson in engaging communities to protect the planet. Such lessons cannot be learned in books but are typical of the real-life experiences provided by being part of GenBI.

In the South Kalimantan capital of Banjarmasin, GenBI focuses on preserving cultural heritage, including a local woven textile, sasirangan, which had been at risk of extinction. “We want to give the public a love of their own culture,” says GenBI member Jaenudin. “There was no continuity for sasirangan. If not us, then who else?” In preserving culture, there are economic opportunities that benefit low-income households.
GenBI has harnessed the high energy and enthusiasm of Indonesia’s brightest youths, putting the country’s future in good hands. With the right leaders who care for the people and the environment, all Indonesians will benefit.

Bank Indonesia Corner: Building Resilience through Literacy

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. Taking this maxim as part of its corporate social responsibility ethos, Bank Indonesia (BI) has embarked on an initiative to provide reading corners at educational institutions throughout Indonesia.

Launched in 2015, the BI Corner program is strengthening financial literacy by providing quality information on economics, as well as explaining BI’s role in managing the Indonesian economy. Efforts are focusing on universities, while early childhood education is being targeted through Bank Indonesia Reading & Storytelling Corners. Both programs are part of BI’s corporate social responsibility with the theme “Smart Indonesia”. Over the coming years, BI Corners will also be opened at selected high schools and entire education level throughout the country.

Indonesia has long suffered from poor financial literacy, as well as a low reading habit. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ranks Indonesia as having the lowest reading habit in Southeast Asia. Only 1 out of every 1,000 citizens has an excellent reading habit.

Part of the problem is a lack of access to quality books and learning materials, due to inadequately stocked libraries, while some regions do not have sufficient bookstores. Other factors include specialist books being unaffordable for many people, and books that are too technical to attract readers.

BI therefore decided to develop the reading corners, which are unique physical spaces comprising well-stocked bookshelves, comfortable seating and multimedia technology. These attractive spaces enable people to learn of the strong link between reading and thinking, as they acquire knowledge that is relevant to their daily lives and financial success.

The designated corners are generally attached to existing campus libraries. Each BI Corner is equipped with eye-catching bookshelves, hundreds finance-related books in Indonesian and English, sofas, computer terminal and LED TV, and a collection of BI periodicals and reports.

Subjects covered by available books are too numerous to list individually here, but include banking, practical economics, development planning, accounting, auditing, taxation, Islamic finance, international humanitarian law, economic theory, business and marketing, management and human resources, natural resources, and inspirational biographies.

Building Resilience
Less than half of Indonesia’s 250 million people have bank accounts – a situation that BI is taking measures to remedy through education programs.

“The new BI reading corner is popular with students,” says Endang Kusuma Dhani, the librarian at Jakarta’s Moestopo University. “The range of books enables them to broaden their skills and knowledge of finance.”

Financial literacy plays a crucial role in development and can help countries to avoid the worst symptoms of regional and global financial crises. For example, households with savings accounts and multiple income streams are likely to be more financially resilient during times of recession, high inflation and rising unemployment.

Households with low levels of financial literacy tend not to plan for the long-term, borrow at higher interest rates and have fewer assets. They are also at greater risk of falling victim to financial scams.

Instilling Values & Skills
The BI Reading & Storytelling Corners, which are being developed at early childhood learning centers, aim to stimulate the growth and development of infants by introducing them to reading, counting and creativity.

Parents have expressed gratitude for the books, which are designed for children aged three to six. This is the stage when infants develop physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, so it is the right time to instill values and skills for their futures.

The provision of exciting books and puppets helps children to understand the concept of money and importance of saving. Active involvement of parents is encouraged to ensure they play an ongoing role in the learning process.

At BI Reading & Storytelling Corners, BI provides training to staff of early childhood education centers (PAUD). Through good storytelling, children and their parents will be encouraged to read more.

Results have been promising, showing that stories, especially fables, have stimulated the imagination and creativity of children, as well as planting strong moral values.

BI is building and strengthening engagement with stakeholders, enabling students to understand the role of BI and its contribution to Indonesians.

BI’s reading corners are sowing the seeds to put the future of Indonesia’s economy in good hands, so that all Indonesians will benefit.

(Written in order Bank Indonesia participation on The Global CSR Awards 2016 by PINNACLE – Gold medal for “Excellence in Provision of Literacy & Education Award )

Jakarta Brief History

Jakarta’s recorded history dates from about 400 AD when it was a Hindu port settlement called Sunda Pura (Holy Town), under the ancient Indianized kingdom of Tarumanagara. By 700 AD it had become part of the vast Hindu Sunda Kingdom. In the 12th century, the area was known as Sunda Kelapa and served as Java’s main harbor for Asian and Middle Eastern traders. The Portuguese arrived in 1512 and a decade later reached a trading deal with the Sunda Kingdom to provide military assistance against the threat of Islamic Javanese. On June 22, 1527, Muslim leader Fatahillah conquered the area and renamed it Djaja Karta, signifying his “glorious victory” over the Portuguese colonists and the Sundanese Hindus – most of whom were massacred. June 22 is now celebrated as Jakarta’s anniversary.

The Dutch seized power in 1619 by destroying Djaja Karta, which was rebuilt and renamed Batavia, becoming the centre of political and economic activity. The city grew, with neighborhoods of Chinese, Indian Muslims and ethnic groups from throughout the archipelago. In 1699, much of Batavia was devastated by an earthquake. In 1740, simmering Chinese resentment against discriminatory Dutch policies prompted a rebellion. The Dutch responded by massacring most of the approximately 11,000 Chinese residents. This ethnic cleansing of the city’s mercantile class caused a recession, overcome only when more Chinese came to make money. By the early 1800s, the so-called “Queen of the East” had become polluted, overcrowded and disease-ridden, prompting its administrators and many wealthier residents to move south.

In March 1942, the Dutch surrendered to the Japanese wartime occupation forces and the city was renamed Jakarta Tokubetsu Shi (Special Municipality of Jakarta). When Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in August 1945, Jakarta was to have become the new nation’s capital. But the Dutch occupied the city and refused to recognize Indonesian independence, so the capital was temporarily Yogyakarta, until the Dutch formally transferred sovereignty in December 1949 after four years of fighting.

The departure of the Dutch led to massive rural migration into Jakarta, which was seen as the center of economic opportunities. Founding president Sukarno ordered the construction of numerous statues and monuments, as well as hotels and other prestigious projects. The city’s slums spread as the nation shuddered toward near economic collapse in the early 1960s. After Sukarno was replaced by General Suharto in 1966, Jakarta had a new governor, Ali Sadikin, who in 11 years cleaned up much of the city, bulldozing slums, banning pedicabs, and improving public services and infrastructure. His projects were partly funded by legalized gambling – a policy later overturned by Islamic politicians.

In May 1998, Jakarta suffered three days of riots that left over 1,000 people dead and forced Suharto from power. The city was beset by a recession but has since rebounded with massive development and economic growth. Jakarta’s biggest challenges include traffic congestion, pollution and annual flooding.