Consultants from executive recruitment company Monroe Consulting Group Indonesia, in association with respected children’s charity MAIN, spent Saturday participating in a health clinic for disadvantaged children at the notorious Bantar Gebang rubbish dump in Bekasi, Greater Jakarta. Monroe has a long association with the respected medical-led foundation, which primarily focuses on providing free medical care for sick or terminally ill children from impoverished backgrounds.
Monroe Indonesia Managing Director Bagus Hendrayono said the company regularly participated in community programmes with MAIN, but the trip to Bantar Gebang to provide medical services and distribute medicine was particularly eye-opening given the abject poverty and extremely unsanitary conditions at the rubbish dump, which was home to at least 100 families.
Bagus said that in addition to Monroe’s ongoing, regular financial support of MAIN, or Yayasan Mitra Anak Indonesia, and participation in clinics and other charity work, it was heart-warming to see Monroe’s Consumer Goods division donate their quarterly bonuses to buy the children toys, school bags and educational materials for the school year ahead.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our recruitment consultants,” Bagus said. “Consumer Goods, which currently has eight recruitment consultants, won the award for the best Division for the first quarter of 2016 and donated the Rp 5 million (US$376) bonus to the children here.”
Andreas Saputra, head of Consumer Goods, said that instead of using the money for the traditional night out or short weekend getaway, the team agreed to donate the money to children of Bantar Gebang. “As soon as we were told that MAIN was running the health clinic we knew exactly how we would use the money,” Andreas said. “This sort of activity really helps us to realise how lucky most of us are and we hope that our small gesture makes even the smallest impact on the lives of these kids and their families.”
Doctor Mirari Judio, one of the founders of MAIN, an acronym that translates as ‘Play’ in Indonesian, said that although the Foundation’s focus was primarily on the provision of medical services, helping children in impoverished areas such as Bantar Gebang was of vital importance given the absence of government support.
“During my short lecture on the importance of vaccinations, most of the adults did not even know that they are available free-of-charge in ‘puskesmas’ (government-run health centres), and that's really heart-breaking,” she said. “We have visited other slum areas before, in conjunction with Sahabat Anak that provides education for poor kids, but nothing of this size.”
Dr Mirari said MAIN was established by five paediatricians with a core focus on promoting child health in general, initially at the central Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Jakarta.
“At that time there was no health coverage for most families and as a consequence we saw many sick children who did not receive any care because the parents did not have health insurance, or even ID or family cards,” she said. “We were just resident doctors at the time but we decided to help. I shared the stories with friends, and they started to help also. Our Foundation was established soon after. We only have one paid position, and all donations go directly to providing care for the children.”
She said MAIN welcomed volunteers and the donation of toys or educational material for children, and financial contributions were also greatly appreciated.