The newly inaugurated executive board of Yayasan Jantung Indonesia – led by Esti Nurjadin – consist of Widi Wardhana, Mela Sabina, Novi Ariwibowo, Dr. Ario Soeryo Kuncoro, Sidi Hersanto, Sita Satar, Shahla Rahardjo and Sumiati Gani. Their mission is to be more relevant to the younger generations, in spreading the dangers of cardiovascular diseases with a new look, a new feel, a new approach. Ajeng G. Anindita talked to these dedicated individuals about their hopes for the new-look foundation.
We may associate her with art, as she’s the owner of D Gallerie in South Jakarta. But Esti Nurjadin, the new Chairperson of Yayasan Jantung Indonesia, also has interests in health, mainly because her husband had bypass surgery at the age of 42. Esti felt an obligation to pass on information to help others, which is why she joined YJI. The law school graduate was recruited by Mia Hanafiah, one of YJI’s founders. She is involved with the foundation since 2008.
One of Esti’s goals as Chairperson is to become more in touch with the younger generations about cardiovascular disease and lifestyle choices. “I hope we will be more relevant to millennials and the younger generations,” she says. “We’re trying to focus more on the youth, as it’s easier for them to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make it as their habit.
“One of the misconceptions about cardiovascular disease is that just because you are active, you think you’re healthy. That’s not enough. You have to consume food in moderation, visit your doctor routinely, manage your stress and avoid cigarettes at all costs. It’s a combination of everything.”
On her plans for YJI, she declares: “In the first year, we’re going to make our campaigns more relevant to the youth. Indonesia is entering the initial stage of the demographic dividend and is expected to reap from its huge working age group, which will reach 70% of the total population by 2030. We want to educate these youths to be heart heroes that they have the power to give new life to children from under privileged families born with congenital heart defect.
“I hope they take care of themselves. When they’re healthy, they can help others. In the future when they reach their productive age, these generations will be our heart heroes who help give new and meaningful lives to others born with heart defects.”
Mela Sabina is a partner at Fortune Indonesia, an integrated advertising agency, and Director of COM3 in Singapore, a marketing and broadcasting firm. In spite of her busy life, she still makes time to care about others.
It was 11 years ago when Mia Hanafiah asked Mela to join Yayasan Jantung Indonesia. Mela’s mother had a heart problem, so the Sorbonne University graduate felt it was a good idea to learn everything she could about cardiovascular disease. Mela is now the Head of Communications at YJI.
“YJI is 40 years old, and we want to reach a younger audience,” says Mela of her role with the foundation. “So we are challenged to find new mediums and ways for our message to be well received by the millennials. To achieve this, we must make ourselves more approachable, obliging and relatable to the younger generation. That’s why the foundation needs to have a new look, a new feel and a new approach to communicate our vocation, mission and vision to society.” She adds, “And this surely applies to all our programs and campaigns, including our global social initiative Go Red for Women, which aims to raise awareness of heart disease in women.”
“My field is promotion. We communicate through the media, we go to schools and offices to spread the word. We teach CPR, we give talk shows. We participated in the Asian Games and Para Games, setting up a booth to give out information on how to prevent heart disease and even giving out free medical checkups to the international media and visitors. This is our big milestone, as we are the first and only foundation ever, in the history of both games, to participate in giving such support.”
“What do we tell people about preventing heart disease? Start with healthy eating and exercise. Don’t smoke. Undertake regular medical checkups. Avoid stress. There’s no minimal age to check your heart. Sadly, there are more young people having heart attacks nowadays.”
Sumiati Gani’s professional background is in the finance industry and in securities companies. Her career includes working with Inter-Pacific Securities in Corporate Finance for 2 years before she later joins PT Samuel Sekuritas Indonesia as Vice President in Equity Division for 6 years. Now she is Vice Treasurer of Yayasan Jantung Indonesia, a role she accepted in order to give something back to the community.
“A lot of programmes that we’re doing at YJI are helping the underprivileged,” Sumiati points out. “I think it’s important to have preventive campaigns that help people understand the dangers of cardiovascular disease and how to avoid it. Most of the problems occur because of unhealthy lifestyles. For example, many teenagers and even children are smoking every day. That’s why YJI, which covers all 33 provinces in Indonesia and has representatives in each city, tries to spread awareness of living a healthy lifestyle such as exercising, having good nutrition, regularly checking your heart and most of all, being happy.”
“During the next five years, we will be making a big effort to send out positive messages that will linger in people’s minds about the benefits of healthy living. Good nutrition, less stress, that’s the way forward. No matter how inconvenient sometimes, we all need to routinely exercise and visit the doctor for check-ups.” She continues, “ In the case of unfortunate children who are born with heart defect, they have to undergo at least 2-3x of open heart surgery in their life span that’s why ‘heart matters’ is very complex.”
ARIO SOERYO KUNCORO
“I see it as my duty to support the work of a foundation like Yayasan Jantung Indonesia,” declares cardiologist Ario Soeryo Kuncoro. He studied medicine at Universitas Indonesia and works at Rumah Sakit Jantung Harapan Kita, the national heart centre in Palmerah. For the past five years, Dr. Kuncoro has been Deputy Secretary General of the Indonesian Heart Association (Perki). Now, he is the Head of Curative Programs for Yayasan Jantung Indonesia.
“We reach out to society by doing interviews, workshops and counselling,” he says. “It’s good to have the support of YJI, whose main focus is cardiovascular education. They have developed all sorts of useful programmes – preventive, rehabilitative to curative – to help heart patients. My teachers and mentors have worked alongside YJI since its inception.
“Cardiovascular problems are complex. So many factors are involved: genetics, metabolism, the environment. You can’t blame one thing, but poor diet and lack of exercise are big problems in our society, and YJI is working to spread more awareness about that. We hope that young people will realise that a bad lifestyle will cause you problems when you get older.”
“I joined Yayasan Jantung Indonesia because I wanted to help it continue with important programmes, such as helping babies born with heart defects,” says Shahla Rahardjo. An MBA graduate who has worked for insurance company AIG, management consultant arm of accounting firm Ernst & Young and her family’s business, Shahla counts Esti Nurjadin as a childhood friend, “We’re aiming to create more awareness of heart disease and to send positive messages to the community about healthy lifestyles – why it’s important and how to do it,” says Shahla. “We have set up a special division for education in remote areas. These people are the key to creating awareness among all Indonesians, at all levels of society.
“My role as the Treasurer for the foundation is to work closely with Vice Treasurer Sumiati (Gani) to make all programmes go smoothly. We have to make sure that all the donations and funds entrusted to us go directly to those in need.”
Widi Wardhana is currently a Director of the PT Teladan Resources, an investment holding company with a diversified investments portfolio that currently focuses on five core businesses including agro resources, energy, industrial, strategic properties, and media. She has been managing the family-owned business since 2004.
The foundation’s new Secretary General admits she was hesitant about joining YJI at first. “When Esti asked me to come on board, I was unsure whether I could contribute enough, because I am working full-time for my family corporation and foundation. My role at YJI is a big task to take on. But after careful consideration, I accepted it because social work has been my interest, and I would love to challenge myself with this opportunity.”
YJI has many campaigns that promote healthy lifestyles, such as Heart at School, which goes to schools and universities to raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease. It promotes good health through programmes like Klub Jantung Sehat and Klub Jantung Remaja that encourage regular aerobic exercise, as well as Van Health which offers free medical checks and encourage people to have them regularly. YJI also sponsors children with heart defects for surgeries and holds events like Go Red For Women, a campaign to end heart disease and stroke, and Keren Tanpa Rokok, which discourages smoking.
“Our goal is to amplify public awareness about cardiovascular diseases and their prevention,” says Widi. “We want to increase our outreach to young people. The earlier we instill a healthy lifestyle, the more it becomes a way of life and habit. Once they adapt to a healthy lifestyle, they will also educate their families, and hopefully, we can have a healthy and productive future generation.”
Giving back to the community is very important to Novi Ariwibowo. It is one of the reasons why she joined Yayasan Jantung Indonesia. At the start she was a volunteer, helping out at charity dinners and galas. Now, she is the Vice Secretary General.
“Esti asked me to join the board at the right time, just when I wanted to become more involved in social causes,” says Novi. “I work hard, and I’m a wife and a mother. But I also want to give back to the community – through YJI.”
Novi enjoys working with young people. “We held a photography competition to celebrate World Heart Day on September 29. Our target was millennials and the younger generation. The competition requires you to take selfies while doing healthy activities. So it’s fun as well as good exercise. We hope that with so many people joining this competition, they can understand our message about leading a healthy lifestyle.
“I think one of the keys to health is exercising regularly. But don’t forget to be smart about it. Don’t overdo it. You need to know your body first, so it’s a good idea to check with the doctor about the kind of workout that’s ideal for you.
“In future, we will develop more innovative campaigns that will interest people at all levels, but especially the young. That being said, I hope YJI can become more independent, especially in terms of funding, because we are now struggling to find new donors. With medical costs increasing every year, we surely need more support with that.”
Sidi Hersanto is the most longest-standing member of Yayasan Jantung Indonesia’s management team, having retired from Garuda Indonesia in 2007. He has been involved with the heart foundation for almost 20 years, notably in running the Klub Jantung Sehat (Healthy Heart Club) and Klub Jantung Sehat Remaja (Youth Heart Club) programme.
“I’ve always enjoyed doing something for social causes, especially YJI,” he says. “I’m in charge of the preventive program, which mainly works to sustain healthy lifestyle and encourage the practice of our special heart exercises.
“Besides our Jakarta Head Office, we have 29 branch offices throughout the country, 2,687 Heart Clubs in 30 provinces with a total of 119,877 active members. In addition, we also have 153 Youth Heart Clubs in 18 provinces and 16,379 members. We give CPR trainings in our clubs and promote it wherever we can.”
“Almost 70 percent of Indonesians are young and in their productive years. We want them to start living healthily and to continue to it. Investment isn’t just about your home and your savings. You need to see your health as an investment too. What you eat, what you do daily, affects your future. Start doing everything good from a young age so the when you’re mature you can see the great results.”
Sita Satar is no stranger to social causes. The wife of economist Rizal Satar has been active in many social institutions over the years, notably Yayasan Jantung Indonesia. She joined the foundation as a secretary. Now she is the Head of Fund-Raising.
“It’s very easy to be involved in YJI because it’s a solid and established foundation with a clear vision and mission,” says Sita. One of the main programmes she is proud of is obtaining medication and treatment for babies with heart defects. The foundation helps 60 to 70 children each year.
“Why are so many Indonesian babies born with heart defects? It’s usually because of malnourishment,” says Sita. “There’s a lack of education and proper treatment in remote areas. Many mothers are not aware of the nourishment needed in order to have a healthy baby. That’s why, when the baby is born, he carries diseases already, which is very heartbreaking.
“We need more funds to help these children get the treatment they need. We cannot afford to let our next generation of children suffer and waste their potential in the future.”
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