Realize synergy and real contributions of the Diaspora

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Hamdan Hamedan, Executive Director of Indonesian Diaspora Network-United. (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Since 2012, the Indonesian Diaspora Network-United (IDN-United) has been established to further increase the contribution of the eight million Indonesians spread across the world to global civilization.

The Indonesian Diaspora Network-United synergizes the Indonesian expat Indonesian, aiming to contribute directly to Indonesia’s progress, by strengthening the network, integrating active components of expat Indonesian, channelling capital, expertise and and talents of Indonesian citizens around the world.

Since the first IDN United Congress, Hamdan Hamedan has been actively involved in IDN-United. According to him, the momentum of IDN-United’s first global congress is the starting point of “diasporic consciousness”, meant to inspire enthusiasm and awareness of being part of a global expatriate Indonesian community.

One year later Hamdan entered the IDN-United structure and served as the President of the Indonesian Diaspora Network in Northern California for three years. On his return home, Hamdan was believed to be the Executive Director of IDN-United – the parent organization of Indonesia’s expat Indonesian community which hosted expatriate and local chapters in various countries of the world.

Hamdan is tasked with helping IDN-United President Herry Utomo realize his vision, one aspect of which is to make the organization capable of synergizing various parts of Indonesia’s expat Indonesian community around the world and contributing significantly to the home country.

IDN-United can provide directions for its formulation process, as well as synergizing projects in each country with a different focus. IDN France, which is one of the national chapters of IDN-United, for example, is more focused on the tourism, fashion, and culinary sectors,” he explained.

“We have created a survey of the Indonesian diaspora, with 1511 people in 61 countries responding. We tried to map the expat Indonesian community potential and it looks surprisingly amazing in terms of education, remittance, and income, with the majority of middle and upper middle classes. Like the Indonesian expats in the United States:the median income per year is 60,000 USD. Almost half hold a bachelor’s degree. And many of them routinely send home tens of millions of dollars in remittances, “he added.

The establishment of various task forces under the direct leadership of President IDN-United is aimed at exerting a positive impact on expat Indonesians and their beloved home country. Like the diaspora-to-diaspora (TF-D2D) task to help fellow expat Indonesians. For example, over the past six months, TF-D2D saved two people from the human trafficking, rescued four people from domestic violence (KDRT), helped 12 children get child support, and found work for 12 expat Indonesians. There’s also a task force in technological matters that is creating Indonesian diaspora mobile applications.

In addition, IDN-United has also been instrumental in providing recommendations for the Migrant Workers Law, recommendations that protect migrant workers, and collaboration with other TKI stakeholders, including the current TKI program being developed. There’s also a task force focused on a Diaspora Aggregator of Small Medium Enterprises (SME) Empowerment Agencies, with the aim of improving the competitiveness, quality and export capacity of SME products on the global market.

“There are many things contributed by Indonesian diaspora professors, members of Indonesian American Society of Academics (IASA), such as education and telemedicine projects in Papua as a major project that will begin in July 2018. IASA, in collaboration with Bappenas, provides educational breakthroughs in two boarding schools as a pilot project: Adi Luhur High School in Nabire and SMAN 3 Jayapura. And they also launched a telemedicine project to improve health access for the Papuan people by strengthening health centres,” Hamdan explained.

The education and telemedicine project in Papua is in line with Presidential Instruction no. 9 of 2017 on the acceleration of welfare development in Papua and West Papua. Such as teacher training, curriculum changes, boarding house management improvement, and building science parks, tablet grants to teachers and much more. The project, involving more than 20 Indonesian expat Indonesian professors, spread over 19 universities in the United States, is expected to improve the quality of schools in Papua, enabling them to compete with best schools in Java. We believe this project can be replicated in other regions to support the improvement of their educational standards.

Earlier, in December 2017, the Indonesian Diaspora Network and the IDF (Indonesian Diaspora Foundation) contributed to the procurement of toilets for SMAN 1 Trienggadeng, Aceh. The school located in Pidie Jaya district was one of the worst schools affected by the earthquake. Diaspora also donated several computers, 50 new seats, and back the publication of a magazine to support students’ creativity of SMPN 5 Tarogong Kidul, which had previously been flooded. Other activities in mid-May 2018: Indonesian Diaspora Network (IDN) successfully held an “Indonesia, A Fascinating Journey” event in front of the Louvre Museum, Paris. (ekawati)