For Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) assisted schools in Jakarta, Ema's presence at school is always anticipated by both teachers and children. Not infrequently the children ran to greet her even though Ema was still in the school parking area. Understandably, Ema is familiar with and often works with schools around WVI's assisted areas. One of them was when he served as regional coordinator for the BOKS program in the Jakarta area.
Born and raised in the city of Depok, Ema has always been known as an active child. During school, he was active in extracurricular activities and community activities, one of which was pencak silat. When she was in high school, Ema also participated in tutoring with alumni at her school. It was there that Ema met the Department of Social Welfare Science (Kessos) which made her deliberately major in social science when she was in high school.
"At first I didn't know that there was a Social Welfare Science major, I knew when I was introduced by seniors, 'Social Welfare is good, do this and that, the point is that you can help others to help themselves. So, I thought, wow, it's great to be able to help people, so I chose Social Welfare."
Living and being surrounded by a large family has made Ema grow as a child who has high empathy. This is also one of the reasons why he chose to apply for a job at Wahana Visi Indonesia.
"When I graduated from college, it was idealistic, because the principle of Social Welfare is 'help people to help themselves'. That is, how can we encourage other people to restore their social functions? So you understand more about Social Welfare when practising at an NGO, as a prerequisite for graduation. It turned out to be very interesting and I feel moved when I could put the theories learned in class into practice. So, when there was a vacancy to work as a Community Development Facilitator at WVI, I applied."
A year after becoming the Kebon Nutmeg ADP Community development facilitator, Ema was trusted to become the Monitoring & Evaluation (Monev) Coordinator of ADP Kebon Nutmeg and Cipinang Melayu, Jakarta. Then served as Monev Coordinator for the Jakarta Cluster coordinating the baseline, monitoring, evaluation and learning processes for the WVI program in all areas of Jakarta from (2012 – 2016). Feeling bored with the world of Monev, Ema turned to become the Coordinator and team leader for several projects from 2017 to 2021.
“BOKS Challenge” celebration activity at one of the BOKS-assisted elementary schools in Jakarta (24/5/22)
Who could have thought that little Ema was a volleyball player in her neighbourhood? Her sports hobby continued even when she became a mother of two.
"Even when I'm married, I still like to jog on Saturdays and Sundays at UI Depok. So when Asih offered to be involved in the BOKS project, I felt like 'Are you serious about sports?' and this is unique! We didn't exist before!"
Starting from curiosity, Ema explored the position of Regional Coordinator of the BOKS program in the Jakarta area in 2020. She feels grateful to be able to work while channelling her hobby in sports. Also, proud to be able to directly receive training and mentoring from the BOKS Canada team.
“I'm really excited because we've been trained directly by professional hockey athletes, and sports instructors. So proud, happy to be able to learn from great athletes and people."
When asked about the most memorable moment, Ema did not hesitate to answer that the positive changes in the children were the driving force for her to continue to do her best. Given the conditions at that time, the children had just transitioned from Learning from Home (BDR) to returning to face-to-face learning at school. Physical activity programs such as BOKS which are carried out at school also motivate children to go to school and socialize with their peers. "Another thing that was very memorable was when I got a video posted on IG (Instagram) by one of the child's parents, which showed his father having a 'plank' and his son following him. The mother records the video while cheering on her son. Wow, it turns out that our activities are monitored by our parents and they also support us,” said Ema.
“Welcoming children and parents too, they know us. When you enter school, you feel like an artist, you even say goodbye to going home,” said Ema, laughing. "There I feel maybe our presence is really needed or maybe it's appropriate because children need a new atmosphere."
It is not uncommon for some children to still have good relations with Ema even after the implementation of the program in these schools is over. She feels that it was thanks to the good cooperation during the program and intense communication that the parents of the children became confident not only in the BOKS program but also in the people behind it.
Ema leading a game in the BOKS module (27/02/22)
In mid-2021, Emma was officially appointed as a Design, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist for the Wahana Visi Indonesia National Office (NO). Even though she doesn't go directly to schools and communities, Ema is still part of the BOKS Indonesia program in terms of monitoring the program's overall continuity.
"What's unique about the BOKS program is that for each intervention we carry out initial and final measurements, and from the beginning when I was still at BOKS, I was the one taking care of it. As a result, when I moved to NO, my supervisor said, 'Okay, Ema, let's continue'."
In this new position, Ema has even more hopes for schools that have intervened or been exposed to the BOKS program so that they can continue to implement the program independently in their respective schools. He hopes that children can continue to actively move using the methods and alternative games provided by the BOKS program.
“I see that physical activity and health are very important because we only have 1 version of ourselves. I have also seen a positive impact on children. So it would be a shame if these BOKS were not continued by teachers and schools after the WVI BOKS intervention was finished."