Indonesia is an exceptionally large and unique country. There’s no disputing that. If you were to visit one island every day, it would take you almost 50 years to see all of them. 

With our vast spread of islands, we also have quite a large population to match. With our ever-increasing headcount, the national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” which means Unity in Diversity, is truly a fitting representation for the amazing variety we have in this country. But as fantastic as that sounds, our diversity comes with a bit of adversity.

Our nation suffers from a number of factors: poverty, deforestation, inequality, lack of opportunity, to name just a few. I’m not saying that no other country on this planet doesn’t have issues, but in my eyes, the development of Indonesia is too unevenly spread. Some areas of the country prosper while others are still many years behind, lacking in vital infrastructure and basic services for its inhabitants. It isn’t an easy task for the government but that’s where social enterprises can step in and lend a helping hand.

Without the assistance of countless passionate and selfless people around the world, thousands, even millions may not have received aid that has benefited their lives and communities. An organisation I look up to, the International Red Cross and Crescent Society, is the biggest volunteer-based humanitarian organisation in the world, bringing together over 17 million active volunteers worldwide. They provide needed services to people who, without the IRFC, may perish due to their drastically unfortunate circumstances. 

But where am I going with this? As this is the season of giving and kindness, I wanted to remind you of the problems Indonesia is currently facing and that there are a lot of people out there doing awesome things. With all of these charities dedicated to the betterment of society, it’s often difficult to know who’s doing what. And that is why Service Spotlight was born. This is going to be a monthly piece on the incredible work people do in Indonesia and the people and communities they impact. We’ll be aiming to cover a diverse range of people, doing a variety of services, for different parts of Indonesia. This is curated by us, a new student-led nonprofit program called Project Horizon, with the aim to encourage the spirit of service throughout the year. But more on that at the start of next year. For now, have an incredible holiday wherever you are and don’t forget that we all have a part to play in the grand scheme of things.

Happy holidays from the Project Horizon team!