SurfAid Names New Country Director

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

SurfAid recently promoted Dinnia Joedadibrata to Country Director In Indonesia. Learn more about Dinnia and what makes her the perfect candidate to lead our efforts in the field.

You were recently appointed SurfAid’s Country Director. What experience do you have to help prepare you for this role?

I’ve been working with SurfAid for just under two years and this has given me a great opportunity to gain knowledge and an understanding of SurfAid’s operations in Indonesia.  Prior to this, I spent the past 15 years working in the development sector in Indonesia, Timor Leste, Pakistan, and the Netherlands. I have worked in the field with the communities, the local partners, and at the various headquarters. All this experience has helped provide me with the well-rounded perspective required for the job. There’s never a dull moment at SurfAid and I am ready to face whatever will come my way. 

What do you hope to bring to your new role and the communities we partner with?

I’d like to continue to improve on the great results we’ve been reporting and share more of these results with SurfAid supporters. The communities we work with are in such remote areas that many people can’t understand how isolated they truly are. I’d like to share more stories and results to help truly represent the work in our communities. Through SurfAid, I want to continue to provide opportunities and support to help our partners develop and improve their lives. 

Previously you worked as an area manager for SurfAid. Can you share some of your favorite experiences from working with our partner communities?

What I really love is when their talents and confidence begin to develop. This shows you that even in the most remote and poorest communities, people aren’t helpless. This is why our program matters the most, just by giving people opportunities, training, and mentoring they soar! I saw this in Sumba, at the end of our HAWUNA program. I watched as the Posyandu* kaders confidently led trainings, provided health information to the mothers, and learned to voice their opinions at various government workshops. They were no longer looking to SurfAid staff and were independently running their programme.  *Posyandu = monthly community mother and child health posts run by village health volunteers (kaders). 

What are you most proud of when it comes to SurfAid’s work?

I am actually so proud of our staff! As you know, our staff live and work with the communities and without our field staff there would be no SurfAid. To effectively support our communities, we can’t just distribute items and go. We have to stay with them to train and provide people with necessary skills and confidence. It’s only then that we can leave knowing they will be equipped to improve their lives. Our staff live in difficult conditions which can often mean a 3 hour walk to the community health post. They work daily to build relationships with the local community to gain their trust and willingness to try new things such as sanitation projects, government negotiations, and general health awareness. Our staff approach this work wholeheartedly and full of dedication. I am proud that our work is helping build the long-term capacity of local communities instead of just providing for them, but I am most proud of our dedicated staff who carry out this work!  

When not sitting on the back of a motorbike, or taking a ferry to one of SurfAid’s remote communities, what do you like to do for fun and relaxation? 

I like to sketch, do a bit of drawing (I designed SurfAid Indonesia “batik” uniform), and binge-watch on TV series. Being based in Indonesia, relaxing on the beach with a book and a beverage is mandatory from time to time. It’s great to step back and appreciate the beautiful country we are working in.