Happy 50th Birthday!
The Jakarta office of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday, 13 September 2019. To superstitious people, this might sound like a recipe for disaster. However, last week’s event at Ayana Midplaza Hotel proved them wrong in their belief.
The event themed “50 Years of Empowering Freedom” was a great success; amongst the roughly 150 attendees, there were many persons of great importance, such as Dr. Ir. Pramono Anung Wibowo, Minister of Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia, and Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, member of FNF Executive Board and member of the German parliament.
The program was inspiring and diverse. It started with a moment of silence for the recently deceased former President Habibie, who is not only seen as a landmark for the beginning of the Reformation era but who had moreover cherished and invested very much in the Indonesian-German friendship. This was followed by speeches on the part of Dr. Almut Besold, FNF Indonesia’s Head of Office; Mr. Hendrik Barkeling, the Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy; the aforementioned Dr. Ir. Pramono Anung Wibowo; Mr. H. Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Central Java; and the keynote speaker Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger. Their words not only highlighted the importance of the work done by FNF Indonesia to promote freedom throughout the last half-century, but also the flourishing cooperation with Indonesian partners.
In between the speeches, live performances of songs with special relation to FNF Indonesia impressed the guests. The melodious “Jakarta” illustrates the evolution of both the city and the office that resides in it; the powerful “Merdeka” exemplifies the foundation’s work to empower freedom; the duet “Inilah Kita” presents the office team; and last but not least, “Keep on Smiling Indonesia” shows the bright future that awaits both the country and FNF Indonesia. The video “Empowering Freedom” also contributed to the artistic part of the evening, starting musically as well, but quickly turning serious and entailing a beautiful message of freedom. It was produced by the office and conveys in a short story the values that FNF stands for.
FNF Indonesia would not exist without the hard work of its members and therefore the end of the ceremony was marked by a surprise to certain senior employees: Mr. Djoko Winarto with 30 years, Ms. Nur Rachmi with 25 years and Ms. Vera Putri with 18 years of FNF office experience were called to the stage and awarded for their tireless efforts over the past decades. Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger presented them with Certificates of Appreciation from the FNF Board of Directors; Mr. Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff, Head of Regional Office Southeast and East Asia, handed them gifts tailored to their interests; and everyone else rewarded them with much applause.
The Jakarta office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation’s oldest foreign office. Throughout the last half-century, it has aimed to make the principle of freedom valid for all people in all areas of society. Over the next half-century and beyond, it will safeguard and develop its statutory projects in close cooperation with its partners to contribute to shaping a better future.
With its 50th birthday gone by, FNF Indonesia now compares to a middle-aged person – but a mid-life crisis is nowhere in sight.