By Johanna Lima, a member of the SkillCorps® Indonesia July 2018 team

Trailblazer (n): a person who makes, does, or discovers something new and makes it acceptable or popular. 

Everyone, meet Rani and Hotik.

When I first met Rani and Hotik, I was immediately humbled by their grace, kindness, and humor.  They immediately embraced us and made sure that our accommodations were up to par. They took us to Old Jakarta to show us the history of Jakarta and then to try some local food. I appreciated their kind gestures, their dedication to making us feel comfortable, and we had a genuinely good time with them.  The first day at the center added an entire new layer to their characters.  What I met were powerful female entrepreneurs with strong clinical skills and an admirable vision for the future of their center and ABA services in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Most women in Jakarta still embrace traditional roles of wives and mothers but not Rani and Hotik; they are proud to be “single ladies” and are fully committed to being business women.  Even though they are not BCBA’s (because there is no BCBA coursework available in Indonesia), Rani and Hotik have a well developed, behaviorally sound ABA program.  To be frank, it’s better than some programs I have seen in the United States.

The second day at the center, they shared their goals for the future of ABA in Indonesia and their roles in that process. They explained that quality ABA services are typically provided to wealthy families simply those families can afford it, and that lesser quality services are provided via charity organizations for struggling families.  Their mission is to provide quality ABA services to families of all levels of income, specifically low and middle class families. Currently, they serve low income families through fundraising and can really only serve each client 4 hours a week, which they know is not enough. They would like to increase their hours and increase enrollment by expanding their non-profit organization through community awareness.  I mean…how awesome is that!?  

I often struggle with my own vision for my business and with accepting how “things are” at places where I work. Rani and Hotik have changed my perspective on both these realms by showing me that I can my achieve my business goals, in due time or course, but also continue to strive to excellence at my current position. I am forever grateful for their determination and their kindness.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Rumah Tiara’s mission with the Global Autism Project and for their role in empowering me to strive for excellence!