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Indonesia is the most generous country in the world.

dafluff

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https://www.ozy.com/acumen/which-is-the-worlds-most-generous-country/92175

“Satu Indonesia,” says Josuwa Ramos, who leads fundraising initiatives for RW 03 Tugu Utara. The phrase means “One Indonesia” and underpins the belief that Indonesia is “one family,” he explains. He has been busy these past 12 months with a string of devastating natural disasters killing thousands and upending the day-to-day operations of whole provinces across the archipelago. Knocking on doors or car windows in the city’s notoriously clogged streets has allowed the group to raise hundreds of dollars for necessities, from fresh water to women’s sanitary products.

“Zakat is different,” Ramos says of the Islamic practice of donating money during the holy month of Ramadan. “That’s only for the holy month, but we donate for everything. We’re Muslims, but we raise money for poor Christians in the community for Christmas. For disasters, we don’t care what religion they are.” It’s an important rebuttal in a country where religious intolerance has recently been in the headlines.
I agree with that article. Undeniably Indonesians are generous, despite many being poor themselves. Last year, with the Gunung Agung situation and then the Lombok earthquakes, my high school alumni group has been abuzz with fund raising. But it's not just that. We collect money for friends that passed away, to give scholarships to their kids, buy lab equipment for our former high school, etc. If there is a worthy cause, and someone is willing to take the charge, donations will come.

I went to a regular Indonesian state high school. My high school friends are not particularly rich, most are middle class Indonesians, but many give according to their ability. I prefer giving to this group, since it is very transparent, rather than giving to a government entity which may mishandle the donations. Usually the collected funds are announced in the WA group, and everyone can verify the amounts are correct. Then someone will buy the needed goods directly, and post the receipts. Then they get delivered to wherever they're needed. Very efficient.

I don't think our group is unique in this situation, and I think this story repeats itself many many times across Indonesia.
 

Puspawarna

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Boy, does that post give me a trip down memory lane: years ago, when I worked with the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, we were approached by a non-profit umbrella organization from the US - an organization that specializes in collecting donations via organized drives within companies, then sharing the proceeds with various charities in the community.

They wanted to bring that model to Indonesia, and I was incredulous at how clueless the rep who visited was. You may all think from my on-line persona that I am incredibly nice, or you may have figured out that ... sometimes I'm not. I took an instant dislike to the representative - he made my spidey-sense tingle, and I was sure he was a bad human being. I badgered him with questions along the lines of "So, you know Indonesia is a mostly Moslem country, right? Have you examined zakat and do you know how it will affect donations? Have you studied the culture and learned about how people here give to charity, and why? Have Indonesians examined your model and commented on whether or not it is consistent with how people here donate?"

Apparently I was pretty much an asshole, because he complained to my superiors that I didn't seem to like him much :)

I shall also add that my instant hostility to the guy turned out to be spot on. A few years later, after being accused of sexual harassment by a couple of his female employees, he vanished, embezzling some of his institution's funds. Yeah, he was exactly the sort of slimeball I sensed he was.

Ahem. Back to the topic of Indonesian generosity. Yeah, I think Indonesians are pretty amazing in this regard.
 

Jaime C

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My wife does a charity event or two with orphans every year, with her high school group.

They also raised money for earthquake victims and the like. I’ve been impressed with normal Indonesians willingness to help others. It usually falls within religious lines.
 

Nimbus

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I'm quite sure that generosity is a big part of it, but don't underestimate the force of peer pressure.

While peer pressure is not unique to Indonesia, Indonesians are particularly susceptible to it. There is a very strong desire to belong.

Some people actually borrow money so they can donate and slaughter a goat for Idul Adha. That's completely against the spirit of the holiday; if you can't afford to donate, you are supposed to be the recipient of the donation.
 

scouser59

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I am sure there are many generous people here , but on the other side I have heard of many who screw each other over money ,never mind the kpk which is busy on a daily basis , and after they have no fear of praying to their god ,the highest form of hypocrisy ,imho.
 

Helpful Herbert

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My wife does a charity event or two with orphans every year, with her high school group.

They also raised money for earthquake victims and the like. I’ve been impressed with normal Indonesians willingness to help others. It usually falls within religious lines.
My wife also likes to make a show of giving money to orphans (yatim) a couple of times a year. However it makes me feel rather uncomfortable. It looks to me like they are kids confined to an institution, given a "religion-only" education, i.e. no education, wheeled out to elicit donations, which are probably kept by the owners of the yatim institution, or taken as payment for their food and lodging. I think an investigation of the finances of these institutions would uncover some interesting results. And of course there is the more troubling area of physical and sexual abuse of the yatim kids, which is likely to be widespread if the experience of other religious institutions around the world is anything to go by.
 

snpark

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Yes I concur, without sounding like a knob, I also detest these Arisan groups that show off during Ramadan with gala dinners in 5* hotels all wearing the same clothes, flashing their (usually fake) $20,000 Hermes bags and taking pics with orphans etc etc, all just to show off and post on their social media. There is no sincerity involved, it is purely for self gratification, apparantly the proceeds of the dinner go to the orphange / charity etc which is ironic when those ladies probably spent more on their designer kaftans to wear to the event than the actual cost of the meal.
If you want to give, then give because it is from your heart (Ikhlas) not just because you want to score points on FB / IG etc etc
 

Jaime C

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I think many of the events are legitimate. While it’s easy to be doubtful about their sincerity, I’ve seen that it’s not just Ibu-Ibu types involved.

I wish they’d expand some of their events, say helping out with mental health facilities which are so badly funded.
 

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