Hearts of Jewels
Wanda Ponika is a very well-known jewellery designer who runs her own jewellery company; however, we found out that she is also a very engaged philanthropist with a passion to give back to the community
Happy Hearts Foundation was celebrating their five years anniversary of operating in Indonesia when Wanda Ponika first got in contact with the organization. At that time, she donated 350 million rupiahs from the sales of her jewellery in one of her fashion shows. “We were able to build a school in Labuan Bajo thanks to her,” Sylvia Beiwinkler, the CEO of Happy Hearts Indonesia told Indonesia Tatler in one interview.
Wanda then came to the site in Labuan Bajo where the school has been built to open the school with Happy Hearts Indonesia. Long story short, she really liked what she saw there; the kind of impact that Happy Hearts Indonesia has done in Labuan Bajo. “The kids really loved spending their time at the new school building since it’s the nicest building around the area,” Wanda proudly said.
Since then, she got addicted to helping people who are underprivileged, especially kids. Wanda, who has a prominent social media presence, used her online influence to encourage her followers to contribute to helping the children in Labuan Bajo. With donations from her followers, she and HHF Indonesia managed to bring 4000 pairs of Gabino school shoes for the students there. Her son Brandon, who is a young public speaker, tagged along with her mother to Labuan Bajo to bring the shoes.
“He learned a lot there; he learned that many of them have big dreams. They just lack the opportunities. Who knows, the next Pak Jokowi would come from Labuan Bajo, but it won’t happen unless the opportunities to flourish is given to them,” she added. Upon seeing what Wanda has done with HHF Indonesia, her circle of socialites got interested in getting involved. They decided to chip in to donate to HHF Indonesia so they can build the next school in Labuan Bajo.
“Wanda invited her friends to Labuan Bajo to see the school that we’ve built there. They were all very happy to see what we’ve done and decided to donate to us,” Sylvia said with a smile.
Currently, HHF Indonesia is running the #iamchange campaign, which started last year. Part of the campaign is to build 200 schools in East Nusa Tenggara. “We want to focus on East Nusa Tenggara as it is one of the least developed regions in Indonesia. As for now, it is the third poorest province in Indonesia,” shared Sylvia.
Lastly, Wanda said that she hopes that there will be more affluent Indonesians getting involved in similar projects. “I was surprised to find out that many schools in Indonesia’s underdeveloped regions were built with funds from foreign philanthropists. I hope more and more Indonesian business and company owners would be interested in donating to a foundation like Happy Hearts Foundation Indonesia to help them build schools there,” she said as for her closing statement.