In 2021, I decided to try something new by joining forces with MDF in Indonesia to create a new department on inclusive, social and sustainable enterprise development in Asia.
Similar to myself making a change in my career, MDF is also undergoing a transition. MDF started in 1984 in the Netherlands and quickly spread its wings across the globe by offering strong training and consultancy services in the international development sector. It currently operates in 12 countries and has had an office in Indonesia since 2010. However, as the countries in which MDF operates further develop and reach new levels of economic growth, international development funding decreases.
A good example of this is Indonesia, which became an upper-middle-income country in 2020 (but got degraded again by the World Bank due to the pandemic to lower-middle-income country). Due to strong economic growth, Indonesia is no longer a large recipient of development aid funding which was a main source of revenue for MDF in Indonesia. This caused MDF to also make a change by trying to identify new types of revenue streams to continue to create social impact in the region.
I am grateful that MDF has trusted me to lead this change in Indonesia and that I am receiving support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the form of the Young Expert Programmes (YEP). The YEP programme has enabled MDF to take this step by partly subsidizing my position, while supporting me with personal development activities such as training and coaching sessions. On top of that, YEP provides me with a broad network of other young experts in the region that I can approach for advice and opportunities.
After a year working with MDF and YEP, I can say that the scary process of change is not an easy one but that we are now on the right track. MDF’s training course on Training & Facilitation also helped in this process as it enabled me to facilitate change in Indonesia. Where my first year was a year for me to get acquainted with MDF’s way of operating in Africa and Asia, I believe that my second year will be the year where our efforts will be rewarded for taking that first step.
Within the framework that is provided for us, we only have control over our own actions. Even in this crazy Covid-19 affected world, we always have a choice and stressing out over something we don’t have control over is just a waste of time.
Having said that, I encourage everyone to take control of what you are scared of and take that leap of faith. It is easier said than done and it will take a lot of courage and time but it all starts with taking that one first step.
I am proud of myself for joining MDF, I am happy with the support of YEP and I am proud of MDF for taking the first step in trying something new and scary. If your life never scares you, you probably haven’t really lived.
So… what are you scared of?