Jeremy Iron’s visit to Kartika Soekarno Foundation Posyandu Project, Gianyar, Bali

The world-famous actors and producers Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack proved their credentials as social activists during a visit to Gianyar last week to observe the work of the Kartika Soekarno Foundation (KSF). Kartika herself lead the tour starting off from Villa Idanna in the idyllic setting of central Karangasem to Kengetan in Gianyar, where KSF has been revitalising and improving the Posyandu system. The KSF model adds in early childcare activities in addition to the nutrition and health improvement for infants and young children that represents the traditional work of the Posyandus. During the long journey between the villa and the Posyandu, Jeremy and Sinead listened very carefully to the briefing provided by Kartika and by Steve Woodhouse (KSF Executive Director). Kartika and Steve explained why Posyandus represent such sound investments in maximising the potential of infants and young children and discussed the management of the Posyandus. It was impressive that Jeremy and Sinead asked such probing questions during the mobile briefing and caused the stunning scenery being driven through to take second place to the briefing!

Upon arrival at the Posyandu, the visitors toured the facilities and were clearly very impressed with the high level of motivation of the Posyandu volunteers. Kartika earlier had designed unique and highly attractive uniforms for all volunteers which they wear with great pride, especially knowing that Kartika herself similarly proudly wears the uniform!

Jeremy and Sinead evinced strong interest in the development of life skills and attitudes in the early child care section of the Posyandu. The development of initiative, creativity, self esteem and self confidence, along with social and communication skills, come from the way the children aged 3-5 learn and play at the Posyandu. These attitudes remain life-long so again Jeremy and Sinead could see how useful the work of KSF is in ensuring that the potential of young children is maximised.