50 Years and more tomorrows

FNF Indonesia celebrates golden anniversary
Indonesia at 50

Patricia Maissen, who is currently an intern at FNF Indonesia, writes about her impression on the recent event celebrating the office’s 50th Anniversary.

Her article conveys a sense of pride and joy - of being in the presence of over 150 individuals relentlessly working together to promote freedom and democracy. 


The Jakarta office of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday, 13 September 2019. To superstitious people, this might sound like a recipe for disaster. However, last week’s event at Ayana Midplaza Hotel proved them wrong in their belief.

The event themed “50 Years of Empowering Freedom” was a great success; amongst the roughly 150 attendees, there were many persons of great importance, such as Dr. Ir. Pramono Anung Wibowo, Minister of Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia, and Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, member of FNF Executive Board and member of the German parliament.

The program was inspiring and diverse. It started with a moment of silence for the recently deceased former President Habibie, who is not only seen as a landmark for the beginning of the Reformation era but who had moreover cherished and invested very much in the Indonesian-German friendship. This was followed by speeches on the part of Dr. Almut Besold, FNF Indonesia’s Head of Office; Mr. Hendrik Barkeling, the Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy; the aforementioned Dr. Ir. Pramono Anung Wibowo; Mr. H. Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Central Java; and the keynote speaker Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger. Their words not only highlighted the importance of the work done by FNF Indonesia to promote freedom throughout the last half-century, but also the flourishing cooperation with Indonesian partners.

FNF Indonesia would not exist without the hard work of its members and therefore the end of the ceremony was marked by a surprise to certain senior employees: Mr. Djoko Winarto with 30 years, Ms. Nur Rachmi with 25 years and Ms. Vera Putri with 18 years of FNF office experience were called to the stage and awarded for their tireless efforts over the past decades. Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger presented them with Certificates of Appreciation from the FNF Board of Directors; Mr. Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff, Head of Regional Office Southeast and East Asia, handed them gifts tailored to their interests; and everyone else rewarded them with much applause.

The Jakarta office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation’s oldest foreign office. Throughout the last half-century, it has aimed to make the principle of freedom valid for all people in all areas of society. Over the next half-century and beyond, it will safeguard and develop its statutory projects in close cooperation with its partners to contribute to shaping a better future. 

With its 50th birthday gone by, FNF Indonesia now compares to a middle-aged person – but a mid-life crisis is nowhere in sight.