Syamsi Dhuha Foundation: Transformation to Social Enterprise for Better Hope
- The good will of the social entrepreneurs to help people and to solve the social problems impressed me. It was an fascinating experience for me, met with Mrs. Dian (SDF founder and lupus patient) who face the struggle to survive against the disease since there is not much information about it in Indonesia. Through SDF, she wants to help other people with the same disease. Her positive energy just amazing and it also affects people surround her.
- Shinichiro Sakamoto
- Ryota Inoue
Social enterprises come from the awareness of people who care about social problems happening around them. While making profits, those enterprises work for the society and take part to solve social problems. Syamsi Dhuha Foundation (SDF) is one of the social enterprises focus on helping minority groups. They concern to become a support system for people with lupus and low vision.
Back to 1999, when there was not much information about lupus in Indonesia, Dian Syarief was diagnosed with lupus disease. The symptoms of lupus disease are fatigue, fever, hair loss, rashes, joint pain, chest pain, depression, etc. Nine years later, she has low vision because of the lupus therapy. Since the symptoms are almost same with other diseases, it is very difficult to diagnose the lupus disease at the first place. Confused, sad, and troubled with doctors are the mix feeling that she experienced at that time. With the support of her husband, Eko Pratomo, she can overcome the problems, move forward, feel motivated, and be friend with lupus.
Syamsi Dhuha Foundation
At 2003, Dian and Eko, decided to move back to their homeland, Bandung City. Since they felt blessed by the God’s when they face problems with lupus disease, the couple wants to devote themselves for the need of people with lupus and low vision. In Indonesia, there are about 200.000 people with lupus disease and they do not get the right attention from the government. With the spirit to share their experiences facing lupus and low vision, they established Syamsi Dhuha Foundation in 2004. Syamsi Dhuha means morning light. Through this name they hope the foundation can give new spirit, new hope, and motivation to the people with lupus and low vision even if the situation that they are facing is not easy.
Syamsi Dhuha Foundation has several key programs related to lupus and low vision. Those programs are education, socialization, advocacy, and research. The education program is focusing on educating people with lupus and low vision, their families, and doctors about the diseases. The socialization program is focusing on sharing the information about lupus and low vision to the community through media, campaign, events, and sharing sessions. The advocacy programs are focusing on giving financial support to the people with lupus and low vision, giving consultation and support to them, and advocating them when the troubled with the bureaucracy during the treatment. The last program is on research about supplement for the medicine of people with lupus.
Volunteerism is one of the issues that SDF wants to promote. “Volunteerism is important, you can get lots of good values that you will not learn from university, school, or when you work and earn money,” says Dian. When it was first started, SDF tried to gather support through volunteers and donators. Until now they have 100 registered volunteers that willingly help and join the events and campaigns conducted by the the Foundation. Donators also take important part for continuity of the SDF programs. They are coming from personal donation or companies as their CSR program. Personal donation is gathered through their website, campaigns, and events. Whereas for the donation from the companies, the foundation makes proposals, sends it, and expects them to donate some money from their CSR funds. Donation from one company usually does not happen continuously, it is only for one or two times. This is because not many companies have awareness to donate for health programs, especially supporting people with certain diseases. They prefer to use their CSR fund for community empowerments, sanitation, and environments.
Syamsi Dhuha Foundation wants to become financially independent. This thought came from the hope that even if there is no donation, SDF can still sustain their foundation. Receiving Ernst and Young Award at 2013 gives them inspiration to transform themselves into a social enterprise. In 2014, SDF started to run several businesses such as book publishing, financial training, and merchandising. Expanding their business, at the end of 2015, along with Bandung Social Innovator Circle (BaSIC), SDF conducted a competition on social enterprises in Bandung called Anugerah Jawara Wirausaha Sosial Bandung (AJWSB).
Through the competition, SDF tries to promote themselves as a Venture Philanthrophy Organization. They want to find source of funds and channel new social enterprises with investors. Through this process they will get fee as an intermediary. Syamsi Dhuha Foundation uses the money that they get from the sponsors and crowd fund of the competition to invest to the finalists of the competition.
To become financially independent, there are some challenges faced by Syamsi Dhuha Foundation. The lack of human resources to develop their business is the main problem now. It is because SDF carefully use the donation money, they do not want to use the money to start the business expansion. To solve this problem, they invited people to take part at their voluntary movement. Syamsi Dhuha Foundation offers fresh graduate students to do internship at their office. During 3 months of internship, SDF expecting the interns to contribute ideas for the development of the programs and businesses in the foundation. SDF hopes that the internship can be a turn over for the interns to think about social work as their promising careers.
Creating events such as financial training and social enterprise competition are also their ways to overcome the challenge of the fund limit. Through these events, SDF can earn money and sustain themselves as a social enterprise that focusing on helping people with lupus and low vision. At the same time, they support new social enterprises to grow and care about social problems that happened in Bandung, West Java.
Starting from her personal experiences as lupus patient, Dian Syarif devotes herself to help people with lupus and low vision. Through Syamsi Dhuha Foundation with her husband, Eko, she wants to give her contribution to the people with lupus and low vision. It is because they are minority groups and the information about those diseases is very rare. The main purpose of SDF is to create a support system for people with lupus and low vision. With the spirit to be financially independent (not dependent on donation) and to sustain all the good programs that they have, SDF transform their foundation into a social enterprise at 2014. Challenges are appear but they are on the right track to help people with lupus and low vision.
The existence of social enterprises is importantly needed to solve the social problems that are not covered by the government. All kind of supports for new social enterprises are needed due to make them able to sustain their businesses and to make them able to contribute more for the society.
Find more their stories on
Website : www.syamsidhuhafoundation.org
Facebook : Syamsi Dhuha Foundation
Twitter : @SDFcareforlupus
You Tube : CareforLupus SyamsiDhuha
- Syamsi Dhuha Foundation