On 21st of April every year, Indonesia celebrates Kartini Day, commemorating the birth in 1879 of Raden Ajeng Kartini – a pioneer in women’s rights and a champion for the emancipation of women, opening the first school for women in Indonesia.
This year, ConocoPhillips hosted a lunch to celebrate the courageous spirit of Kartini, and invited several outstanding women to share their accomplishments both at work and at home, in the hope of inspiring other women to aim high to break the glass ceilings.
Rachel House’s nurse, Rina, was invited as one of the speakers. A mother of three, Rina first dipped her toes into the world of palliative care in 2008, when a colleague introduced her to Rachel House. Her initial response at the time was, “What in the world is palliative care?” In the ensuing years, Rina’s insatiable thirst to learn – driven by her commitment and her heart’s calling to champion the children she served – quickly propelled her to become the clinical head of the pioneering children’s home-based palliative care team in Indonesia.
The story of Rina’s exciting journey as a nurse-cum-mother-cum-wife captured the hearts of the audience, most of whom were women. “At first I intended to stay for only a few months,” Rina said, “but I fell in love with the children and here I am, still here after all these years.” Her role as the Nurse Coordinator requires tremendous dedication not only in ensuring that her patients and their families receive the best care possible, she is also in charge of supervising and training the younger nurses, inspiring them to go the extra distance to serve their patients; challenging each of them to open their hearts and be the voice for their patients who are amongst the most forgotten and neglected in the community.
A significant part of Rina’s work is in disseminating palliative care knowledge to medical professionals across the health system in Indonesia, working hard to ensure the availability and accessibility of palliative care for all children in Indonesia.
When asked how she balanced the demands of her family and her work, Rina highlighted the importance of support from others. “Both at home and at work, collaboration is key. At home, I work with my husband to care for our children and build our home. In the field, I work with the community, hospitals, primary care centers, and other not-for-profit to provide the optimal care for our patients and their families.”
Her roles are wide-ranging and her duties are demanding, Rina admitted. “But I would not change it for the world.”