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Care and support - Thiess teammates in Indonesia respond to COVID-19

The recent outbreak of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant in Indonesia caused infection and hospitalisation rates to soar, impacting communities.  

Like the rest of the country, our Thiess team was impacted as families, friends and teammates became unwell, many struggled to maintain their physical and mental health.  

To provide comfort and care during this chaotic time, a group of friends at the Jakarta office took it upon themselves and worked around the clock at the height of the outbreak to provide emotional and mental support for teammates who needed the most attention.  

The friends also organized fundraisers to provide COVID-19 Care Packages, which included basic food supplies, fresh fruits, vitamins and minerals, for all who were confined in isolation.  

One of the organisers Julie Rachmawati, Superintendent Payroll, said it was important to act.  

“We’re glad to have helped everyone at the Jakarta office who were infected with COVID-19, especially those living in the lower income communities,” Julie said.  

Nirmalasari Sujitno, Senior Secretary for Jeffrey Kounang and Cluny Randell, played a key role by managing the donated funds.  

“We’re grateful to our kind-hearted teammates whose generosity enabled us to move quickly.”  

Inspired by this early engagement, Thiess activated its Colleagues COVID Care Programs. It was designed to provide supplementary support at times when the COVID Coordinators and Health Services teams were too overwhelmed. With the guidance of the Corporate Communications Team, teammates across Indonesia were activated to help run these programs.  

The first program was the COVID Support Chat Group. It enabled sick teammates to be supported by those who had recovered from COVID-19 with messages of comfort, lessons learnt, credible information sharing, and wellbeing check-ups.  

Mappalara Simatupang, Coordinator Communication, was one volunteer whose personal insights helped clarify confusion.  

“As one of the first in the team to have contracted COVID-19, I felt it was my time to give back,” said Mappa.  

Additionally a monthly, informal sharing session was also established to bring together teammates who were in isolation or feeling isolated because of their exposure to COVID-19.  

Coordinated by Imam Ghazali, Senior Coordinator QA, Thiess ran a number of sessions of Ngobras TLC, an acronym for Ngobrol Santai Thiess Lawan Covid, or Chit Chat Thiess Against Covid. 

During the talks, COVID-19 survivors spoke about their time being sick and shared how they maintained physical, emotional and spiritual health during the pandemic. In the most recent session, Brett McGuire, Business Continuity Manager and Covid IMT Lead, talked about transitioning to new normal life post-vaccination.  

The sessions have been invaluable said Irvan Noviantoro, Superintendent Technical Services at Melak and a speaker at Ngobras TLC.  

“During a time when the circle of infection expanded to our doorsteps and COVID-19 was imminent, my Thiess colleagues responded with heart and provided comfort in my time of need. I hope I was able to help return the favor, even if it’s just one person who watched the session.”