Happy Mardi Gras from Witry Collective! We hope everyone is enjoying this special time in our city. For the March feature of our Community Connect Series, we are highlighting someone just as exceptional as our city. We introduce to you Yanti Turang, Founder and Executive Director of LearnToLive. Yanti has a diverse background, being half Indonesian and half Australian, with a wide array of hobbies and careers including anthropology, music, nursing, and achieving her MBA. We are excited to share with you all that Yanti has accomplished for our community and globally.
Yanti was born in Australia where she completed her schooling. After studying anthropology, she traveled around Italy, playing music and exploring the beauty. She met a group of friends from New Orleans and the next thing she knew, she had moved to New Orleans and completely fallen in love with the small town feel of the city. After leaving and coming back again, Yanti found herself the singer of a rock and roll band, Pocket Foxx, for three years. Pocket Foxx had recorded an album and were playing at all the top venues in New Orleans, but after Hurricane Katrina, the band broke up and the album was never released. Yanti felt heartbroken by the destruction of Katrina and went back to Australia to get her nursing degree. She returned to New Orleans in 2009 and worked as a nurse on movie sets and at Children’s Hospital. It was during this time that she recognized a need for change in her career and her lifestyle. Yanti wanted to utilize her skills as a registered nurse to help people and inspire them to be better. She started researching how she could do something in health that would connect to her family in Indonesia. Many of her family members had passed away from preventable diseases in Indonesia and she wanted to influence change. Therefore, Yanti founded LearnToLive, an international health nonprofit combatting poverty, unstable healthcare, and lack of sustainable clean water.
After two years, LearnToLive gained a board of trustees, a dedicated group of seven core members, funding, and applied for non-profit status. The organization is currently working in Indonesia, Laos, Kenya, and has worked in South Africa. Their mission is to join with communities worldwide to improve the quality of life through healthcare, education, and access to clean water while building global citizens and future leaders in healthcare. They run health clinics that include education run by medical students, volunteer nurses, and doctors. LearnToLive also provides dental care, mental healthcare, reproductive health, and capacity building, which is the training of healthcare workers in remote settings. LearnToLive served 1,715 people in 2017, with over 9,504 volunteer hours going to help those most in need. While also running this incredible organization, Yanti began her home-buying journey with Katie Witry.
Yanti credits Katie for inspiring her passion for homeownership, which can grant freedom and ambition. She started with a home in the Irish Channel and now currently resides in the 7thward. After Katie had instilled in her a love of property, she bought the lot next door to her home and most recently, purchased a farm in Portugal.
Through all of Yanti’s travels, she says there is just something about New Orleans that draws her here. She loves how comforting the city is and how it’s small enough to feel familiar. She admires how she constantly feels challenged by the city. She is continuously learning and finds it refreshing. Yanti sees the magic in New Orleans and cherishes the traditions, festivals, and beauty of the city.
We are inspired by Yanti and her work. She says, “It’s so important for every human to give back!” We couldn’t agree more. For more information about LearnToLive, or to donate to the nonprofit, click here.