Karen funded the construction of a classroom for kids in Indonesia as well as the teacher to teach in it!
Karen raised $5,753!
This paid for:
The construction of a new classroom in Batam, Indonesia
A teacher's annual salary for the new classroom in Indonesia
A second annual salary for a teacher in Cambodia
I count myself lucky to have grown up somewhere I never had to worry about whether my family could afford to send me for schooling, whether I would need to collect and sell rubbish in order to feed my siblings, whether I might be forced into drug trafficking or to sell myself in order to get by. I’m living life here in Singapore, around 1hr ferry from Batam, where many of the kids in Antonia’s village are not as lucky as I have been. The Yayasan school does amazing work to help educate vulnerable children like Antonia, and I would love to help them make a difference to the lives of even more.
"Thank God, as one of the members of Kampong Bukit Timur Community, I very grateful to have chance to do something good for my own community. Thank you very much for the chance to teach at this school.
Before Yayasan start this school many of the children at Bukit Timur not been to preschool, they just follow their parent collect the rubbish and no way to go to school. They grow without good example at their critical years of growth, most of them don’t care about early education about discipline and highness. After Yayasan start the school now the children very enthusiasm to go study. Thank you very much Karen for your support."
- Eugnia Muda
Aged 7, Batam, Indonesia
Antonia’s parents migrated to Batam from Flores, Indonesia to find work in one of the many factories located there. While her father works as a security guard at a factory, her mother looks after the family at home. Antonia’s family couldn’t afford to send her older brother to preschool, so he had to wait to enter public primary school at age 7. As her parents were illiterate themselves they were unable to teach him to read and write. As a result Antonia’s brother was behind all the other students who had been to preschool and would always come home and tell his mother that he didn’t feel confident around the other students and felt embarrassed when the teacher asked questions because he was the only one who didn’t know the answers. He then started to feel demotivated and lost his enthusiasm for gaining an education. This situation is common for many other children in Antonia’s village.
The village is located on and among Batam’s main rubbish dump, as it’s the only land they can afford. Many families such as Antonia’s come to Batam looking for work in the factories and end up unemployed and isolated, with no choice but to collect and sell rubbish to earn enough to survive. There is a high level of drug trafficking in the region and the number of women forced into sex work is also increasing. As many of the migrants in this community are unemployed with limited literacy skills, they can’t afford to send their children to school and can’t teach them themselves. Many young children instead spend their days accompanying their parents to collect rubbish and are at high risk of entering in criminal activities.
In order to meet this need, a local non-government organisation named Yayasan has opened five preschools on Batam, including one in Antonia’s village, with a mission to provide children in their target communities with an education. Attending a Yayasan school is completely free.
The schools also provide employment opportunities for the wider community, as teachers are trained and hired from within the community and repairs to the schools are carried out by students’ parents and other local people. With over 300 students aged from 4 to 6, the preschools focus on reading, writing and maths so that their students are equipped with the skills needed to participate in the public primary school system.
Thanks to Yayasan’s preschool, Antonia’s education experience has been vastly different to her brother’s. In her own words she explained how she felt: “I was really happy when I was study at Yayasan preschool. In this school I start to learn writing reading, counting, singing, dancing, coloring and learning English language. After I finish preschool I went to one of primary school at Batam, right now I am a primary one student. I was so happy because at the new school, I can study well, and I get first ranking at my school. Thanks God and thank to the teachers at preschool, who already teach me many things, with your help I can study better and not be afraid to compete with other students whose parent can send them to good preschool in Batam.”
Last year, the top three highest-achieving students at a Batam public primary school had all previously attended a free Yayasan preschool. As news of this success spread throughout the rubbish dump community, more and more parents realised the benefit of preschool education and enrolled their kids in the schools.
Unfortunately, the costs of running the preschools are now more than what the organisation can provide and the sudden increase in students has resulted in overcrowding. To accommodate the extra students, they need to hire another teacher, which they cannot afford.
In a community such as Antonia's where people face multiple hardships, Yayasan schools provide much needed hope for a more positive future for these hard-working people. Providing funding for a new teacher will enable Yayasan to extend its essential services and education to reach more of the most vulnerable people in their region.