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Newsletter
Volume 16 issue 4, 6 January 2018


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1. From the board

 

May 2018 bring you warmth,

solidarity and involvement

 

We do not have to look back on 2017 extensively; many annual reviews and analyses have been published already and  we trust you know what our focus has been on this past year. Let us look at where we are now: an apparently empty year which is asking to be filled. We do not have any big new plans. There is no need: the very goal of maintaining the quality of existing projects is a challenge. In the coming year, we will again put effort in aligning the demand for support with the funds we receive and the criteria we apply. Thanks to the help of the trusted volunteers of our sister organization Sejahtera Mulia, we are confident we will once again be able to succeed. Our collaboration has a long history and is characterized by synergy, unity and open communication. We express the wish that this will be repeated in 2018!

It is always a great pleasure to thank you, our sponsors. We received considerable donations again in the past quarter. We thank all sponsors who support our projects with monthly, quarterly or annual gifts. Extraordinary contributions, in terms of the amount given or the effort made, came from Frank, Ronald & Illa, Loes, Mr Pok, Regina & Kesuma, Ria, René, and the pupils of the ‘Visser 't Hoofd Lyceum’ in Leiden, together with their teacher Bas.

2. ‘Couleur locale’ Indonesia

At the end of November, there was still considerable flooding in Yogyakarta and in Bali there was the threat of smoke and ash from the volcano Gunung Agung. Now the forces of nature appear calm again. Human forces, on the other hand, are a lot less peaceful. Globally there is much going on that induces polarization and provokes discussion, in Indonesia as elsewhere. People talk about Trump's relentless derogatory remarks about everyone who is a Muslim outside the US and about Jerusalem and the Palestinian people.

Indonesia’s ‘war on corruption’ is sometimes experienced as a real war which causes people to sit on the edge of their chairs in front of the television set. Successes seem to be achieved while at the same time the opposition of the elite is increasing.

The movement that emphasizes religious and cultural diversity is given more space and is becoming stronger, which gives a good prospect for 2018.

3. Project information

I Yogyakarta-Java / Singaraja-Bali Scholarships

Another one of our students has graduated from university! Ayu Yuli studied economics and received her degree at the end of December 2017. We are very happy for her, her family is very proud and Ayu herself is extremely grateful for the trust we have placed in her.

After the Christmas holidays, all children started their second semester. In Yogyakarta, at the request of our coordinator, 13 children were admitted to the scholarship programme halfway through the school year. This was made possible by the fund raising activity of the pupils of a Dutch school, the ‘Visser 't Hoofd Lyceum’ in Leiden. Two children have moved out of the programme, so 101 children are left in the scholarship programme in Yogyakarta: 33 in the primary school, 28 in junior high school (SMP) and 40 in senior high school (SMK / SMA).

In the children's home Widhya Asih III in Bali (60 children) we have stopped the 'Food for Funds' programme and have (again) picked up direct support of the rising education costs. Previously we used to pay all food and they were able to pay part of the school fees with the money thus saved. Now we set aside a fixed amount every month and the home can have this money when necessary. The children's home remains the intermediary between us and the students so there is sufficient supervision and contact with them. In addition, the students of course cheerfully ‘whatsapp’ with us about other matters.

II Bali : Widhya Asih Singaraja and Amlapura children’s homes

The Widhya Asih home in Singaraja runs smoothly under the inspiring leadership of Mr Frankie and staff member Nyanyi, who at the same time is attending a Master’s programme at the University of Denpasar, where she gets high marks and is already working on her graduation thesis.

A small disaster occurred with the school bus. There was a collision on the main road when the driver turned into the narrow alley. There was substantial damage but luckily everyone remained unharmed. The damage has been repaired in such a way that the bus can drive again without any parts dangling. The costs of real repair are too high. In the Netherlands, the bus would probably have been declared a total loss by the insurance companies. Because the planned renovation of the bus’s interior already required a substantial amount, we will now have to take other measures. We will have to search for funds to buy a new second-hand bus, there is no other option.

The home in Amlapura has had to deal with the threatening eruption of the Gunung Agung volcano twice. The first time all children were evacuated for three weeks. The second time they were allowed to stay, although at that time a lot of ash was released. There were quite a few children who suffered from respiratory complaints. A medical team from Denpasar visited to examine the children and, where necessary, to help them with medication.

The renovation of the home (building a second floor) has been postponed for the time being. The tender among local contractors did not yield a realistic cost estimate; cartel formation and tacit sector agreements are not unknown in Bali. We do not know if our ideas have been taken into account in the decision, but we have made it clear that the price offered was bizarrely high.

III Yogyakarta: Seniors’ support programme

The six groups of seniors who receive our support (nutrition, medical checks, medicines and care) are doing well; not in the least because of a group of dedicated volunteers and the coordination by Mrs Daryati. The heat that lasted from October to the end of November affected the elderly especially. It was driven away by the tropical cyclones Cempaka and Dahlia, with long periods of heavy rain and flooding, causing the postponement of a few seniors’ meetings.  

IV Yogyakarta: special project

Maulana is one of the children in our scholarship project (Junior High school). He lives with his mother and three brothers in a very small rickety house on the edge of a drainage canal. Actually illegally, but tolerated by the district council. When we visited him in September 2017, we saw how bad the condition of the house was and how limited the space was for five people. The only possibility to improve this was to build a ceiling on which the two oldest boys could sleep. With the help of Amaliah we got a cost estimate from the contractor who built our MCKs which allowed us to go forward with it. With a few pillars, concrete, some hardwood beams and boards, a few glass roof tiles for light and a staircase the new 'floor' was made. For less than 500 euros the family was helped.

4. Sponsors

In November the first graders of the ‘Visser 't Hoofd Lyceum’ in Leiden carried out a school assignment. The pupils had to draw up a business plan and carry it out individually or in small groups. They had to make real money and the proceeds would go to charity. To our pleasure, teacher Bas chose Gotong Royong Foundation and board member René was asked to tell the pupils about our work in short classroom presentations. Inspired by his story, the pupils earned more than 1800 euros in one afternoon! With this fantastic amount we were able to add a considerable number of children to our scholarship programme.

5. Sponsor possibilities

If you decide to support the initiatives of Gotong Royong financially, first think if you want to help any specific project or if you want to leave the spending to us.

Possibilities:

  • the scholarship programme: one scholarship is € 60 (primary school) € 100 (junior high school) or € 165 (senior high school or SMK) a year and can start any time during the year
  • sponsoring a child of the children’s home for € 12 a month (€ 36 a quarter or € 144 a year) for complete sustenance.
  • the support of a senior (60 plus) for € 10 a month (especially for vitamins, minerals and medical care). This € 30 a quarter or € 120 a year.

Of course you can also send us a free gift and leave the spending to us.

6. Gifts

Gifts are more than welcome at our bank account in Holland: NL74ABNA084.21.36.932 (for the attention of Stichting Gotong Royong - Utrecht). For people who want to donate and who are living outside Holland, please contact us by email so that we can find a proper method of transaction for your donation.

 

7. Contact

If you wish to share anything with us, give feedback or ask questions, please send your e-mail to: info@gotong-royong-utrecht.nl