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1. From the board
In recent weeks we visited all projects in Java and Bali. We were pleased to find that everything is going well, thanks in part to the efforts and care of the local volunteers, the board members and the staff of the children's homes. Of course there were various new requests for support, but we have not been able to honour them all. Not because we do not have the money or cannot raise it, but because we remain critical of what to spend your money on.
Many thanks to all sponsors who responded to the ‘Scholarship special’ newsletter with a donation. Many of you have been supporting our scholarship program in Yogyakarta and Bali for many years, which is really heart-warming. We feel supported in our conviction that with these scholarships we can make a real difference in the development of (the lives of) the children. Further proof of this can be found in the achievements of the children:
· Nyanyi passed her Master's exam in Marketing Management last autumn; in December she will start at the university as a lecturer. She wants to do this part-time because she also wants to keep her job as a bookkeeper and staff member at the children's home.
· Lina graduated from university last month; she studied Dietetics and immediately found a job in a hospital as a dietitian.
· Novia, who graduated last year as a teacher and immediately started working at the International School (primary education) in Denpasar, has now been nominated to be the future head of the school.
These young professionals set examples for all the other young children in the children's homes we support: they see that there can be a future and they can turn their dreams into ambitions. We must ensure that there is enough money to pay for their scholarships and we will do just that! A start has already been made: we thank the first form students from the Visser 't Hooft Lyceum in Leiden for the very generous donation we received. It was the proceeds of a school fundraising programme that raised over 2,800 euros. Many thanks also to teacher Bas and board member René.
2. Couleur locale Indonesia
Talk of the day in Indonesia is the lasting heat on Java (the sun is right above the island in November), the lack of monsoon rains and the low groundwater level. During our stay we experienced a first drop of rain, but it is hardly enough.
Yogyakarta has become a real magnet for local (domestic) tourism; hotels abound, tour buses crowd the narrow streets at the kraton and the Malioboro road has undergone a facelift. Almost all bike becaks have been converted to moped becaks, partly because online moped transport services such as GRAB and GO-JEK are extremely popular and a very good alternative for taxi or car. Of course it is a good thing that nowadays a middle class is able to form, but this comes with an explosion of private cars, so that during rush hour now there are not only moped queues, but also car traffic jams. Not to mention micro dust.
3. Project information
I Yogyakarta-Java / Singaraja-Bali Scholarships
The school year is entering its fourth month and there is not much to report yet. In Yogyakarta Amaliah completed the time-consuming job of meeting everyone in person. She is critical and has the talent of communicating effectively at all levels and layers of society. She has the authority needed to collect the data of all 101 children and their parents in time. She obviously benefits from this and her way of acting is valued by everyone.
On Bali we are supported by Nyanyi who maintains contacts with the schools. She has an overall view and is thorough. Because the children's home in Singaraja received the label ‘excellent’, they receive frequent government requests to place children who have had to deal with, for example, domestic violence or abuse. The government places the children, but does not pay for the care that is to be given. Fortunately, the home can quickly respond to these requests thanks to our (financial) background support. This development does, however, require attention for the specific expertise needed to take good care of these children.
II Yogyakarta-Java CAC Rumah Kita day care centre
The nursery we started 14 years ago is still running very well (high ranking), although revenues have shrunk because their success stimulated others to start two new day care centres in the same neighbourhood. Due to the current number of children (30), exploitation does not allow for the necessary repairs of the roof. That is where we come in.
III Yogyakarta-Java / Seniors programme
We will start a new senior citizens support group in Yogyakarta in the Pringgokusuma district. To this end, we have visited all 35 candidates who were pre-selected by the volunteers based on our criteria. This was an impressive and sometimes shocking experience. Not all candidates have been admitted; in a number of cases we felt that support from the family was still an option.
There was an outing with the largest, most able bodied, part of the group of seniors. With five full buses we went to the Prambanan temple complex 25 kilometres outside the city. Besides the visit of the temples, gymnastics and lunch, there was also a pleasant meeting to which each group (7 in total) contributed in the form of a dance or a song. Once again it was a feast for all, except for a lady who had an epileptic seizure. She fell and ended up in hospital. To our surprise the insurance of the Prambanan complex paid for all expenses. Welcome to modern Indonesia!
IV Bali: Widhya Asih 3 and 7 children’s homes
In addition to the scholarships (payment of school fees, extracurricular lessons and activity fees) we also help the children's homes with a number of other things: rice, milk, dance lessons, gamelan lessons, medical costs and the Singaraja school bus. The latter is a big challenge, because with the aging of the bus the repairs become more frequent and expensive. It is time for a new second-hand bus.
The house in Amlapura (Widhya Asih 7) has a very old car (25 years) to bring the children to school. It saves bus money and one can keep an eye on the children. They are hoping for a newer car!
4. 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.
Of course you can also send us a free gift and leave the spending to us.
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.
If you wish to share anything with us, give feedback or ask questions, please send your e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org