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1. From the board
In our previous Newsletter we wrote enthusiastically about our November visit to the projects. In this first 2019 Newsletter we will share our experiences of a new visit to Yogyakarta and the projects in February. We had effective and impressive meetings with the recipients of support and with our local volunteers who take care of the implementation of the projects.
The financial year 2018 is closed; all reports and overviews have been collected and together with all receipts been sent to the accountant to prepare the annual accounts. We can say that in 2018, thanks to you, we again were able to spend more than "satu em rupiah" (1 billion rupiahs) on the projects. Fortunately, the income and expenditure were in balance. As soon as the annual accounts are ready, we will publish it on our website. In 2019 we will continue cheerfully and well motivated, confident that as long as our focus and intention are correct, our resources will always be supplemented.
We thank all sponsors and donors for their support and would like to pay some extra attention to a number of particularly generous donors: Frank (from Conscious Creations), Loes (from De Bedoeling), René, Merel, the Schneiders family, Ronald and Illa from Holland and our loyal supporters Bpk Pok from Malaysia and Ratna from Bali-Indonesia. Thanks, thanks, thanks!!! And thanks also to all our volunteers!
2. Couleur locale Indonesia
The presidential elections of April 17 are the talk of the day in Indonesia. It will unexpectedly be an exciting battle between challenger Prabowo and the current President Jokowi. The latter recently issued a remarkable recommendation to palm oil plantation owners to switch to planting durian trees. Durian is a large, delicious and hugely popular fruit that is in great demand in China. It is not that Jokowi and his party have suddenly become very environmentally conscious; the advice comes after world market prices of palm oil have fallen considerably (due to overproduction, in particular due to the fast-growing supply from… Indonesia).
Once again the forces of nature are felt: floods in Papua with many victims (partly due to deforestation by... the palm oil industry). And in recent weeks the Merapi volcano in Java and Gunung Agung in Bali were active again: no major explosions but substantial plumes of smoke. The attack in Christchurch also made a big impression in Indonesia, not only because Indonesia is the country with the world's largest number of Muslims, but also because there were Indonesians among the victims in the mosque.
3. Project information
I Yogyakarta-Java / Singaraja-Bali Scholarships
The second semester of the 2018-2019 school year is in full swing. Our coordinator Amaliah has been very busy: she met with every student who receives support (more than 100 in Yogyakarta) to discuss what they need for the new semester (which varies from school uniform and shoes, to books, fees and school supplies). The national exams will start next month. They were moved forward because of the Ramadan fast period that starts on May 5.
We would like to share with you the story of Vivi. Our scholarship allowed her to go to primary school and junior high school and thanks to our sponsors she is now in the third grade of SMA Negeri 8, a good senior high school. She will take the exam soon. But that is not all: she already knows she has been admitted to the prestigious Pharmacy faculty of the Gajah Mada University (UGM) of Yogyakarta WITHOUT an entrance exam for the simple reason that she is exceptionally smart. She is even eligible for a scholarship from the University itself. She was one of the smart kids for whom we bought a laptop a year ago because of their school ranking and their clear motivation for the future. Super to see her effort and motivation being recognized and rewarded!
On Bali the children are also doing well. After obtaining her Master’s degree, Nyanyi, who has played a key role in the staff of the children's home for years, had to get used to combining her job as an accountant at the home with her new role as Lecturer at the University. Her first month’s salary was disappointing. The promises made turned out to be for the future. Apparently something you have to accept as the youngest teacher.
Both in the Amlapura home with Yudi and in the Singaraja home with Franky and Nyanyi there are candidates for a university education. Four in total. Their motivation and commitment are currently being discussed with them. In any case they will first have to pass the high school exams (SMA: senior high school) and the university entrance exams.
The eight students on Bali are doing fine. After each semester we receive their results and they often are very good: really high averages and often high grades on important subjects. Of course we are very proud of them and this we tell them. They feel chosen and know that this is the chance of their lives to leave family poverty behind and to act as examples to other children.
II Yogyakarta-Java: CAC Rumah Kita nursery
The repairs to the roof (see previous newsletter) have been carried out at our expense. We wondered if the budget would suffice. When the roof reconstruction and the replacement of the ceilings revealed that the electrical wiring was unsafe and had to be replaced, the budget turned out to be too small. The additional costs amounted to less than 200 euros and were supplemented by us.
Because the number of pupils is put under pressure by of fierce competition, we asked the staff of the nursery for a strengths and weaknesses analysis. They have tackled this very well and with these insights they are now working on an acquisition plan for the next school year. In the meantime, we support them by donating a small amount (130 euros per month) for operational expenses.
III Yogyakarta-Java: Seniors
The new group of seniors from the Pringgokusuma district have already had several meetings. A total of 220 seniors divided into 7 groups now receive support in the form of supplementary nutrition, medical examinations and medicines. In all the groups that were visited the atmosphere was good. They have fun and sing together. Simple but effective physical exercises are done.
When visiting candidates for the new group at their homes in November 2018 we noticed the sleeping accommodation of some of them was very poor and uncomfortable. At our request, a survey was conducted in December that proved nine seniors could very well do with a mattress. The mattresses were purchased (including mattress covers and a sheet each) and delivered. In February we wanted to see these seniors again, so René went on home visits. He walked the neighbourhood and met with very contented people. One man had resold his mattress, despite the agreement that the mattress remained the property of the foundation. This was taken very seriously by the local volunteers: the new owner was traced (he paid 15% of the market value). He got his money back and the mattress was taken away again. The man who sold his mattress was punished with one month without support (an initiative of the local team intended to spread the message and withhold others from doing the same) .
IV Bali: Widhya Asih 3 and 7 children’s homes
Everything is going well with the children and staff. The only thing worth mentioning is that there has not been any development in the replacement of the means of transport (a van for the home in Amlapura and a bus for the home in Singaraja). We learned a lot from the friendly staff of the Lion King home, who were able to buy a (new!) school bus of the desired type two years ago. Apparently not only good technical knowledge is required to be able to distinguish a good second-hand bus from a well-painted but rickety hand-me-down from the tourist sector. There are other matters too. Such as how to deal with an intermediary, demands for commission and ownership. How do you avoid paying too much or someone using the bus as security for a personal loan? Careful deliberation is required here
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