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Indonesia, a pleasant reunion
September 2022: after more than two and a half years of ZOOM and texting, we could meet each other live in time and space and look each other in the eye. We made a three week trip to Indonesia in which we visited all projects and met most of the project stakeholders. It was a homecoming party, although it did not feel like having been away for a long time. Not that time had stood still: a lot had happened, just like in the Netherlands during the lockdowns. However, it was hard to believe that two and a half years had really passed.
From the board
Our request for (additional) financial support has only had a moderate effect. The generally generous Dutch people have become more careful and tend to donate to goals closer to home. The war in Ukraine and smouldering fires worldwide cause people to become cautious. Fortunately, for the time being this does not affect our projects, because we had already taken precautionary measures in terms of budgets.
Still we call on all our readers: support the people in Indonesia and help us find new sponsors by spreading the word in your family and circle of friends!
Visiting the projects during our September trip confirmed the great value of our pragmatic support and the commitment of the local volunteers. What struck us is that Indonesian people are highly resilient when it comes to dealing with the setbacks in life. This is probably something typically Indonesian because independent of local religion the attitude is the same everywhere.
We visited all groups of seniors and everywhere we were welcomed with cheerfulness and warmth. While there have been many Covid victims in the city of Yogyakarta, none of the group members have died of Covid, although most of them are frail elderly people. This is mainly due to the information the volunteers gave and to their discipline and caution.
The fear of becoming ill did put a stop on activities. Now things seem to be slowly relaxing again. As a highlight of our visit we attended an outing with the seniors. They left their own neighbourhood for the first time in two and a half years. With five buses we crossed the city on our way to the Diorama Arsip Yogyakarta. That is a history museum of the city of Yogyakarta with a state-of-the-art presentation worthy of a major city.
The audio-visual presentation was particularly suitable for this group. Imagine the fun when a group of seniors spontaneously starts singing a classic song in a hall where a railway station they remember has been recreated.
In Yogyakarta we have met practically all the children our project supports and/or their parents: sometimes at their homes, often at school, and also in the conference room at the house of Ibu Murdijati, the president of our local partner, who ensures a flawless execution of the project. The largest group of children receiving support lives in Gunung Kidul, in the hills southeast of Yogyakarta. There we visited the primary school with which we have been working together for twenty years now, and the junior and senior high schools (SMP and SMA). We had two laptops to give on loan to two children for whom a laptop is indispensable for their vocational education (graphic design and pharmacy). They were very grateful and proud.
As expected, we were invited to visit the Secondary Agricultural School in Pandak. Here Amaliah, our coordinator, started a project two years ago with a few teachers and 20 students. The goal is to push the education to a higher level by, among other things, putting more emphasis on practice. One way of doing this was to arrange internships. Despite Amaliah's commitment and involvement, the cooperation of the teachers is disappointing and the students have remained too passive. We received live confirmation of Amaliah's WhatsApp messages about the difficulties with the project.
A visit to Rumah Kita, the day-care centre we set up 15 years ago, confirmed that the extra support we gave to stay in business during Covid has proven useful: they now have enough children to cover the operational costs themselves. Good news for them, and for our budget.
We spent the last week of the trip on Bali, in particular in the Widhya Asih children's home in Singaraja. It was a pleasant reunion with the staff (Frankie and Nyanyi), the children and the students. If the elapsed time of two and a half years could be measured anywhere, it was there. Children can change so much in such a period, from child to adolescent or from adolescent to young adult, that they are sometimes hard to recognize. It was good to see how care, attention and discipline had dragged the children through that difficult time of Covid lockdown. We saw a close group that was involved with each other and had a lot of fun together.
Thank you sponsors!
We warmly thank all regular sponsors for their unrelenting support !!
Extra thanks go to Noortje, the Schneiders family, Karel Jan & Mariëtte and bpk Pok.
If you want to support our scholarship programme you can either send us a free gift or choose to support a type of schooling: 70 euros for primary school, 140 euros for junior high school or 220 euros for senior high school and vocational education.
Your support is 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 (email@example.com) 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