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Newsletter
Volume 19 issue 3, November 2020


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We continue happily and in good spirits 

 

1. From the board

 

 

November 2020, we are still under the spell of an unpredictable virus and the measures that are being taken all over the world. Fortunately, many people are focusing on what unites us and not on what divides us. They are fighting against another virus, a dangerous mix of skepticism and cynicism, with a political agenda that can cause social destabilization and can also affect the foundation of our work: solidarity, both on a local and national level and internationally. As fear plays a bigger role, people tend to focus on their own personal lives and turn their back on others. Awareness of this is the beginning of reversing this trend and to this we like to contribute. We continue our work happily and in good spirits.

In the previous newsletter (last July) we wrote about the financial effects of Covid-19 on the foundation. Various donors responded by donating generously. An institutional sponsor who has been helping us for many years, partly compensated for the loss of another major sponsor with an additional donation of 7,000 euros. Thanks to all and especially to Boris!

As times will remain difficult, your gifts are more than welcome.                           

2.         ‘Corona locale´ Indonesia

Indonesia is participating in the vaccine trial of the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotec with 1,600 volunteers. They are in the final test phase. Results are expected soon, as the rat race for a safe vaccine is entering a decisive phase worldwide.

The “new normal” has led to a significant increase in both the number of infected people and the number of people who died from Covid-19 in Indonesia since July. The official figures (450,000 ill and 15,000 dead on November 17) are assumed to be the tip of the iceberg. Very little testing is being done, not only because resources are scarce, but mainly because people are reluctant because they fear to be isolated and to lose their jobs. It is a fact cemeteries in and around Jakarta are struggling to bury the dead in accordance with religious customs (burial within 24 hours).

Yogyakarta seems to be doing exceptionally well. On the map showing infections, Yogyakarta is a light pink region surrounded by dark red in the rest of Java and red in Bali. One explanation for this is the traditional social cohesion that is rooted in the connectedness with the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

Overall, the country is suffering badly. It is estimated 10 million people will have lost their jobs by the end of the year. Consumer debts are rising, making the struggle for life even harder. There is economic decline in practically all sectors. Mostly in tourism and the hotel and catering industry, but also in retail, manufacturing and logistics. Exports and imports have fallen sharply (12% and 17% respectively). In Bali, where the economy is totally dependent on tourism, 95% of the people in this sector are now out of work. The peak season, December and January, is highly unlikely to bring any improvement.

3.         Project updates

I Corona and scholarships

School life is continuing with online lessons while full school fees are being paid. The fact that many children do not have good internet access, that they have to do their homework on mobile phones, that parents cannot keep up with developments, that discipline and perseverance are underdeveloped qualities and that many teachers themselves are underqualified computer users, does not seem to hinder study progress on paper and in reports.

College and University students are having the fewest problems because both they and their teachers have the skills and resources needed for online education. The emails and texts we receive from the students express their enthusiasm and their progress, but also their concerns and their lack of contact with their fellow students.

We received incredibly sad news from Yogyakarta. The promising Marketing student Navila died in an accident. Nipped in the bud. Such a loss.

In Bali there is good news: Asri graduated from University (Accountancy).
The children who attend primary and secondary school receive online lessons and do not leave the premises. The students sometimes must go to campus, but otherwise contact with the outside world is limited. But they will not be lonely: togetherness characterizes life in the children's home and this prevents social isolation.

Nyanyi (the accountant and coordinator of the children's home) conceived and implemented the plan to keep the children in shape. She organizes "Zumba" dance classes for them. Together with a small group of our students who are also living in the children's home, she makes choreographies which she also records and which can be seen on YouTube. Please go to her YouTube video channel: https://youtu.be/x4LY0zzOTww or https://youtu.be/cB51LTD4QFk. Feel free to dance along to have some exercise yourself in these lockdown times. And do not forget to like and subscribe.

II Corona and the Rumah Kita nursery

Little has changed: revenues are remaining insufficient because parents pay according to their ability for the support provided by the nursery staff online and at home. We continue to supplement their salaries.

III Corona and the seniors

This project is also continuing in good spirits. The dedicated volunteers are doing their work well protected and with love. No seniors from our groups have been infected with corona or died from corona. They are happy with the support and attention they receive and hope this will continue for a long time. This requires time and money. With the latter (the extra costs) you can help!

4. The children and seniors need your support!

Because of the developments mentioned above, extra 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.

We also call on you to forward this newsletter including your personal recommendation to your friends and family members.

5. 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