I’m not really the type to write something like this, but I wanted to properly explain what I have been doing here for my communityproject, and I know that I tend to underplay things when I tell stories in person, so instead I’m typing this very long post. I believe that this foundation is doing very great things, and while my contribution to it is only very small, I’m very happy to be a part of it, and I hope that you take the time to read it. Not because I want attention, but because I think that YPU deserves the attention.
[Donations are very welcome! PM me and you could transfer to my bank account, and I could give the money to them in person, so it is guaranteed that your money arrives where it should! 🙂 ]
After 3 weeks of staying in Jakarta with YPU, I feel like I have finally been able to wrap my head around what I have been doing here and what the organisation does. Initially I was simply looking for any way to avoid spending January back in Amsterdam, while trying to extend my time in Asia as long as possible.
Knowing the last minute person I am, I expected that finding a random internship in South-East Asia would be too difficult (or too much effort), so I put my mind on doing a community project. However, I was quite reluctant about these projects. Whenever someone would tell me that they would “teach English to underprivileged children <333333”, I would barf a tiny bit in my head, and think of all the articles I’ve read about volunteering organisations that are either ill-intentioned, or poorly executed, resulting in solely the stroking of the volunteer’s ego, and maintaining the vicious circle of poverty, inequality and dependency of the underprivileged children.
I found YPU
through Priyono Nugroho, a friend/colleague of my parents, a fellow Actioncoach, who is the co-founder of the foundation. This orphanage, or ‘Home school’ as they like to call themselves, strives with all their might to not fall into this circle of dependency. And after three weeks of being here, and indeed, “teaching English for underprivileged children <333333”
, I can really say that they are succeeding in this goal.
The school is an alternative for high school, which is too expensive for the kid’s (sometimes non-existing) families, where normal subjects, such as Indonesian, English, Math, History, Geography and Science are taught. The difference is however, that almost all subjects are taught by alumni of YPU, who are treated as paid workers inside the foundation. These alumni still live in the orphanage, so they do not have any other expenses and thus are able to spend their salary from their job on the tuition of the (online) university that they go to.
Besides the normal subjects, at least half of the 4:30-18:00(!!!!!!!) schoolday is dedicated to mind set building and entrepreneurship. The main founder of YPU was an orphan himself, and worked his way up to becoming a motivational speaker. Every day, the students listen to his briefing from 6-8 AM in the morning. In their curriculum, a couple of different courses are found as well, such as Accounting and PKI (Social skills), to prepare the students for becoming independent entrepreneurs in the future. Their entrepreneurship is in the form of projects, or small businesses, that the students learn to run themselves. Examples: A motorcycle washing shop, catering, house cleaning service, working at an optic, and a performance team, that performs musical and choirs at various events, training with a vocal coach and choreographer. They have even recorded their own CD with which they managed to raise more than 100.000 USD.
Whenever a new student is admitted, they are to spend two weeks at every different project, after which they are allowed to choose in which one they want to work. Besides creating an environment where they can earn their own money, they are also in charge of all the marketing and finances of their project. While YPU is a nonprofit organization, the students are to approach their projects as a real business with everything that comes with it. Their social media accounts (instagram
are run by the students, in order to promote themselves for events, jobs, donations and volunteers like me. A good example is this video above, which they made themselves with some volunteers helping with the production. Along with skills that in school such as public speaking, accounting and marketing they are prepared to become the ideal employees companies are looking for these days
Learning to inspire others While often orphanages will seem inferior to regular schools, despite the efforts of the volunteers, I believe that YPU actually provides the same quality of education as other high schools (in Indonesia) would. But it doesn’t stop here, the second biggest focus following mind set change is sharing this knowledge with others. They are not simply required to learn and become an entrepreneur, but they are required to become someone that can inspire others to become entrepreneurs, and I think this is where the biggest difference lies and it has impressed me beyond bounds.
The awesome YPU students at their student-run school teaching the smaller children from around the neighborhood Lempuyang, with me being awkward in the background, and Mr. Martin speaking on the right.
I taught the students of class 10 (age 13-16) how to tell the time in English. Only two days later, the students had prepared a class on how to tell the time in English for their own student-run school where they teach younger children (age 4-8) around the area that they live. These younger students are often much more privileged than the YPU students, yet still it is the orphans that teach the richer kids about the subjects and mindset changing. Aside from the student-run school, they also organize workshops frequently, where YPU students visit other high schools or other orphans, to teach them about working independently as an entrepreneur. In this aspect, this school teaches the students even more than my own high school in a first world country would teach. The students that come out of this school are seriously more than ready for the real world, and I am sure that they will be able to make a positive difference for the people around them.
Lastly, 9 funny differences/surprising things that didn’t fit nicely in the story: #buzzfeed
- They wake up at 4:30 AM everyday, while the first class only starts at 9:30! I only wake up at 7:30 (they consider this late, while this is the earliest I have been able to get out of my bed in the last 3 years in Uni). But before I wake up, they have already eaten breakfast, gone to church, listened to the briefing of changing their mindset and done the laundry. Then, they serve me breakfast and finally class starts.
- There are 62 students right now, ranging from age 12-18. The children of the Mr. Martin (The founder) are also students at YPU, instead of going to a regular high school.
- Their activities (school + entrepreneurship) continue until 6 PM, but even after that they are still rehearsing for their musical or learning new songs.
- They can rehearse all by themselves. [Shade @ AUChoir, where we, university students, could not do anything without a choir conductor], these kids of 14 are out here arranging, WRITING, their own songs, adding different parts and reading sheet music.
- They can literally all sing for some strange reason. After all the 노래방 sessions with my friends I was convinced that only a small amount of people could sing, but now I’m reconsidering(?)
- When teaching them about the different tenses, I explained the word ‘Annoying’ , ‘ Boring’, and ‘ Tedious’ to them. After explaining this, they were so shocked that I used this word for learning, because in their mindset training, they have learned to never approach a learning moment or something difficult as annoying, but instead as a challenge from which they get better.
- I accidentally only brought my ripped jeans as long pants, and naturally they were very confused as to why I wanted to look homeless.
- None of them are shy, and they are all good at public speaking too (?).
- The students usually come from other islands such as Flores, North Sumatra and Papua. They all tell me that their dream is to become an entrepreneur and to return to their village and help building it to become a better place.
By: Max Druyvesteyn