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1. From the board
The past few months have been fairly quiet, partly due to Ramadhan and Idul Fitri (the festival of breaking the fast). The projects continued as usual. We received a photograph of the Idul Fitri meeting for the volunteers in Yogyakarta with words of thanks to Gotong Royong Utrecht and her sponsors.
Good news! Earlier we reported on our wish to purchase a new (used) school bus for the Widhya Asih III children's home in Singaraja on Bali. After estimating the costs (about 17,000 euros) we submitted a request for subsidy to the Louisa Foundation, which is affiliated with the Dutch freemasonry. They granted us the considerable amount of 11,000 euros; including a contribution from the Utrecht masonic lodge “Hermannus van Tongeren” (for which brotherly thanks). This generous gift gave us the green light: in September, we will start the process of purchasing. Of course we would very much welcome your contribution to this project in the form of an extra ‘school bus donation’.
We thank everyone who sympathizes with our work, promotes our work and has supported us financially. There are a few sponsors we especially like to thank because of their generous contributions: René, (Ma) Ria, Bpk Pok and Noortje.
Although the holiday season has arrived in our part of the world, we continue our work. Especially for the scholarship project there is a lot of work to be done. You can read all about it in section 3 of this newsletter.
2. Couleur locale Indonesia
The elections are over. Eventually, after a long wait, it became clear that the incumbent President Jokowi had won convincingly. The counting of all the votes from the entire archipelago took a lot of time and the announcement of the result was delayed further because his rival contested the victory. This counter-candidate (Prabowo, a former senior soldier) and his comrades used old tactics from the time of dictator Suharto to cause commotion. Payment of demonstrators is an innocent form; organized riots and disturbances with fight teams brought back old fears. But fortunately, now all seems calm again.
The coasts of Java, Flores and Sulawesi suffer from ever increasing erosion. In addition to rising sea levels, the cutting down of the mangroves (which offer natural protection) is the main cause of this land loss. The mangroves are cut to make way for fish farms.
3. Project information
I Yogyakarta-Java / Singaraja-Bali Scholarships
The second semester of the 2018-2019 school year has come to an end. The exams have been taken and the reports have been distributed. For coordinator Amaliah in Yogyakarta it is peak time in July and August. Not only is she preparing for the 2019-2020 school year, she is also gathering the results of the previous school year, which she will report to us.
There were three students in senior high school last year to whom we lent a laptop so that they no longer had to do their school assignments in an internet cafe in the early morning and late evening. Two of them passed their final exams in May. Ardiansyah was subsequently selected for a job (chemical analyst) in Jakarta and Vivi was employed at the highly-classified Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta without having to take the test and with a scholarship! As a reward for her success, she can keep the laptop, which she will badly need in her studies. The laptop that was returned by Ardiansyah will be passed on to Rifendika, another bright boy who is studying at the vocational school for Chemical Analyst. He is the brother of another successful former student of ours who, next to his well-paid job, is going to study Chemistry at the Open University. He will pay for it himself! Two other successful young men send us a message at Idul Fitri: the twins Adi and Ade from Gunung Kidul. They now work in Bogor and thanked us again for the many years of scholarship support.
The scholarship students who have been studying this past year (seven girls and one boy) have all presented good semester results. There are some very good students among them. For example Dex (Rediasih) who is in the eighth and final semester with an average score of 3.64 over the past seven semesters. The maximum achievable is 4.0 and the standard is 3.0.
All 80 children living in the two children's homes in Bali have passed to the next class of the junior or senior high school or have passed their final exams. Detailed information is still being collected.
We selected two new students in Bali. Wahyuni is going to study Nursing and Supini is going to study Economics. Both are going to study in Singaraja and will continue to live in the WA3 children's home.
II Yogyakarta-Java: CAC Rumah Kita nursery
In the previous newsletter we wrote about the operating deficit of the Rumah Kita nursery caused by a decreasing number of pupils. There has been a wild growth of new day-care centres which is affecting the influx of children. In addition to recruitment activities, other actions will be taken. The nursery will start admitting babies and explore the opportunities to organize “after-day care". Many day-care centres are open only until 11 am or 11.30 am, while Rumah Kita is open until the afternoon. So there is an opportunity in offering follow-up care for pupils who spend their mornings in other centres. A creative solution that will hopefully succeed. To show our appreciation for the initiatives, we will for the time being continue the temporary monthly support of 130 euros to Rumah Kita, which would otherwise have ended in June.
III Yogyakarta-Java: Seniors
In May Ronald and Illa, who have been sponsors from the start, visited one of the seniors’ groups and experienced the charm and pleasure and the necessity of this support. They also visited a few senior citizens at home and were deeply moved by the very poor conditions in which they live.
The meetings with our seniors are always pleasant. The three doctors who do the medical checks confirm the importance of our initiative to promote social cohesion between the elderly. The doctors do this work voluntarily and with great pleasure; they gain experience with a category of patients (seniors from a less fortunate environment) who they usually do not meet in their offices. Often they are touched by the stories of the seniors they meet. In addition to having their illnesses treated, the seniors meet each other and have the opportunity to do some physical exercises, singing and sometimes dancing under supervision.
IV Bali: Widhya Asih 3 and 7 children’s homes
The past few months have been tense for the children. In all grades, the final phase of the semester is filled with tests and exams. To support the children in their preparations, extra attention was given by the staff to studying, revision and practising. The results were satisfactory: all children went on to the next form or to a follow-up school and some of the children had high rankings in the top ten of their class. Of those who did their final exams at the Senior High School (SMA / SMK), most will not go to further education. They will leave the children's home, go back to their families and look for work, particularly in the tourist sector. One young girl who stands out (Wahyuni) is going to study nursing.
By the end of July, twelve new children will come to Widhya Asih III, mostly 15- and 16-year-olds. They come from other Widhya Asih children's homes to Singaraja after having passed their junior high school exams elsewhere, often in smaller villages. Now they will do their further education in the "big city". Singaraja has the largest number of secondary schools after Denpasar. Widhya Asih VII in Amlapura also has such a regional function, although the range is less extensive.
Ronald and Illa not only visited the projects in Yogyakarta, but also the children's home in Singaraja in Bali where they stayed overnight. It was an enriching experience to witness life in the children’s home from the inside. They especially enjoyed the evening conversations with the (somewhat older) children and students
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: email@example.com