Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Indonesia:
On July 17, after viewing Yayasan Usaha Mulia’s library, I went on to see the vocational training program for local youth. There, I met YUM’s bookkeeper. When he was in 4th grade he was orphaned, so he was brought to YUM’s center. He stayed in YUM’s program and now works for the organization. I asked him to describe YUM and he said, “a place where you are happy.”
The first program I saw that day was the sewing class. This program teaches young adults to make clothes, bags, and using recycled scraps for creative products. I sat down with one of the students, a young man who hoped to one day become a tailor and design his own clothes. I then spoke with another young woman named Aji who was 16 and in her 3rd year of senior high school. I asked her why she took sewing class, and she said because she could make more friends and she wanted to be a professional designer. All of the youth explained to me when they are not in school they are usually helping the family or working. The classes had not only young women, but also a few young men working just as hard to develop skills for a career after.
Next, I sat in on the computer-training course. The 2 trainers were former students of the class themselves. The girl trainer explained to me she wanted to go to school, but after elementary her parents could not pay. YUM helped pay for her costs and now she loves math, hopes to share her knowledge, and to attend university to be a chemical engineer. She was an extremely bright and mature young woman still in high school.
Aris, from YUM, explained to me 75% of youth going through the vocational training program receive jobs. If they don’t get a job, local youth marry young or become a domestic or labor workers. To read more about my experience, be sure and check out: JacquelineInTheField Blog.
After searching for funds to keep the Vocational Training Center (VTC) open, help finally came from the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation (PHMF) who has generously donated the operational costs of the VTC for one term (three months). Not wanting to waste this great opportunity, a new system was built for the VTC classes, called the “VTC PHMF Program”. Clear guidelines for tutors and staffs were made to make the work of the staffs and tutors more efficient. Monthly reports were written, consisting of students and tutors attendance along with the material being taught, which were submitted to the VTC Coordinator every Monday. Thus, we can immediately provide guidance and solutions if any problem occurs. Material preparation including repairs of sewing machines, orientation with the students and tutors to explain the new systems and rules were held to make VTC more efficient. “Kartu Miskin” _ a certificate for poor people _ became the main requirement to enroll in the VTC so that we were sure to have students who really needed this training. After all the preparation, we finally opened the “VTC PHMF” new classes on May 14th, 2012!
English Classes, Job Seeking Skills Classes, Sewing Classes and Computer Classes were open to accommodate youth needs around the area. The English Classes consist of 3 normal English Classes and 2 English Classes specifically for Training of Trainers (TOT). The Computer Classes also consist of 3 normal Computer Classes and 2 Computer Classes for Training of Trainers (TOT). The Sewing Classes consist of Dress Making and Craft Classes with 2 classes opened and Job Seeking Skills Class has one class open. All in all, we are providing classes for 207 students in the VTC PHMF!
And the good news keeps coming: Jacqueline Lee, GlobalGiving’s representative in Southeast Asia for 2012 visited our project area in Cipanas and also the YUM Head Office in Jakarta on July 16th and 17th, 2012. It was an amazing visit for two days! We had an hour meeting with YUM staff in Jakarta to talk about NGOs in Indonesia, our projects, and our experiences with GlobalGiving. The day after, we went to Cipanas to visit the Cipanas YUM Village where Jacqueline could see our Library Program and our VTC program (both up on GlobalGiving). Our children in the library were really excited to welcome her and so were the students in the VTC. Jacqueline talked with our librarian about activities in the library, observed the children’s activities (they were making a school timetable) and admired the drawing activities carried out in the library. We also showed her our facilities at the Cipanas YUM Village which consists of a library, dormitories, main hall, VTC and organic farm.
After that, Jacqueline visited our newly funded VTC, attending the sewing classes and computer classes for TOT. We had an interesting interview with students in the sewing classes and also made a fun video with them. The students were very happy with her because interacting with foreign visitors is always a great experience for them. Moreover, Ita, one of our tutors who is also one of the orphaned children still living in YUM Cipanas, had the opportunity to be interviewed by Jacqueline. Shyly, she tried to answer the questions posed by Jacqueline and shared about why she wanted to teach at the VTC as well as her dreams to continue her education to university. Hopefully through VTC PHMF and GlobalGiving, we can help her dreams come true and also help many unemployed youths in Cipanas to find a job.
In addition to visiting our projects in Cipanas YUM Village, Jacqueline also visited the community around the center and saw the many small businesses that were there. We visited a home-based business making Tempeh, an Indonesian traditional food made of soybeans, visited the koi fish farm and the mushroom factory. It was a very pleasant experience. We are very pleased with this visit and really appreciate the certificate given to us certifying our successful completion of GlobalGiving’s due diligence process as well as being in good standing as a member of GlobalGiving’s community.
We would like to thank everyone who has donated to our Vocational Training Center in Cipanas, as well as all friends of YUM and we would also like to especially thank Jacqueline Lee from GlobalGiving who kindly came and visited us. Hopefully we can always give the best help for the children, youths and community around the Cipanas YUM Village. As an end note, we would love to welcome you if you wish to organize students/volunteer camps at our community center, learn about our organic farm, or just to visit the center and our surroundings. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Last year, we were very proud that out of the 330 senior students who graduated from the vocational training centre (VTC), 250 of them had successfully found employment. An encouraging results amid the unemployment issue in Cipanas!
In the last three months, we conducted an evaluation of student learning outcomes conducted from February to March for computer classes, English classes, job seeking skills classes and sewing classes. 181 students from a total of 194 students or 93.3% VTC students passed the exam! That's an exciting achievement!
Even after graduating, 4 of 10 sewing students still come and make recycle products such as recycle bags from plastic waste and also from patchwork batik cloth, because in addition to improving students' skills in sewing, we also teach students to love the environment by using plastic waste to make something "once it was trash, now it has class". For now on, we try to get orders from international schools in Jakarta to make laptop bags from old banners or bags from plastic waste. Hopefully we can get more orders, so income from these products will go back to the students and help YUM expand the VTC and also can help more disadvantaged people improve their life. So, if you want to order our products, please contact us!
Moreover, in addition to trying to make the VTC a sustainable project, we held a Training of Trainers (TOT) for four alumni computer students who wish to become computer trainers for elementary and junior high school students. Also, in March, 4 students from UWCSEA Singapore (United World College of South-East Asia) helped us in English Classes for a week. That's a great help to make a beautiful experiences for our students. Thank you Girls!
Some of our staffs also volunteered in English classes and Job seeking classes. These volunteers are needed because right now, we don’t have sufficient funds to pay the salary of the VTC trainers. It's a very ironic situation when many students want to learn in VTC but we don’t have the funds to pay the trainers.
To face this problem, we opened a paying-class program starts this month with a relatively lower cost compared to the other courses in Cipanas, because we still want to help youths have skills to get a job. These paying-classes hopefully can cover our trainer’s salary in VTC and we can still run the VTC classes. However, significant changes from free-classes into paying-classes are a big challenge for us. It resulted in a decrease of the community’s interest to learn at the VTC, because we never charged a fee before and the community around us is mostly disadvantaged. Less than 4 students for all classes want to join the class, when last year we had more than 300 students! It’s a great dilemma for us, because we can’t start new classes with only 4 students. Sadly, we decided to not open the class for now on and hopefully we can open the classes as soon adequate funding becomes available.
Therefore, we make great efforts to keep running the classes by managing a Training of Trainer, receive orders to make bags of plastic waste, etc. but we still need your help to run this program. GlobalGiving will be offering Mother's Day Tribute Card Campaign by give $500 to each of the top 10 projects with the most donors who make donations as gifts during the Tribute Card Campaign on Tuesday, May 1 at 12:01 am EDT and will end on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. That would be great if you want to help us in this campaign.
Thank you for your generosity and concern in our project; we believe that your help can reduce unemployment in Cipanas and allow "once it was trash, now it has class" to continue. Thank You!!
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