The Learning Farm believes that the healthy life style and preserving nature is not only a task for these youth but also something we need to educate members of the community of Maleber. Previously we have started to involve our students to make Maleber a better village by collecting the garbage around the village on a weekly basis. This act was made more impact by a collaboration with SMP Terbuka Annisaa, which is also located in Maleber Tea Plantation, and International Award for Young People (IAYP) that have eight delegates from La Martiniere School of Kolkata, India, who pursuing their residential project in Maleber. The project was held from 6 – 11 June 2014.
The collaboration provided the students of SMPT Annisaa skills in Waste Management which were taught by TLF students and upcycling skills taught by the Indian delegates. The residential project allowed the SMPT Annisaa students to host Indian delegates in their homes for 5 days, an unforgettable experience for all. This has established a genuine bond between the Indian delegates and their host families.
This has been a meaningful event for every partner. TLF students themselves have the chance to practice their English as well as learn about culture differences, whilst the Indian delegates helped out at the farm and saw a glimpse of real Indonesia. The project led to the establishment of Waste Management System that will be installed in SMPT Annisaa and Maleber community. As a start, IAYP has donated IDR 7.5 million for the project.
Bimo is from an orphange in Semarang, Central Java. He was born in 1991 and raised by a woman whom the orphanage supported since he was 2 weeks old. He once traced back his roots and found four cousins, but he never bothered to find his biological mother. “Why bother to find some one who doesn’t want you.” He explained.
He dropped out of Middle School because he was caught drunk in class. After that his life took a turn for the worse. He joined a motorcycle gang. They used to commit armed robbery to steal motorcycles.“I didn’t hesitate to use my knife for violence,” he admitted.
The orphanage sent him to The Learning Farm with the hope he will learn something good. It has been a hard journey for Bimo, as he has had a lot of difficulties controlling his temper and getting along with the other youth. His mentors do their best to guide and support him emotionally and mentally.
The good news is that with the help of a psychologist he has made great strides in anger management. “Where before I used a weapon to inflict violence to make my point, now I try to use language and words." It is a step forward. Bimo voluntarily handed his knife over that he has been keeping in his locker and apologizing for his unaccepted behavior in front of all students and staff. It has been quite a journey, and we wish Bimo strength and courage as he faces his demons and learns the value of hard work at the Learning Farm.
Meet our newest family members, the Batch 18 students. Thirty-two new faces have commenced their learning on 13 December 2013 with various background and geographical origins. They come from Nias, South Sumatra, Jakarta, Banten, Wonogiri, Kalimantan, Flores... and for the first time we have students from Papua!
They have spent a few days of in the Induction Program to get to know each other, the TLF programs and the local environment a little better. Pak Hendri from Maleber Tea Plantation came to introduce the plantation and its activities and our staff also delivered a Personal Hygiene module to the students that was provided by P.T. Unilever.
"I dropped out from first grade of Junior High School when there was a flood last year. I used to steal and insult other people. I want to learn at The Learning Farm because I want to learn organic farming, a proper way to take care of the earth and grow food. Maybe it will help me to turn over a new leaf," Says Akinus, a 16-year-old from Papua when writing an introduction letter to his sponsor.
It is a beautiful start and we are looking forward to transforming these wonderful youth. Happy learning Batch 18!
After 100 days of learning and studying organic agriculture at The Learning Farm, it was time for batch 17 students to continue their life journey. There were 36 students from the Basic Program and 5 students from the Advanced Program graduated on 27 November 2013.
On the eve of the graduation a number of awards were presented, the winners of several competitions were announced and many presents were exchanged. Despite having completed all of their lessons at the farm, this is really just the beginning of many more lessons in life. A new chapter in the lives of these 41 graduates has now begun. Farewell and good luck, guys!
Every day is a learning dar at The learning Farm. We instill them with various skills so they can choose in which path they are suitable with. The skills are entrepreneurship, self management, personal hygiene, leadership, book-keeping, financial management, etc.
Francelis Harefa, 18 years male from Nias, North Sumatra, is one of 36 students from Basic Program. He has significant change of his behavior during his participation in TLF program. "I used to be a spoil son and misused my parents trust. My parents thought I go to school but in fact I went having fun doing illegal racing, drink alcohol, and luring with girls in night clubs. It made me dropped out of school. During 2 months learning here [The Learning Farm], I have learned a lot of things and I realised how stupid I was. I want to be different and fix my future. I hope my application for the Advanced Program can be accepted."
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