Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia

by Yayasan Cipta Mandiri, The Foundation to create Independency for underprivileged teenagers Indonesia
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Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Empowering disadvantaged young people in Indonesia
Candra after his online graduation
Candra after his online graduation

The speech of Steve Jobs in 2005’s Stanford Commencement Address always stays on my mind. It inspires me deeply and give me the hints of living our lives. My decision to stay working for YCM is without no reason. Being a "dot", in someone’s life and a witness of their success stories is a feeling that I hardly to describe with words. I feel so content and yet so proud without any intention of overbearing it. Jobs’ speech taught us about connecting the dots that somehow will connect our future.

The stories that I will present you are about three young people, who joined YCM in the past. They came to YCM some years ago, they fought their dreams and now they experience the success of their dreams.

They are Candra, Ronald and Uni. For them, being able to live and study abroad were their main dreams. Candra lives in Germany now and also Uni. Ronald just recently returned from Australia for his master in Melbourne. Three of them can successfully prove us that even though they were not born with a silver spoon and had to struggle their lives they can reach their dreams!

Henceforth I will share you their stories:

Candra a young man who is currently working as a Health and Safety Expert at an international courier company in Cologne, Germany. He completed his Master of Industrial Engineering at the University of Siegen. He was born from a humble family. His mother is a cake seller in a traditional market, his father passed away in 2014 caused by stroke. Although everything is so limited in his family, Candra knows that education and positive characters are the most important things in life.  After he graduated his high school, he received a scholarship for his school fees of his undergraduate study in Jakarta the capital. He went back and forth Jakarta-Bogor by public transport. While he also worked as freelancer of a delivery call operator for a pizza’s restaurant. When he heard about YCM, he decided to join us and eagerly participate our activities. I was always amazed on how he managed his time between his activities at YCM, his study and his freelance work. He pushed himself to his limit. He fought his life’s circumstances. Ultimately, he had to give up his freelance work, as he had to choose between joining YCM or draining up his energy after work. Luckily, he also received another scholarship to support his life (transport etc. for his study) named PMD scholarship. He did not regret his decision as he chose the right one that brought him to his life in Germany now.

For Candra, YCM is a place where he felt at home and school at the same time. The combination of local tutors and international volunteers opened up their knowledge, sharpen their ability on how to deal with people from different background, cultures, and nationalities. When Candra at YCM, his biggest dream was to go abroad either for working or studying. His steppingstone was becoming an Au Pair to Germany. Finally with all support from YCM’s family, PMD and friends he flew to Germany as an Au Pair in October 2015 for a year. But after being an Au Pair, what’s next? That question on his mind motivated him to look for a scholarship for his master. After ups and downs during his journey in Germany long short story, he finished his study and now he works there.

The second story is about Ronald. A young man who just recently returned from Melbourne, Australia.  Ronald grew up in a household which didn’t really appreciate the importance of education. When he was about to turn sixteen, his mother and stepfather kicked him out from home when he had just graduated from junior high. His parents thought that it was a waste of money if they allowed him to continue his study. That situation brought him to YCM with the information from a neighbor who formerly had joined YCM. She told Ronald that YCM is a great place to learn English, make new friends and do fun activities. To his surprise, he did not only learn English, but he also gained opportunities such as a scholarship to continue his study in a high school. He lived at YCM since then, he always been so grateful that he had a shelter and a family at YCM.

Ronald said that his “dot” at YCM had greatly impacted his life, especially because YCM’s role in instilling soft skills to its students makes a huge difference compared to other schools or places. YCM emphasises that principles such as responsibility and independence are very important for its students. For example, students are given a weekly cooking schedule. This activity clearly teaches the students to be more responsible individuals. This means that apart from developing hard skills such as English and computing, the students also gain soft skills which are useful in the future. Another difference would be students at YCM get the chance to learn English with volunteers who are from different countries. This means that students can learn the volunteers’ cultures and broaden their knowledge.

Another thing that makes YCM different is that it encourages its youths to shoot for the stars. Prior to joining YCM, Ronald remembers vividly that he hadn’t had any significant dream in mind. Plus, he didn’t even have any idea what he wanted to be when he grew up. As time went by, he broadened his horizons. He dared to dream big now, regardless of his family financial background. Another reason would be he wanted to challenge himself. One day at YCM, he wrote down his biggest dream on a large piece of paper: “I want to study a master’s degree at the University of Melbourne.” He guessed at the time he was greatly immersed in Australia in many ways. He met many Australian volunteers throughout his journey at YCM. He read about the country on the internet, including its most prestigious universities. In August 2021, he obtained a master’s degree in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing from the University of Melbourne. He never thought his biggest dream would come to reality a decade later.

Last but not the least is Uni, a young woman who lives in Germany as an Au Pair since May 2021 for a year. Like many other young people at YCM, going and live abroad is such a luxury dream, especially if our families’ situation does not support us. Uni’s father is a parking attendant with a housewife mother and three younger brothers. Her family’s background challenges her on a hardship of life. When she was in high school, a friend suggested her to come to join YCM as she was always wanting to learn English. But taking a course is so pricey while her parents could not afford it. As part of YCM’s family’ member she was not only learn English. She also learnt on how to operate the computer, leadership, communication, problem solving and character building. Being the discipline one, an integrity person and having dreams are the values she mostly gets from YCM.

After high school, she received scholarships to continue her study. She studied accounting for three years, then another two years to complete it. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in accounting already. After she finished her study, YCM’s network offered her a job in Germany, she learnt German and sharpened her knowledge, and she also helped YCM’s accounting while she was waiting for her visa to Germany. Well, her journey to work in Germany was not as smooth as we expected. But she did not give up, until finally she received her visa to live in Germany as an Au Pair for a family of our network as well. She has to postpone her dream to work as an accountant and after her Au Pair she has a plan to do “Ausbildung” an internship program to be acceptable to work in Germany.  

The most significant and relevant character she built during her time at YCM shaped her into an independent, honest, open minded and a hard worker woman. She applies them wherever and whenever she is.

The three of them are only few from many other success stories. YCM and its’ team including founders, core team, volunteers and for sure donors are the dots that taking part on the youths’ life. They are so grateful that they had a chance to join YCM. They and the dreams they achieved are the prove of you, I, we, and us together the dots that connect to each other. Thank you again for everyone who directly and indirectly letting us to assist others to connect their dots, our dots.

Season’s Greetings, Happy Holiday, Happy New Year of 2022. Be safe and stay healthy everyone!

Ronald's graduation The University of Melbourne
Ronald's graduation The University of Melbourne
Uni in Germany
Uni in Germany
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Bunga in 2021 lose about 32 kg
Bunga in 2021 lose about 32 kg

Dear all readers of GlobalGiving Reports,

This time I would like to share you the story about Bunga, a young woman who also joins YCM after she finished her high school (2017) in Kebumen, an area in Central Java province (FYI our organization is located in West Java province). I sent her story on GlobalGiving report in 2018 and below her brief background taken from that report:

My name is Bunga. I’m 19 years old and came from Kebumen, Central Java. My mother works as a servant for another family. My father passed away when I was 14 years old, and I have six siblings. I graduated from SMAN 1 Kebumen (Senior High School). In 2017, I moved to Bogor. I came to Bogor to join my sister who had moved to Bogor long before me.
In Bogor, I try to keep myself busy and useful and luckily, I got a chance to assist the kindergarten teacher, in the morning. Besides the morning teaching, I help my sister with chores like cleaning up her house, taking care of her children and preparing her products (herbs) that she usually sells for the restaurants in Bogor. 
However, I wanted to do something more than those things, something that would improve my knowledge, skills and open up more opportunities for my life. I started to seek information regarding courses, but I did not have much money. My sister recommended me YCM and YCM has given me a chance to have a better life.

Well, the story about Bunga above was only a part of her beginning journey in Bogor and YCM. She definitely can take the benefit of joining YCM whole heartedly. She improves herself a lot! Gaining her confidence more than before, as she can reduce her weight about 32 kg! Her weight was 99 kg when she just came to Bogor and now 67 kg! It is amazing on how she maintains her discipline and her strong desire to reduce her weight and to be able to study law in a university. She is a typical of person who does not easily give up on her life’s condition. She fights her bumpy roads and gradually she reaps what she sowed. This is her latest story:

In this world, there are many things that I want to explore. But before that, I know the most important thing that I need to know more, first is about myself. I get through a lot of time to accept myself, about who am I. Before, I always felt insecure and comparing myself to others. That thought devoured my confidence in a negative way. Therefore, I was in a point where I felt so fed up with it. So, I decided to change it. I fight my negative feeling and I said it to myself “This time I have to accept everything. Then move on to be a better person”. One big step to love myself is losing my weight. I realized that I hurt myself with my hand. I blame the situation that made me fat and underestimate everything. But actually, the one who made it, is me, not the situation or other people. Then, I discussed this matter to one of YCM’s mentor. She recommended me to try a calorie deficit diet and do exercise like volleyball and running. I have been doing it intensively for two years. Two keys that made me successful on my goal to lose my weight are discipline and commitment! I lose 32 kg! I found the answer on how to get rid my insecurity and accept myself more. I feel good about myself and healthier now that’s the most important thing.

I can also accomplish another goal of mine! My other goal is to continue my study law in a university, but because of my family’s financial condition it was like an unreachable dream. My siblings are already overwhelmed with their families’ economic condition. My dad passed away couple years ago (he was only a junkman) and my mum’s daily wage only enough for herself to survive.

Since I join YCM, I get the assistance on how to improve myself and also a scholarship to continue my study. Some generous donors through YCM supports me to study law for admission and first year in a university in Bogor. The second year of university, I get a scholarship from an association that also knows YCM’s well. I received two third tuition’s fee and I pay the rest of the fees. I work as a freelancer (private tutoring) to earn some money for the rest of my fees. Later, I would like to take International Law as my major study. I do not let the donators to regret themselves for donating their money for my study, I keep my discipline and motivate my self to gain my best. As a result, during the whole two years of study (4 semesters), my GPA is not disappointing, I can get 3.88 out of 4 with only three Bs from 35 subjects (I get A mostly).

I am so thankful for being able to achieve my goals. All the supporters and donators help me on achieving them. Even during this difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic, YCM supports on the tools for me to do online lessons has helped me a lot. I can use the internet YCM, the spacious place to learn and also its laptop. I can concentrate to learn instead of doing it at my sister’s rented flat.

I consider myself lucky to be able to join YCM, to gain my goals and to be surrounded by positive people. I really hope I can also pass the positivity to others. Thanks a lot to all supporters and donators of GlobalGiving!

Bunga at YCM online lesson 2021
Bunga at YCM online lesson 2021
Bunga in 2018 first time at YCM
Bunga in 2018 first time at YCM
Bunga with her team 2018
Bunga with her team 2018
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Fajrin few years ago when he started at YCM
Fajrin few years ago when he started at YCM

Dear all readers of GlobalGiving report,
This is a special report about Fajrin. A young man whom his life’s background was published at GG’s report few years ago. It was when he just started his life’s journey at YCM. I will help you to remember him, this what he wrote:
I am Fajrin one of YCM’s Youth Leader for Graphic Design program. I was 3 years old when a lump on my head was suspected as a tumor. Thus, I had a surgery for the first time. The tumor grew again when I was about 9 years old, and I had my second surgery. When I was 14 years old, the lump re-grew and even bigger than before. It spread to my left part of face up to my neck. The cancerous tumor was the cause that made me had to face another surgery in Jakarta the capital of Indonesia, and I lost part of my face. The doctors made an implant skin for my face, but for me after the surgery was also terrible. I lost my confidence, as I thought that people see me as a weird person. Some people even get scared when they saw me. I was so sad, desperate and lack of confidence. I also had to face the separation of my parents; they got divorce when I was in difficult situation of life. I was totally devastated, felt no hope and so sad. Although I can finish my high school, my lack of confidence made me feel useless and I did not know what to do. Seven months after I finished my high school, I decided to join YCM. YCM helps me to build my confidence (I always covered my face with a scarf before), I know where to go now, I have a goal in my life, I have dreams and hopes. Although my life is still not easy for me, I gain skills and knowledge in YCM. I am more positive to see the world. I build my energy; I make friends and I face the world. I share my knowledge and my positive energy among my friends, "brothers and sisters of YCM" and through posters I made. I want to share to the world that “Cancer can’t take away dreams and a smile”. As one of youth leader in YCM I want to keep learning, do my best and be the useful one. Now, I do not wear a scarf to cover my face anymore. Thank you YCM, the donors and supporters to help me to gain my confidence and to see the world differently. One day I will be the ambassador for cancer. I want to tell the world how precious our life is.
That was what he wrote few years ago. Nowadays he still at YCM but there is a positive news about him. Thus, he updated his condition now:
31 March 2021
Hi this is Fajrin. I would love to share you again the story of my journey. Taking a decision to becoming the part of YCM’s family few years ago was one of my best moves. The first year of my journey at YCM, I gain my confidence a lot to face the world. Started from that I made a bucket list of dreams I wanted to achieve.
One by one, my bucket list of dreams come true. In 2019 I actively join cancer community and becoming part of many activities for kids with cancer while still getting regular checkup for my pre-cancerous tumor surgery because it can relapse any time. I am happy that I can share positive energy to many new friends in the community.
Pandemic hits us and like what has happened to the whole world, all activities are limited. I do not go for my regular check-up, so I need to take care of myself to stay healthy. It also affects the financial condition of my family for sure. In the other side I am grateful that the skill I received at YCM helped me to earn a little bit of money so I can help my family.
For the last 4 years I also focus to learn and sharpen my skills in multimedia, improving my English and also my soft skill at YCM. While I also contributing the skills at YCM, helping the organization on its social media and documentation. Until one day in the beginning of the year of 2021, a generous lady who get to know YCM from GlobalGiving decided to donate her birthday gift (she collected money instead of gift for her birthday) for YCM’s activities and to support a further education for us. I was chosen by the team to get the support to continue my education. I am so grateful to be chosen and also honored to gain more knowledge and skill at a university. I decided to study Visual Communication Design program, so I can learn more and hopefully someday my dream to own my own a creative digital media in the future will come true in the future and it can be a bridge for me to assist others and becoming the ambassador of cancer. I believe if we dream big and keep positive, the vibes will bring us to where we want to be. My humble heart saying a prayer and best wishes for all people who giving me the opportunity to survive and for building me the bridge to a brighter life.
Thank you YCM, thank you GlobalGiving, thank you to all donors wherever you are! Please stay safe and healthy….
Warmest regards,
Fajrin.

Fajrin in his station at YCM recently
Fajrin in his station at YCM recently
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Comfortable online learning at YCM
Comfortable online learning at YCM

Dear YCM’s donator on GlobalGiving,

This time, I do not share you an individual highlight’s report. We have to admit that all people, organizations, and countries in the world face tough situation during the covid-19 pandemic. No one ready for this unplanned situation, not to mention with YCM. We were not ready either. Since March 2019, we cannot do our “normal” activities. Crowds and active cheering situation we used to have previous years, changed to quiet and individualistic circumstances. We were not able to meet our friends, colleagues, and relatives. The first three months during the pandemic quarantine, we did not know what to do. Our youth used to come, stay, learn, being protected in our house of dreams, and use up their energy to create positive things had to be in hiatus for a while. We were thinking a lot and took an action for what we can do for our society and our youth. So, we started on sharing foods, maskers produced by our team and prepared some campaigns for our youth about covid-19 and what action we have to do to prevent it.

After the quarantine, we prepared some programs we can do to assist the youth on online basis and practical activities but still applying strict health protocols. We realize that many people have lost their jobs caused by the covid-19 pandemic, to survive they are producing crafts, home foods and drinks, so we launched program for youth on social media marketing and graphic design. Our youth who joined the program learnt on how to make a good package for home industry products and how to market it on social media. We had about 20 youth who learnt and practice the program, they joined both online and practical activities. They also practiced their skill by assisting some “friends” and community’s products.

While some younger youth who still have to attend their formal education from schools, can come to YCM and use YCM’s internet and tools to learn schools’ online lessons. They of course have to obey our strict health protocols. This online school system is tricky for most of our youth. Many of them do not have tools or if they have, they must share the use with other family’s member. Home situation are also not supportive for them to learn the online lesson at home. Their parents are busy to earn money in order to survive and or not educated, they are overwhelmed with their children online school and the condition nowadays. We give the chance to these young people to use our internet, the tools (our computers and laptops), and assistance from our tutors.

We started to do online English conversation lesson in the past two months, especially for YCM’s adolescents, and we continue by extending the program for free to public in January 2021. This program is designed to help young people who do not have any activities and their parents cannot afford to let them to learn English at the course places, as well as to support their online school system that mostly theoretical lessons. This program is also to support the unemployed youth who need the English communication skill, in order to get ready to work again. Meanwhile our gardening and handcrafting team are still working on their projects as usual, unfortunately our tourism team was in a great impact of the pandemic. We are trying to do and design an alternative program for tour and guiding program. 

Another program that we design for 2021 is vlogging program. Our youth is encouraged to make vlog by filming the “view from their window”. YCM’s supporting team will assist them online from afar.

While we are struggling to stay safe and healthy, we try to stay active and bounce back again. We are campaigning the Take and Give Society program with the tagline “Don’t pay it back…Pay it forward” taken and inspired from a 2000 movie PAY IT FORWARD, our hope for a better and safe world, and better future for everyone. Thank you for choosing to donate to us through GlobalGiving. Cannot mention you how grateful we are for all kind and sincere heart who assist us to “Pay It Forward” for everything we received. Happy New Year 2021 everyone!

Take and Give Society online meet up
Take and Give Society online meet up
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Fabric maskers for the community
Fabric maskers for the community

Since the pandemic hits the world every body tries to survive, not to mention our organization. Thank you so much for all donators who sincerely allow us to survive and to assist others. 

The first months of quarantine following the outbreak in March 2020, we supported communities by producing fabric maskers and distributed the maskers for free to the people who cannot afford to buy them. We also collected some money from the donators and distributed foods and groceries to the people, especially the families of YCM’s member and our neighbors. Until just recently, to lighten the burden of the YCM’s member families, we also share some foods’ materials for them. As we cannot use YCM’s house as a place to gather many people in one time and as the schools’ lesson only can only be done online, we facilitate our space and internet to study online in our place (we apply strict covid protocols and limit the number who can come to our house). The youth who have no internet or equipment to study online, can come to YCM and use our facilities.

YCM’s youths’ families’ background generally are underprivileged with financial hardship. Most of the youths’ parents are casual worker or unemployed. Casual worker in Indonesia means earning ridiculously small and uncertain incomes. They hardly enjoy privileged lives while they have to survive day to day living.

Icha’s family for example. Icha is a young woman (18-year-old) who had to gave up her formal education when she finished her junior school (when she was 15-year-old). She has two other younger siblings whom her parents need to look after for as well. So, Icha should stop dreaming about further education since her parents no longer able to support her for formal education. Her father is an online motorbike taxi driver while her mother is a housemaid with a little income every month. Icha’s father must stop taking passengers during the pandemic and depending on foods or sending goods order (he only get one or two costumers the whole day mostly), well it is not much to support the whole family's member. Her family received some foods’ materials from donators through YCM. She gets an opportunity to study in a “package” school (an afternoon school to catch up formal school lessons and gets a high school certificate). She continues learning skills and knowledge at YCM. During pandemic, we try to support her with necessary skills she loves to do and we pay her transport to come (we can only accommodate few people per day) or to learn online buy lending her a laptop and give her an internet data.

Puja (a 15-year-old boy)’s family more and less experience the same condition with Icha’s family. His father is an online motorbike taxi and his mother is a housewife. Four of them (parents with two kids) live in a small rented “house” and have to experience difficulties to pay the rent and school fees. The situation is really tough for them. Day to day living cost is a challenge for them for sure. YCM assists them on some foods’ materials and a place to learn and internet connection. Puja is an extremely diligent and smart one, he grabs the opportunity to study at YCM’s. He comes early in the morning, sets up his lesson and returns home late in the afternoon everyday.

Bunga is another youth of YCM. Her family is facing a real tough situation. With six other siblings and parents who are casual workers (her father is a cheap accessories vendor and her mother is a housemaid), they cannot afford the online learning system. During the pandemic, her father hardly to sell his accessories caused by the strict rules of the local government due to the covid’s prevention. Day to day necessities are already so difficult for them, the pandemic causes even harder for them and many other families.

Dear donators, we would like to say that your donations allow us to survive. We do not know what else we can say to express our gratitude to you. From the bottom of our hearts, please allow us again to say thank you very much. May we stay healthy and peace within.

Warmest regards and love from us in Bogor Indonesia!!!

Putu and YCM’s family.

Maskers made by YCM's member
Maskers made by YCM's member
Sharing the food's materials 1
Sharing the food's materials 1
Sharing the food's materials 2
Sharing the food's materials 2
YCM facilitates online school's lessons
YCM facilitates online school's lessons
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Project Leader:
Putu Ariany
Bogor, Jawa Barat Indonesia
$29,702 raised of $35,000 goal
 
445 donations
$5,298 to go
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