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
Nurul and her business 1
Nurul and her business 1

This time I would like to share you a story about Nurul. YCM’s young woman who joined our program YEIP (Youth Empowerment and Internship Program), where she learned about entrepreneurship.

In our society, even though sometimes women are taken as a second-class citizen, but the role of us in our families are very substantial. Our culture teaches us the women to look after our household, family, and parents. While life is not always going well for some women. The happy ever after life sometimes only an illusion for us. The situation is not always supporting us.  Many women have to face the reality of family’s economic problem, divorce, death, unemployed parents and or husbands. When the women no longer get financial support from their parents or husbands, but they to take their responsibilities of their younger siblings, children, and or parents to look after for. As they have a big responsibility at home, if they have no income, they have to “pawn” the future of their own selves, their siblings, children and of course the prosperity of their families. We called this group of women as vulnerable women, they are the “victim” of the condition while they have so much burden and responsibilities for their families.

Another group that also take a great role in our society is the youth. Their energy, their ability to adapt on certain situation, their creativity and their skills are the asset that we can develop into a great benefit to assist and support them, their families, and the community. The youth from underprivileged families often have no goal for their lives, no real support, no guidance or even role models, so they live a life like a kite with a broken thread. These youth typically do not know what they have to do. Many of them only hang out senselessly, becoming the street thugs, fall pray to drugs and in extreme cases are recruited by religious fanatics. Eventually if we can support the youth, guide them, give them enough skills, let them know what their best, they will be able their great energy to empower themselves and others.

The combination of strengthening women’s power, the youth and community works together, we might be able to see positive changes and improvement in many aspects, especially the economic condition.

Nurul, a young woman who joined YCM’s program YEIP (Youth Empowerment and Internship Program) has proved us that although she cannot continue her study in a formal high school, instead she joined YCM’s program and earned scholarships for her “package C” equal to a senior high school certificate she made her way by having her own food business with her family.

I witnessed the fruitful result of our program, when one day, after a late afternoon walk, I decided to buy a drink from a nearby minimart. Before entering the minimart, I heard someone called out my name from a food stall in front of it. A young woman in her early 20s was grilling her Nasi Bakar (banana leaf’s wrapped rice with the filling of chicken and or other things inside of it). I approached her and surprised to see Nurul proudly told me about what she sold and why she decided to open her own business.

After what she had been through with her family’s financial condition and entrepreneurship knowledge she learned at YCM, she decided to use her family’s skill in making foods to run their own foods’ business. As the first child of her parents and a woman, she knows exactly what responsibilities awaits her. She hopes that she could assist her parents and her younger siblings for a better life and future. She told me; how grateful she is that she joined YCM. Big thanks for the support from YCM’s family, the skills and knowledge she received, and the donators who give us the chance to change our lives to a better lives and future.

Nurul and her business 2
Nurul and her business 2
Nurul and her business 3
Nurul and her business 3
Online foods
Online foods

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Aris
Aris

Videography changes our lives!

I strongly believe that our dreams determine our actions, and the universe will bring us to the situation where dreams are no longer impossible.

I remember when a young man, in his early 18 came to me, he told me: “Miss I am sad, I wanted to continue learning as I know my passion and my dream. I always want to become a filmmaker. But my parents against me, they force me to work and help them to support our family financial condition. They do not understand me at all”. Not so long after our conversation, we read a kid English book where we can read a life journey of Steven Spielberg. There was a sentence that told us, about how little Steven so into film and passionate of making it. He started to make a simple documentary film with his old and simple camera of his father that he found in their garage. I challenged that young man to do the same thing with a simple digital camera we just received as a donation from a guest of YCM.

The conversation was taking place at YCM some years ago, between me and Aris a young man who always wanted to become a filmmaker and a director. This was a milestone of YCM’s KamarFilm a film and multimedia community within YCM that was growing into a business division of YCM, Sola Kreatif Media. Ever since that, he and his friends started to make their own films with that old digital camera. They made their own script started their “shooting”.

Now I will introduce you to those young people including Aris, whom I had a conversation with.

The first one of course Aris, and this is his story:

Aris came to YCM for the first time as he was triggered and curious about computer. His neighbour who came before him, could operate a computer. At that time around the year of 2006, the kids from underprivileged families like me were so amazed on how his neighbour friend could create a simple design with WordArt using a computer, a tool that was still uncommon for them. Thus, he decided to join, and started a new journey with YCM.

His parents had never supported him to join YCM, as they thought he was only having fun there. They wanted me to work badly. Almost everyday they persuaded him to work as a labour, the same like them. To do whatever he could to earn money for the family, but he always said that he wanted to become a film director.

YCM is so special for him, the way YCM approaches the students is unique, which he did not get it from his previous formal school. Honestly, he said that he was very bad academically, he did not like memorizing and math especially was a scary subject for him. He learned English for many years at school, but he never been able to speak a single sentence in English. He almost did not know anything after he finished his high school. He did not know what to do either. But he said YCM is different to him, it accommodates his dream and other dreams. He is more confident about himself and can see his future clearly.

Long short story, he made his first film at YCM, supported with simple tools at the beginning, assisted by the tutors and volunteers of YCM both local and international volunteers. He connected his network’s dots through volunteers who were invited by YCM. Now he is a father with three kids, he works in an international organisation CIFOR Indonesia at the communication department and his main role is to make pictures and videos of the research and deliver them to the public. He also have his own film company with my sister who joined YCM after him. His family’s financial solved in better way. He can help his parents to build their own house as they never own a house before, and they are so proud of him.

The second person who initiated Kamarfilm community was a young woman named Dedeh.

Similar family background who had to struggle a lot with their financial condition, she was a young woman who always passionate to learn and reach her dream. When she decided to join to YCM, at the beginning was only because she wanted to learn English. She studied English and she needya to practice it. She heard from others, that at YCM she can meet and interact directly with the international volunteers from Germany and Australia. So, she tought she can practice her English. Surprisingly she could join a film community and manage a library.

For Dedeh, YCM is special as YCM trusts the students who have dreams and eager to learn many things. She was so confident to run the film community until it turns into a small business. Until one day she also accepted to work at CIFOR with a similar job with Aris. After her work at CIFOR she made her way by moving to New York City, USA and worked in the Indonesia’s consulate. When she lived in NYC, she created and initiated a project to collect books from the USA, send them and distributed them to schools and libraries in Indonesia. When she recalls her memory when she joined the reading community at YCM, it was truly like pieces of puzzle. She was still working for our YCM’s film projects although she was away. And now, after returning to Indonesia and working as an administrative staff in a foreign embassy in Jakarta, she is still doing the film project sometimes. She helps her family financial condition a lot, her family is also very proud of her.

The third person is Hendi.

He is the youngest and the latest one who joined the film community amongst Aris and Dedeh, although we have some other youths who also join the film community and make their ways by having the skill of video making.

Hendi’s family was originally from Magelang, Central Java. His family moved to Bogor, as his father got a job as a driver. Hendi was dropped out from high school because his parents could not afford to let him continue his study. When he heard about YCM, he decided to join. YCM assist him to continue his “package C” study, so he can earn his high school certificate. He learned English and computer which was a luxurious instrument for many people from underprivileged background at that time (he joined around 2008). He always loves art and good in drawings. Through joining the film community, he learned and shared his knowledge in photography, editing, graphic design and videography. He tried all and received a scholarship to learn it for one year. He is a pro in videography and made many exceptional quality of videos. Our multimedia business division got many chances to make videos for companies and organisation, and Hendi is a person behind it.

He always so grateful that he can join YCM. It supports its youth member to have specific goals or dreams and chase them. YCM always providing supportive environment and accommodate their passions to have better lives. He does not know if formal school ourthere as supportive as what he experienced at YCM.  Now he is working on documentary video projects of an international organisation in Bali. He is so motivated to make people aware of his masterpiece in videography and he wish they will always remember him whenever they discussing about documentary video.

He proudly would say, he is so delighted and grateful that he can help my parents now. He has a better life now.

Their dreams, passions and skills in videography has changed their lives. They are so grateful of their decision of joining YCM. They are so thankful for all the parties who assist them to change their lives. Thank you so much for the donators who support them and others to reach their dreams.

Dedeh
Dedeh
Hendi
Hendi
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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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Project Leader:
Putu Ariany
Bogor, Jawa Barat Indonesia
$31,464 raised of $60,000 goal
 
468 donations
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