YCM!!! CHANGES OUR LIVES!!! Those words always repeated again and again during our gathering at YCM. The words flowing in our mind and remind us again that we have to change our lives.
Now, let us introduce ourselves:
My name is Nurhasanah, an 18 years old female who came from a very remote area in Banten province, West Java. My family’s house is located in the middle of mountainous areas, most of the people in my village work as farmers. It isn’t easy to access education in my village as the location is remote and far from everywhere. There’s no public transportation to reach our village. We have to ride the motorbike or wait for a wagon car that is rented by one of our neighbor every couple of days. I’m quite lucky as I can finish my elementary and middle school. To be able to continue our education, we have to go to the nearest town. Unfortunately, education is not cheap. It is not only challenged by the public transportation and the distance, but it is also challenged by the family financial problem. I know YCM from my brother, who attended YCM before me, gets to know YCM from one of our neighbor who has family in Bogor. After he settled down, he asked me to join him and to learn a lot in YCM.
I’m Iqbal Saputra, 19 years old male. I was born and live in a crowded kampong in Bogor city ever since. I have one older sister who is married already and 6 younger siblings. All together we are 13 people live in a small shabby house. For my parents, education is never important. They don’t really care if I go to school or not. My father works hard to fulfill our family’s needs. He works as a casual labor for the construction site. If my mom has to work as a helper of our neighbor, I have to stay at home and look after my younger siblings. I have only a chance to study in elementary up to grade 5th. I thought the same like my parents, that education or skills never important. Until about 5 years ago, I decided to come and join YCM. I learned sewing at the beginning; I’m able to sew now and then. By the time, I realize that my passion is more in gardening, leadership, and communication. That’s why I decided to learn more about gardening especially hydroponic, joined student council and elected as a leader. I also concentrated on developing myself in presentation and communication. I also decided to continue to get my certificate of elementary and middle school through a package school. A package school is a school for a drop outer like me and Nurhasanah. She also joined the school for a high school certificate.
I’m Sudrajat, my friends used to call me Ajat. I’m 19 years old male. The same like Nurhasanah and Iqbal, I also quit school after my middle school. My parents and I also thought that education is not that important. I live in a crowded kampong, the same like Iqbal. I have 4 siblings, and one of my younger siblings is mute. He also joins YCM; he learns sewing with the handcraft team. When I came to YCM for the first time, I decided to learn sewing as well. But my passion is not sewing. I decided then to join the gardening team. I was a very shy person; I never had “real” friends before. I was never able to speak up and communicate with others.
Now, three of us are the team of gardening. We called our team as Robinherbs as our main project is planting and selling herbs like rosemary, basil, and mint. At YCM we learn a lot. The youth empowerment project of YCM is very useful for us. We learn how to make a proposal, do a presentation, how to communicate, business skill, communication and share the knowledge with others. A few months ago, we made a proposal together with other teams of YCM. Surprisingly, our proposal selected for United Nation Volunteer (UNV) Program! We are selected to come and attended a workshop in Jakarta. We had to do a presentation there. Most of the participants whom their proposal selected were well educated, bachelor and master degree holders young people from other regions of Indonesia. That made us “shocked” and felt a bit down. Luckily, we learn how to do a presentation, talk with people, to lead ourselves at YCM already. Confidently we presented all the knowledge we have. There was another selection during the workshop, and we are chosen as the big three from all the teams!!! Now, we get a mentor for our recycle and gardening project of UNV. They will do another selection for the three teams to join an international event in Bangkok, Thailand. Please wish us luck! We hope that we can change our lives! Brings hope and be useful for others.