Save 45 Vulnerable Youth through Organic Farming

by The Learning Farm
Nurkholis and His Current Activity
Nurkholis and His Current Activity

Nurkholis was a student in 2010 from East Java. He was 22 when he first came to TLF. He was then a young man with nothing to do and no purpose in life. He wandered the streets as a wild motorcycle racer, getting drunk and taking drugs. Until one day he received a TLF brochure from a neighbour that made him realise that his life had no future if he continued along this path. Within hours after receiving the brochure, he decided to take the opportunity and made his way to TLF.

According to Nurkholis, the life skills education he learned at TLF have transformed him into a completely different person. It helped him find his way – his purpose in life.

Immediatelly after graduation, TLF facilitated him to get a job in Bali. He worked there for 2 years. Then he found a better opportunity in Aceh, moved there and not only succeded, he also found love. They are now married and have two children. Nurkholis and his family are now residing in Yogyakarta, cultivating 700 m2 land with his friend in the Yogya Organic Community. He makes a living as an organic farmer; does everything from planting to selling the vegetables to the market. He also sells seedlings, solid fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, and provides a service in urban farming for city homes.

Way to go Nurkholis! We are proud of you.

Happy showing the farm
Happy showing the farm

Three alumni from batch 23 are making their way to become farmers. Andre from Jakarta, Rudy from Jambi, and Arman from Bone are working together to conquer Jakarta soil with support from XSProject. XSProject is our partner who recommend and sponsor youth from the trash pickers community in Cirendeu, Jakarta. They continue to support Andre and his friends to pursue their dream to become farmers by opening XSProject Organic Farm located at the backyard of Lestari hospital in Cirendeu, Jakarta.

For the past 6 months, these three musketeers have experienced the ups and downs of working on a farm. They have planted 12 kinds of vegetables such as tomato, chilly, eggplant, lettuce etc. They also rear fish and have a hydroponic site at their little farm. They started all this from scratch, and with sheer dedication and consulting help from their mentor at TLF, they managed to transform the dried and unhealthy Jakarta soil into fertile soil.

Apart from their success in becoming farmer, these youth are also impacting their surrounding environment. They have taught the hospital how to separate their waste and use the organic waste for their farm. They have shared their knowledge and their vegetables with the trashpicker community in Cirendeu by inviting the school children to come and learn with them.

“Every night when we return to our room, I realize I was so lucky and grateful to TLF who have changed me into the person I am. I can’t mention all things I have learned one by one. I feel like running back to TLF and hug them all one by one.” Said Arman expressing his gratitude.


Yusuf was a student of Batch 15 in the year of 2013. His interest in farming led him to learn about waste management for a few months then he took a challenge to do a pilot project on urban farming at the home of one of the TLF board members in Jakarta.

It was not an easy task for him, but he rose to the challenge. He experienced failure for one year but it did not stop him from keeping on trying. The difference in climate and soil between Maleber and Jakarta were the biggest challenge for him. Through perseverance and constant consultation with TLF facilitators, his hard work started to finally show results.

It has been 3 years now that Yusuf has been practicing urban farming. Since the pilot project, Yusuf now has 10 clients in Jakarta to do urban farming in Jakarta and he regularly visits them for maintance. “I have learned a lot in these 3 years. I have experienced desperatation and frustration when it failed, but then I feel very happy when it starts to show good results.” said Yusuf. We wish Yusuf much success.

English class
English class

The Learning Farm is all about our wonderful volunteers. Lyn, a psychosocial volunteer, helps us identify the concerns that the students have when they graduate from TLF. This will assist us in planning a smooth reintegration process with their communities upon graduation.

Unfortunately we will have to say goodbye to Maleeha. She has finished her volunteering early this month and will continue to volunteer in Flores. We wish Maleeha the best. Here is a note from Maleeha:

“I spent the two months teaching English along with my fellow volunteer and new best friend, Phun. All the students have been amazing, so keen to learn and so eager to welcome us into their lives. We've sang and laughed and cried and I know that I won't ever forget my time here. I've learnt so much: how difficult a language English is to teach, how to shower in freezing cold water, how to make friends through smiles and music because of language barriers. And, of course, that The Learning Farm is a fantastic organization. In just three short months it's easy to see how the students have gained confidence and assurance in themselves and the world around them. So much of that is down to the amazing staff and friendly atmosphere of TLF. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone will go on to do great things. Even though our time together is at an end I know we will always be connected by TLF. I'm going to miss it so much!”

TLF volunteers
TLF volunteers
Field trip to Bogor Agricultural University
Field trip to Bogor Agricultural University

We have started our 2016 full of fresh energy. Batch 24 has finished their mid-term tests and the 10 best grades were announced. Such outstanding results motivate everyone to try their best and be the best they can be for the upcoming graduation on 7 March.

We had a most interesting field trip to the Plant Protection Department at the Agricultural Faculty of Bogor Agricultural University. It was an educational experience for our students from both the basic and advanced program. We spent a relaxed afternoon at the Bogor Botanical Garden after the official visit.

We are very fortunate to have two volunteer English teachers – Phun H from USA and Maleeha Malik from England. Lyn Everingham is our psychologist, helping us especially in handling more difficult cases. Lyn comes to us thanks to the long-standing support from Australian Volunteer International.

Learning English with volunteer
Learning English with volunteer
Learning at the farm
Learning at the farm

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Organization Information

The Learning Farm

Location: Cianjur, West java - Indonesia
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Femilya Handra
Cianjur, Jawa Barat Indonesia
$15,832 raised of $39,875 goal
153 donations
$24,043 to go
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