For schools in the impoverished Songan region of Bangli it is hard to provide quality education. Their resources are very limited.
Teachers don’t have access to educational materials and equipment for their classes. Students don’t have the opportunity to practice what they have learned from books.
Families manage to make enough money to get by, but the start of each new school year, schoolbooks and new uniforms are making life a lot harder. This often results in students dropping out of school. They are still young and hardly educated.
We were very happy to have started a partnership with Kopernik in improving education in January 2014.
Kopernik balances a philanthropic and business approach to distributing technology. Their donors fund the upfront costs of introducing technologies and creating micro-business opportunities in remote communities. The money raised from product sales is reinvested in more technology for the last mile.
Kopernik collected a scientific instrument for viewing small objects, the Benesse Microscopes. (http://www.benesse-hd.co.jp/en/) It is designed for kids and has 50x, 150x and 300x magnification with built-in lights. The microscope comes with an Indonesian language instruction manual and a mini science kit.
Together we wanted to make simple microscope technology available to students in village schools, opening their eyes to the wonders of science and encouraging their eagerness to learn.
We joined Kopernik when they made science classes’ fun for students at Negeri 5 Songan Elementary School, by introducing the students to the microscopes.
Now ten months later we collected 63 microscopes at Kopernik to distribute them to the fifth and sixth grade teachers and students of Negeri 6 Songan Elementary School.
Yesterday was “THE” day. We introduced the students of class 6 to the microscopes. We brought tree leaves, pencils, erasers and paper for drawing.
The students were excited. Other students from other classes were curiously peeking through the windows and standing in the door opening.
We had a group of 39 students and other teachers were helping too. This way every student could have the same amount of helping and guidance.
They were enthusiastic and eager to learn. They mastered quick and started drawing what they had seen soon. For some the leaves were not challenging enough so they went out on the schoolyard to look for insects. Ants seem very small but when put under a microscope they become big and scary!
When the lesson ended we all concluded this was a great way to practice what is learned, having fun and explore. Make science fun.
We noted the microscopes would stay at the school and students can use them whenever they like. Explore some more and be creative with substances to put under the microscope. Up close things can look very different from what you imagined.
This project thought students to use a microscope and has given assistance in starting to learn more about science. The teachers will continue using the microscopes during practical activities as an educational tool.
In a later stage class 5 will be introduced to these amazing educational tools too.
We will contact the teacher and the school on a regular basis to check how things are going, if they need assistance or new information and if the state of the equipment is still good. We will act on what’s needed.
Rumah Belajar Scott Thompson.
Sometimes when people with great ideas work together something even more great will be developed.
So when we joined forces with Scott Thompson (http://www.runningbalitojakarta.com) and YCAB foundation (http://www.ycabfoundation.org) Rumah Belajar Scott Thompson was developed.
Rumah Belajar Scott Thompson was launched on 22 November 2012 at Sangon, Kintamani, Bali.
It provides a computer class that uses original licenses from Microsoft for all the software in the training program. In addition, students who graduate from the program will receive certification from BINUS University.
Rumah Belajar Scott Thompson is located at Yayasan Pasraman Gurukula.
This is a social organization, which provides free education for children who are economically disadvantaged, neglected or abandoned. Education at pasraman Gurukula emphasizes a simple lifestyle, with intelligent thought patterns, and is very suitable to deal with consumer-paced modern society.
Since education is our priority subject this foundation is eager to improve, we were very happy to help realize this computer class.
Rumah Belajar Scott Thompson does not have just basic computers but 14 flat- screens! How awesome it that!
By using computers children will learn to handle new technology and are able to access new information.
If they search on the Internet they will go on an adventurous trip.
Can you imagine how amazing this trip will be?!
There is so much to read, music to listen to, educational videos to watch and even more.
Just type a single word in Google and within a few seconds you will have all the information available worldwide. They will be amazed.
You can imagine it can be a little bit overwhelming and maybe scary too!
We are glad there is a teacher present at all times when the kids attend this class. This teacher helps them in their learning process and will guide them.
So they can learn step by step.
Every day after school they have the opportunity to join computer class and explore the world!
As posted in February 2014 and also noted by the Jakarta post at that time the Yayasan developed a Piggy bank supporting the kids of Songan in going to school.
In the impoverished Songan region of Bangli it is hard to get by.
Living at the foot of Mount Batur, most families depend on farming during the wet season while during the dry season, few of planted life survives. They manage to make enough to get by, but the start of each new school year, schoolbooks and new uniforms are making life a lot harder.
“Our Lady of Hope School” in Adelaide, Australia, donated money to buy 5 piglets. http://www.oloh.catholic.edu.au
The students raised the money by (re) selling plastic bottles, cans and fruit boxes. These were collected, cleaned and sorted before selling them to raise money. Their project is called “ Cans For Kids Project”.
Together with the land Gede Mangun donated we build a Piggy Paradise.
Situated in an extended area of mature trees half way up Mt. Batur’s hill. Piggy Paradise almost looked like the gardens of Four Seasons hotel, with a covered roof of natural material and open air space surrounded by dense tropical jungle.
It was a wonderful area to raise the piglets.
The piglets were black and quiet expensive actually. These kind of black piglets cost a flabbergasting $65 (US) each.
We could have chosen another, cheaper or white piglet, but we choose these black piglets because they are forest piglets and therefore rough and strong. They are more resistant to disease and will eat the food the forest will provide. And they like digging into the rich black soil. A natural environment will keep them happy.
Six children, aged around 11 years old, were taking turns daily to visit the piglets, clean their yards and prepare their food.
The plan was to raise them into grown pigs. Each year the kids could go to market and sell the grown pigs to help cover their school expenses.
Education is free, but the school buildings and a lot of other essentials cost money. Also the children go to a new class every year, need new uniforms and books.
The children were enthusiastic and thought it was a great idea to raise money for their education needs. They could go to school without the money coming from piglets, but this makes finding the money much easier for their parents.
Actually it was not easier.
This project turned out to be a great challenge, as piglets grow bigger, get smart and go naughty. After a few weeks they managed to create a way out. We had to chase them and put them back in paradise. This event repeated itself many times. We thought we would be smarter than the pigs and created new fences. Put the fence deeper in to the ground. Also made a gauze floor to prevent the pigs from digging 2 meters down and make a tunnel.
The pigs kept escaping!! Wanting to explore the world outside piggy paradise.
We thought we were not feeding them enough food. So we gave them more food but unfortunately this didn’t keep them from escaping.
Also the costs of the food went up to Rp 500.000/ 2wks and after a while it was Rp.1000.000/ 2wks.
We realized at some point pig farms in Bali are not a paradise. Pigs are kept on a short leash or in small boxes. They eat, sleep and don’t move. So they will be big and fat soon.
We wanted to make a difference. Teach the kids how the take care of a living animal, make money to support needs for education.
This project would support the learning process in many ways.
Unfortunately the pigs went to market a bit sooner than planned but this way income and expenses are not to far a part.
Education can change lives. If these children can attend high school, their choices in the future will be improved.
There is no upper high school in Songan at the moment. Most students who want to go to upper high school must board in Bangli, Denpasar or even as far away as Singaraja on Bali’s north coast.
This will cost a lot of money, therefore only a few of the children can go to high school.
In order to chase our goal, education for children, we will take this experience on our journey in creating new projects.
You can help make a difference by supporting the yayasan. Donate money and share your opinion.
Check out our write up in the Jakart Post today! Page 22
Cempaka Putih Foundation is looking for sponsors for our “Satu Desa, Satu Guru,” or “One Village, One Teacher” English Program!
It is our goal to hire one permanent local English teacher, to guide classes and work with native English speaking volunteers for each of the 72 villages in the Bangli regency.
By reaching out to each village, we hope to give as many children as possible a chance to learn the language skills they need for a brighter future.
We are looking for 72 individual, group, or corporate sponsors, to each fund one teacher, at 9,600,000 IDR per year. (Approximately $850 USD at the current exchange rate).
We are open to suggestions, and would love to talk to any interested sponsors, coordinators, and/or volunteers
Please use our Contact Form to get in touch with Gede, or call him directly at +62-818-552669, for more information.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity to attend one of Gede’s classes which I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve taught in a classroom in Bali previously, and after meeting Gede a few months back and hearing about CPF I knew I had to see it for myself!
I’ve been with Gede to Kintamani and some of the surrounding villages before. The place itself is breathtaking. Cresting the ridge of the caldera (rim) surrounding Batur is one of those moments forever imprinted in my mind. A massive valley floor punctuated by blackened lava flows, forests, villages and the aqua blue water of Lake Batur. In the centre stands Mt Batur, an active volcano that dominates the landscape.
Descending the caldera into the valley you start to get a sense of the issues here. At this time of year things are dry. Very dry. Dust kicks up from the wind and vehicles and despite the cooler climate the sun beats down fiercely (I have the sunburn to prove it!).
Arriving at the school we are greeted by 18 smiling faces who rush to the balcony to see who is coming today. These are children, some of whom have walked many miles, who absolutely embrace any opportunity to learn. The ones in public schools have given up their Sundays to be here.
After introductions we begin class and I can see the results of what CPF has provided to the children previously. Children as young as 4 and 5 years old can count in more languages than I can! They relish the chance to ask questions and new words and sentences are written into their books without prompting from us.
At the end of the lesson Gede provides the children with presents. Toothbrushes and school books. The excitement and appreciation in the room was amazing. I’ve seen less excitement from people winning a car! That’s the striking thing about the people of this region. The thankfulness and enthusiasm to learn and develop skills that will hopefully change their lives in a positive way.
All too soon it’s time to finish for the day and before the kids head home they politely shake our hands and say thank you. One child asks Gede whether I’ll be back next week? Of course I will!
We realize we’ve been a bit behind on updates, since we lost our wonderful Dewald Haynes to Jakarta! We hope to have him back for a visit soon, and perhaps he can be persuaded to write some stories for us. In the meantime, Gede is still working hard to improve conditions in the Mountain, and greatly appreciates all of your continued support.
He has asked that we all take a little time to read this Jakarta Post article, by Trisha Santori regarding illegal mining of volcanic rock in Mount Batur. The Mount Batur Geopark is priceless natural treasure, and we feel that it is imperative to conserve the area for the benefit of area residents, and for visitors who are interested in the amazing volcanic geography.
We are open to ideas! Please use comments to discuss how we can preserve this treasure for future generations.