Cempaka Putih Projects
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 Songan, 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.
Recently I had the privilege to spend some time on the island of the gods – Bali! As always, no visit would be complete without catching up with Gede, and talking about the Cempaka Putih Foundation’s important work to liberate the people of the poverty stricken Bangli region, through education, micro business development, housing and fundraising projects.
Up to now, much work has been done for which I have to commend Gede and his volunteers: The weekly supper club, sponsored by Paul and Hannah Paine, managed to raise much needed funds and awareness in the expatriate community of Ubud. While patrons at Warung Wild Ginger feasted on the filling culinary decadence and comfort of South African cuisine, Hannah enjoyed sharing her talents and love for cooking and entertaining, while supporting a good cause. We all await the return of this inspiring couple who opened their big hearts and gave so generously.
Furthermore, and by invitation, Gede had the daunting task to deliver a speech at the Tedex conference held in Ubud. It’s certainly easier to do the job than to talk about doing it! Besides his apprehensiveness and modesty, he was able to talk the talk, as he certainly walks the walk as well. Passion and compassion are the two main ingredients needed to bring relief and growth, and move towards a more sustainable and prosperous future. His message and mission, I believe, harvested new supporters for the foundation, which will insure the survival and success of our ongoing and future projects.
Speaking of the future, Gede’s dream is to raise funds and build a school. Unfortunately the classrooms of the local school in Bangli are no longer available for the English Learning program. Gede has temporarily turned his own restaurant into a classroom for the children to get their weekly English lesson. However, a new community building would be far better suited to the task. With support and donations it is not such a farfetched idea at all. What he really needs is an investor or some fundraising genius to come up with a concept that can materialize this vision of our own school building. Anybody reading this who feels they can contribute, please do not hesitate to contact us and make a difference in the world today.
I also had time to give the angels of Kintamani an English lesson. Playing games and combining a few origami tricks, I entertained and educated them while having fun, as two hours flew by. I only regret not personally meeting up with Hazel, from Scotland, who unselfishly volunteers her services as an educator on Sundays. The students are really improving and also enjoy her Scottish accent and cheerful attitude.
As I flew back to Jakarta, the city where I now reside, I realized that life is really up to you. “Up to you” is an expression you often hear in Indonesia. If you want to go somewhere, or do something or change something it is really up to you. Up to now the Cempaka Putih foundation has achieved a lot, what highlights it will reach in its core mission to eradicate poverty is also truly up to me and up to you. Please open you heart and be a part of something small that can grow to make a big difference too many people including yourself…
Where the eyes may be the window of your soul, your heart pumps life into every part of your body and is vital for staying alive! Children have the magical power to take your heart, and plate it with pure gold, unknowingly, when you spend focused quality time with them. I am privileged enough to volunteer at a school in Songon, that turns hearts into gold and clarifies one’s perception about what is important, and what is vital.
Through the personal stories I share on www.cempakputih.org I am reaching out and convincing people to join the Cempaka Putih Foundation to help create awareness about Gede’s vision with his Yayasan. Fortunately, we are growing and getting stronger, while touching and changing one heart at a time.
The very first heart that allowed us inside was Graham Lock’s, owner of www.baliflags.com, who donates 5% of his turnover to the foundation. His donations feed the bloodstream, which makes it possible for us to start and maintain projects, that relieve poverty and create prosperity for those who need it most. A heart as big as his inspires many, who do business with him, to follow his example. Thank you, Graham. We are truly grateful for your vital and ongoing support.
Future endeavors the Cempaka Putih Foundation intend to launch include: micro business development opportunities and a community recycling project, assistance to families affected by draughts in the rural farming villages by creating a second alternative income. Anybody with advice, or who would like to participate in these projects, is welcome to contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will take a lot of planning and hard work, but we are determined. And we trust that YOU will pour your heart into assisting us, to realize these ethically and environmentally conscious dreams.
Our English learning program, every Sunday in Songon, has recently given Race Fannin a change of heart, when he so selflessly gave his time to join us, during his holiday and first trip out of the United States, to help teach. Before Race returned home, he was joined by Chantal Paine, a fellow South African, who has been in Bali for over a year already. Formerly assisting at the English First Academy down south, she came with a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for teaching English through fun and games.
During one of her lessons I had to help her queue the children for an activity by using my arm to create a barrier (Almost like a tollgate). One impatient boy pushed his chest against my hand to try and brake through, and all I could feel was his heart pounding from the adrenaline rush created by Chantal’s passionate and contagious energy. I hope she gets as addicted to this project as I am. It does take some self sacrifice from a 22 year old to give a day out of her weekend to charity, and we truly appreciate your efforts so far.
The children surely enjoy this new “Ibu Cantik” whose laughter and light makes two hours go by in the blink of an eye. As these students climb deeper into your heart, I hope you volunteer for longer and on a more permanent basis, with the Cempaka Putih Foundation, should you decide to spend more time in Bali.
In every day life, we tend to protect our heart, because we feel uncertain about the intentions of the strangers we meet. However on Sundays, when going to the school with Gede and friends, it’s save to let down your guard and wear your heart on your sleeve while playing, laughing, teaching and spending quality time with the children of Songon.
I read somewhere once, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different outcome each time. Often in life, we find ourselves on a hamster wheel as we live to the calculated formula that provides us with an outcome that adheres to our comfort zone. Abandoning the familiar, along with the securities and comforts that come with it, would be considered madness as well. To me, however, continuing to do the same thing over and over, regardless of the expected outcome, and yet continuing to expect to change and to grow as a person is, indeed, insanity.
This Sunday we had the privilege to take Race Fannin with us to our English classes in Songan. Leaving California for the fist time to experience a different culture, and the “Real Bali” as he jokingly said, is sure to be life changing. Gede introduced him to the students and informed them that next week, when he joins us again, he will sing a song and fire will shoot out of his hair. Good luck figuring out how to do that Race! I think this fire is just symbolic of what we can prepare to do at the next lesson together, and I look forward to working on ideas with you. Our last visitor, Joe from Germany, entertained the kids with a bag full of magical tricks and had great fun doing it.
Sadly the Cempaka Putih Foundation is also saying goodbye to a volunteer. Max came to Bali nine months ago and has been assisting me with the English classes. A month ago he would have returned already, but three hours before boarding the plane he impulsively postponed his flight. This madness was proof of the personal change he has undergone. “We very much love you” handwritten in a little farewell note from one of the students, I think sums up our gratitude for your efforts. We wish you a save flight back to South Africa and a speedy return!
Max, Race and I also handed out the books and Pens donated last week by Kadek and her friends to the students. “Bagus” was the first Indonesian word that Race added to his vocabulary as he gave these little people a big hearted handshake and a simple encouraging word.
After one year of being involved with the Cempaka Putih Foundation, and working in Songan, I think I am finding some method to my madness through the people that join me every so often. Gede and I cannot do it alone! Innovative involvement from both foreigners and Indonesians is a proven method to bring the change we want to see in this community.
It’s a crazy world we live in after all, so I challenge YOU to stop the senseless insanity of life and embrace meaningful madness. The method of volunteering and donating can make a change and let the foundation grow stronger in order to beat poverty. Please contact us today if you are inspired to help.