Why was YCAB started

YCAB was the brainchild of Veronica Colondam, who felt a spiritual calling to come to the aid of youths with risky behavior. With Veronica and the YCAB team, the non profit organization grew out of our deep concern, love, and wish to give children the hope and opportunity for better lives and a sustainable future.

What does YCAB do?

When YCAB began in 1999, our sole focus was drug prevention education. Later down the line, we realized that in order to prevent, rather than cure, drug abuse in youths, we needed to find where it all began. Drug prevention is a downstream process, only a symptom of the social disease which is the unaddressed structural problems such as lack of education, skills and poverty. So we decided to take a more holistic approach to help improve the quality of human capital which at the same time being aligned with MDG goals. In 2003, we began expanding our focus to youth development and reaching out to underprivilidged communities addressing three areas which are health promotion, education provision and welfare creation through the establishment of learning centres and micro loan operation.

What are the programs?

We have three main programs: HeLP, HoLD, and HOpE

  1. Healthy Lifestyle Promotion (HeLP) focuses on the primary prevention of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and life skill education in schools. From 1999, the programme has grown to incorporate life counseling, training of trainers, peer-to-peer outreach (ripple programme), and mass campaigns. The organization works with hundreds of schools each year in the urban areas dealing with healthty lifestyle promotion addressing risky behavior such as sexual behavior and drug abuse prevention. Our Y-clubs are present in 23 cities and townships for the youths, which work with the local schools and malls.
  2. House of Learning and Development (HoLD) comprises of our community learning centres (‘Rumah Belajar” or House of Learning) for underprivileged children and school dropouts, directly impacting thousands of youths as new recruits annually. Commencing in 2003, the program provides a package of CORE study (digital inclusion, English literacy and highschool equivalent) and one ELECTIVE study of vocational training.  For hard core street kids, a bridging courses such as trash or street stomping music, T-shirt printing or handicraft are provided.
  3. Hands-on Operation for Entrepreneurship (HOpE) is our economic empowerment arm that began in 2006. The programme provides job opportunities and placement, as well as seed capital and encourages long-term micro entrepreneurship. In the community rebuilding section, we have a social health care programme and health care access for impoverished communities. While our sustainable economic development section provides microloans to mothers at a low flat rate of 2-2.5 percent. The only catch? Mothers are only eligible for loans if their children are in school. If they cannot afford regular school, the children can attend Rumah Belajar (HoLD centers) for a small fee of Rp 10,000 or equivalent to a little over US$1 per month.

How many community learning centres do you have?

We currently have 13 centres in Indonesia. Nine within Jakarta greater areas: Duri Kepa, Tegal Alur, Bekasi, Cikarang, etc. Three newly opened in West Sumatra’s capital, Padang, post earthquake 2009. One in North Sumatra, Sibolga area. Between 2006 – 2007, YCAB also opened two centres in post-tsunami Aceh, teaching hair salon and sewing skills. By the end of academic year 2011/2012, the number of learning centers will double.

Why do children have to pay a fee to attend your community learning centres (Rumah Belajar)?

Our purpose is to help create economically independent individuals. To do so, we want to give them a bit of dignity as well, and not only provide free charitable services and programmes. We also find that for a small sum (US1.2/month) to put their children to school both parents and children take education less for granted than if we offered Rumah Belajar for free.

Where do you get your teachers/trainers?

Our teachers for English, IT Skills and Hospitality courses must obtain standardized training and certification from BINUS University in Jakarta, Indonesia. The university’s primary field of study is Information Technology. Some of our trainers, such as the hairdressing and bag-making instructors, were former Rumah Belajar students. They had been sent to train in professional organizations such as the Rudy Hardisuwarno Hairdressing School and Sophie Martin, a company that designs and distributes fashion accessories.

How big is your team?

The YCAB team in Indonesia has 85 enthusiastic and fun-loving individuals on board with around 400-500 young volunteers each year. While our YCAB International team has 5 members of board of director and 3 go-getters, a couple of volunteers who serve as members of the board of advisors and we are still expanding.

Where do you get your funding?

54 percent from corporations
43 percent from private donors
3 percent from international partnership organizations

48 percent from corporations
41 percent from private donations
11 percent from international partnership organizations

Our funding comes from a variety of sources, including our own for-profit centres. We also hold regular fundraising campaigns and obtain generous donations from corporations and individuals, as well as our partnerships with international organizations, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNFPA, etc. Our corporations support includes the support from multinationals such as Unilever, Chevron and Microsoft.

YCAB’s financial independence has been a unique feature of our organization. Besides working with sponsors, YCAB has also established profit centers to ensure the organization’s independence and the long-term sustainability of our programmes. With the establishment of some business that YCAB invested in since the year 2000, some of these companies have generated steady income and covered at least one quarter of YCAB’s budget. By late 2010, one profit centre has covered 100% of YCAB’s overhead. In addition, donations from founding members accumulates to nearly 20 percent of YCAB’s overall revenues. Expanding its revenue streams, YCAB is beginning to see more opportunity to raise funds from the financial market. Having a group of business executive sitting at its board, besides investing in a few companies as mentioned above, YCAB’s porfolio now includes investing in the financial market. This is a kind of business model that is quite rare for a non profit to do.