“Child by child we build our World” is the motto that keeps reminding us that YCAB should be a life changing agent for all nations, helping underprivileged children who are poor to become capable, independent, and established. The independence of these students inspires us to reach out even more.
The Light of the Family
Throughout the journey of one’s life to success, it could be smooth sailing or rocky with many obstacles. The key is to never give up.
At first, everything went so well. Roro Rismawati grew up as she should as a teenager of her age, went to school with joy, and enjoyed spending time with her family. Although very humble, Irwan Ferry, her father, could afford to provide for his little family. Besides, two of the older kids were already married, so Irwan’s responsibility was left for Roro and her younger sibling. But then in 2007, Irwan who worked as a driver at an expedition company was laid off. Roro, who at that time was still in her first year of senior high, was haunted with nightmares.
School fees could be earned. The problem was the cost of transportation. Soon, Roro often could not go to school because they had no fare. Sad? Of course. But Roro showed that a spirit made of steel would beat every obstacle. There was no room for the word ‘surrender’ in the dictionary of her life. She immediately found a way to continue to go to school. It was then that a neighbor informed her about Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa that YCAB Foundation established. Incidentally, the neighbor also went to school there.
“I thought, it didn’t not matter if I continued school with package C. That’s better than dropping out of school,” Roro said. In 2008, Roro came out of high school and got accepted as a student in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. She finished the educational level of SMU (high school) in two years. “I learned a lot of positive things from Rumah Belajar,” Roro added. One of which was when the school held art performances. Without hesitation, the girl who was born on April 8, 1992 participated as a committee member. She recruited students to join dance and drama groups.
Packet C Diploma will never hinder someone’s success
“It was the first time that Rumah Belajar held art performances and a play. Incidentally, I majored in theater at the vocational school. My ideas concerning the play got positive feedback from my peers,” she recalled with a smile. Roro felt proud to be a part of Rumah Belajar. The spirit of her friends from Rumah Belajar gave her the strength to continue to learn and work. Roro met a lot of friends with the same background as hers, and she thought that their passion to advance was extraordinary. They became her encouragement and they challenged her to be better every day.
Becoming A College Student
After graduating from Rumah Belajar in 2010, the desire to learn was still burning in Roro’s heart. She delayed her college enrollment because she wanted to pay for her own tuition. “So, first, I had to start saving up,” Roro said. Veronica Colondam, the CEO/Founder of YCAB Foundation offered Roro work at Beauty Inc. – one of YCAB’s business units – in North Kedoya, West Jakarta, working as a therapist. Roro accepted the offer. Her job was handling spa services; using the expertise she had learned from a course at Rumah Belajar. Rated on her good performance, Roro got a chance to join internal training on treating clients for facials. Later, she was trained to help doctors to do eye treatments, as well as body slimming. Roro was very happy for the opportunity and to earn the trust. She admitted that initially it was uncomfortable to serve the clients.
“As time went by, I felt that there was a change. Now, I am very happy having to take care of our clients’ skin,” she continued. Working in the salon, Roro managed to save to finance her study. Now she is a student majoring in Information Systems, at the College of Information and Computer Management TMIK Indonesia in Jakarta. She became really busy. On Mondays to Fridays, from 9am to 5pm, Roro works, and then at 7pm she goes to college. “The dream to pay for my own college tuition has finally come true,” said Roro. Going to school and working at the same time was not an excuse for Roro to study half-heartedly. Her grades were satisfactory. “Mrs. Veronica advised me to enroll in the YCAB Scholarship Program, because of my good grades. I managed to earn a scholarship,” said Roro proudly.
In her final semester now, she must complete a final project. The task demands not only analysis of a research topic, but also to create a program. She chose to develop a client data program for the beauty clinic where she is working. With the project, Roro hopes to contribute to the success of Beauty Inc. “At that time, clients’ data was still recorded manually. With the client data management program, searching for clients’ information would be easier and could significantly shorten the administrative process. This included the making of a membership card with barcodes, and it has been running smoothly and successfully,” Roro said.
The spirit of learning and work is gained from Rumah Belajar.
Roro does not want her success in the future to be enjoyed alone, she wants to share it with her family. In fact, most of her salary is given to her mother for daily necessities. “I remember in the past, we used to have potluck. When we had no money, we only ate with sambal (chili), but the rice was warm,” she recalled the events years ago. “I’m very grateful now that if my mom wants to eat something, I can buy it for her. My salary is not very high, but enough to help my parents,” Roro added.
Roro has tried to push her brother in order to have the same work spirit as herself. “My younger brother has graduated from high school but has not gone to college. However, I don’t want to pay for his college tuition because I also want him to try and learn from the struggle of making money,” she said ending the conversation.
Devoted to Batik
His concerns about the fate of batik, made Purwanto dedicate himself entirely to batik making.
Pekalongan is known as the city of batik. It was in this city that Slamet Purwanto was born. In 2004, the man who was called Purwanto decided to wander to Jakarta. “I go with the flow of urbanization to seek my fortune,” he explained. Unfortunately, the goddess of Fortune had not sided with him. Without qualifications, only holding a junior high school diploma, what work could he get? So Purwanto tried to make a living by all means. He had been a compact disc seller, construction worker, and he even joined the project to build toll roads.
Finally, Purwanto started a jeans alteration service. He acquired the skill of sewing while he was working at a garment manufacturer in Pekalongan. Purwanto’s targeted area when offering alteration services was Kedoya and surrounding areas, in West Jakarta. While traveling around those areas, Purwanto met someone from Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa who was giving information about Rumah Belajar as well as looking for students. “I immediately asked if I could still be a student?” Purwanto recounted. Apparently the answer he received was very comforting. It did not take long until Purwanto officially became a student in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB). “I took Package C, straight to the third year, because I had been through high school until the second year,” he said.
Rumah Belajar was like a door that opened up many opportunities for Purwanto. After passing Package C, thanks to YCAB’s recommendation, Purwanto participated as a management trainee at a fashion company, Sophie Paris, working in the production department. After just a month and a half working at Sophie Paris, YCAB offered him to be a sewing course trainer in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. Initially, Purwanto hesitated to accept the offer. Firstly, he felt that his qualifications were not enough to teach others. Secondly, he was already working. “But I finally accepted YCAB’s offer to open a sewing course in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. I felt challenged,” said the man who was born on December 10, 1985 enthusiastically. He also became a faculty member in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. “Originally I was in charge as a teacher, but then I was also responsible for production,” Purwanto said.
While enjoying his days as a teacher, YCAB returned and gave him a new offer, one he could not resist. This time the work was in Pekalongan, his hometown. “By the end of 2014, I was offered to run Batik House (Rumah Batik). Its name was Rumah Batik Tower Bersama Infrastructure or TBIG Pekalongan,” Purwanto said. The job offer to work in his hometown didn’t go to waste. He went on home. Now, the first child of the four siblings of Sahrudin and Gutin is responsible for Rumah Batik TBIG, in Wiradesa Village, Pekalongan.
Rumah Batik TBIG
Rumah Batik TBIG (TBIG Batik House) is a place to build up batik craftsmanship, as well as to provide education for young children who are expected to become the next generation of batik craftsmen. Lessons given are batik making and creating a variety of products from batik cloth. Of course it is very appropriate to establish Rumah Batik in Pekalongan, considering its history as one of several batik centers in Java Island.
Because the target is young people, Purwanto socializes the activities in Rumah Belajar TBIG to children from boarding schools and orphanages. He wants batik skills to be mastered by the younger generation. According to Purwanto, regeneration of batik craftsmen in Pekalongan is not so good, because young people tend to choose to work in other fields. “So, my first task is to do mapping and find students as well as partners or trainers,” said Purwanto.
During socialization to the community and batik entrepreneurs about the activities in Rumah Batik TBIG, Purwanto often experienced rejection and even underestimated, not infrequently, that those who looked down on him were those who were already in the business.
“Once I invited a batik entrepreneur in Pekalongan to conduct batik training. He even questioned, ‘what is the activity for?’” he said. However, there had never been a word of surrender in Purwanto’s dictionary. “I got even more excited,” he said firmly. “Many people can only get passionate when batik is claimed as another country’s national heritage. Though they don’t necessarily know how to make it. They also don’t necessarily know and understand the life of the craftsmen. They are angry but don’t pay attention to batik. It is pointless,” explained Purwanto. As a son of Pekalongan, his love for batik, which has ancestral heritage makes the spirit of Purwanto to develop Rumah Batik always blazing. “I feel responsible for this valuable piece of art.”
Many people can only get passionate when batik is claimed as another country’s national heritage. Though they don’t necessarily know how to make it. They also don’t necessarily know and understand the life of the craftsmen. They are angry but don’t pay attention to batik. It is pointless.
From Purwanto’s observation, hand-made batik’s demand has begun to diminish, because it is replaced by textile with batik motifs called printed batik. Therefore, he and his team in Rumah Belajar TBIG are re-energizing the manufacturing of natural batik dye materials from plants and the management of more environmentally friendly waste. He does not want batik products to bring only material benefits to the producers, but they also must provide benefits to nature. “Now, I’m trying to develop an educational tour program about natural dyes and waste management,” says Purwanto enthusiastically. In addition, the daily task of Purwanto is to foster and accompany around 50 children aged 13-25 years.
“Now the task entrusted to me has increased, that is to market the batik of students’ work, although they are also equipped with the basic knowledge about entrepreneurship,” he continued. “Sharing experiences and motivating them is also my duty. When students can produce beautiful works, then the work is sold, my happiness cannot be described with words,” Purwanto explained.
Being a part of YCAB is an extraordinary experience for Purwanto. “I work with great people in a great institution. I want to be like the people at YCAB, who do everything from the heart, and so what they do is useful to the society. At least what I’m doing here can be a provision in the hereafter,” he concludes.
Embracing A Glorious Future
Kemal still has two dreams: to continue his education for a master’s degree and take his parents to go to the holy land of Mecca.
His tone of voice was firm, a friendly smile and cheerful laughter were features that were clearly shown on the tall bespectacled man. Kemal, the man who loves to joke, works as a marketing staff at PT Asuransi Tokio Marine (PT ATM). Initially, Kemal joined PT ATM as an intern. However, luck was on his side and he became a full-time employee. The winding road was a must-go, for the man born in Jakarta on October 14, 1989. To get to where he is now.
A new chapter in Kemal’s life began when Guning Lubis (father) got sick. Kemal was still in high school. “My father was sick for about six months, and then passed away,” Kemal recalled the 2004 event. “Family finances were immediately disturbed. So far, we only relied on the income of my father who owned a workshop and car tire business,” he continued.
In order to continue to finance Kemal’s school, the elder sister tried to replace his father’s role. “But, because my sister’s earning was not enough, my mother decided to go to work. She started sewing, receiving orders from neighbors. My mother was already 63 years old. I couldn’t bear to see it,” Kemal narrated. “I told my mom, I’d better quit school. I would work for her to rest. Originally the mother did not agree, but I insisted,” said the youngest of seven siblings.
Without special skills and sufficient education, Kemal tried to do anything he could get his hands on. He started off by being a motorcycle washerman in his friend’s father’s company. He lasted for six months at the job that was giving him an income of about Rp20.000 per day. “I’m the only boy in the family so I had to take responsibility for my mother,” he added.
Despite having to work, the desire to continue school never ceased. That was why, when Kemal found out about Rumah Belajar (RB) Duri Kepa, he was very enthusiastic. “Because my determination to go back to school was very strong, I immediately went to RB and met Mrs. Dewi,” Kemal recalled. “It turned out I was the first generation and immediately entered the second grade. At that time, the students were only 12 people,” he added. ‘Finding’ Rumah Belajar really made Kemal happy. In addition to many courses, school hours in Rumah Belajar at that time were in the afternoon.
He could manage his time to juggle many things he had to do: delivering newspapers, washing motorcycles, as well as going to school and courses
“So, I could deliver the newspapers after the morning prayers until 8 o’clock. Then worked at the bike wash from 8 to 10am. Then, at 11 to 1 pm I went to take my courses. And finally, from 1 pm to 5 pm, I went to school,” said the husband of Noviyanti. No more time to relax, it was all about working and going to school. “Until I finally graduated in 2007, my time was really just about making ends meet and school. A friend was teasing me saying that I lost my youth. To me, it was no problem. My principle being, it was better to lose my youth than to lose the future,” he continued firmly.
Kemal tried to make the most out of the opportunity. Rumah Belajar provided a variety of courses. Without picking or choosing, Kemal attended all courses offered! Initially, he participated in sewing, English, and computer courses. “I also joined the acting course. It didn’t matter whether the knowledge is going to be useful or not in the future, I was happy to learn,” said Kemal.
He gained not only knowledge, it was when he took all the courses that Kemal found out about scholarships offered by PT ATM. “I was very enthusiastic and immediately intended to take the test. But, on the day, I felt insecure knowing about 60 other people who also applied for the scholarship. All of them looked very smart,” Kemal said. “The tests at that time were math, general knowledge, literature, and English. My score was really low in English, but high in math. Fortunately, I made it to the 10th place. Next, I was interviewed and got into the top 5. Then I got selected to the top 3 and finally announced to be eligible for the scholarship. It was really unexpected,” he recalled proudly. “I was surprised; my average score was only 7.8; while there were others who scored up to 9. After becoming an employee, I knew that I had succeeded because of my strong determination to move forward. Companies were looking for someone like that,” said the SMP Negeri 220 Jakarta alumnus. The scholarship from PT ATM was to study at Akademi Asuransi Indonesia, Universitas Indonesia (UI) for three years, starting in 2007.
While going to college, Kemal did an internship, so he was able to earn money. “Internship on Monday to Thursday, then school on Friday and Saturday,” Kemal explained. Going to college, was the one thing he most wanted. He was determined to work hard to get to college. This was triggered by the conditions he saw around him. “Friends who are high school graduates, become an office boy or cleaning service staff at most. Junior high graduates must be even worse. I do not want to end up like that,” he said. Officially enrolled in college, Kemal was very happy. One dream had come true. “It turned out my classmates were all scholarship beneficiaries. Their origins were diverse. Some were from Solo, Ambon, or Aceh. College was so much fun, I got to learn about economics and insurance. It also widened my insights,” Kemal explained.
Kemal graduated D3 on time, in three years, and he was ranked 3rd out of 38 students. “Once I had graduated in 2010, I sent out an application to the company, then took the test to become an employee, just like any other applicants. Fortunately, I was accepted,” Kemal said. “I am proud to work here, because this company is notoriously difficult. Our English must be good,” he continued. Already working and having a D3 diploma did not make Kemal complacent. He wanted to continue his education. Kemal then continued his bachelor’s degree at Sekolah Tinggi Manajemen Resiko Asuransi, until he graduated in 2014. But Kemal was still not satisfied. He is now eyeing on getting a master’s degree. “I’m looking for a scholarship to continue my education. Hopefully my dreams can come true,” he hoped.
Rumah Belajar Changes Lives
Seeing Kemal’s success, many neighbors are moved to continue their studies in Rumah Belajar. Kemal witnesses the great influence of Rumah Belajar in the society. Therefore, he and his friends want to imitate the footsteps of Veronica Colondam, the CEO/Founder of YCAB, to extend goodness to others. “Some friends and I routinely raise money for social causes. We also want to give out scholarships like Mrs. Veronica does, but now we are still unable to do it. Someday, we can,” he resolved.
Personally, Kemal admits that his life is better today than it was a few years ago. And because he is indebted to Rumah Belajar, Kemal never fails to say yes when he’s asked to share his experience’s. “I am grateful to Mrs. Veronica who never asked for any repayment at all. RB had brought me up. So, if I were asked to motivate, I would definitely come. It’s all I could give as a token of gratitude,” said Kemal.
While looking for a way to continue school, he was planning another dream. “I want to go to umroh with my mother and wife. For pilgrimage to Mecca, the waiting list is too long, and my mom is already so old,” he said. He then said that he had registered his mom to go to umroh a year ago.” At that time, I got a pretty good bonus. But my moms trip was cancelled off. Now I am saving up again, hoping to go, all the three of us,” he concluded.
Dreaming, trying hard, working well, staying curious, keep learning, and always enthusiastic are the foundations of Buchori’s life. The result?
In 2013, with enthusiasm, Muslim Buchori joined Rumah Belajar Samsung, in Cikarang, Bekasi. Previously, Buchori was one of dozens of English and Computer course participants in Rumah Belajar Cikarang established by YCAB Foundation. The establishment of Rumah Belajar Samsung made him very happy. The reason being, he had long been interested in the field of electronics. In Rumah Belajar, he could learn more about electronics that he couldn’t learn from any other schools. Equipped with the expertise gained from Rumah Belajar, Buchori can now work as a repair staff at PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia (PT SEI).
From the electronics course in Rumah Belajar Samsung, Buchori gained the expertise to repair electronics, such as televisions, fans, and computers. “My brothers are all working in the automotive field, but I wanted to have different skills,” said the fifth child of seven brothers.
He had already started earning money for himself, as well as to help his parents ever since he was studying at Rumah Belajar. Therefore, Buchori could not stop giving thanks for the skills and expertise that he gained from Rumah Belajar that had brought him to his current job.
In the past, Buchori suffered because it was difficult to pay his tuition on time, a problem that he kept experiencing since he was in primary school. Consequently, when he graduated Azzhahiriyah Islamic High School in Cikarang, his diploma was retained because his parents had not been able to pay for his school. Thanks to his skill in repairing mobile phones that he learned in Rumah Belajar, Buchori started fixing his friends’ mobile phones.
Although he did not set specific rates, the money he earned was enough to redeem his high school diploma. Of course, that difficulty is now only a part of the past. Since he has been working at PT SEI in 2015, Buchori has earned a fixed income. He can help his parents Boin (57 years old) and Cinah (52 years old). He’s also able to buy a motorcycle with installments. Buchori is still a contract employee until December 2016. “If my performance is good, I will get a chance to become a permanent employee,” he said optimistically.
“I know that there are many people out there who are better than me. So I must give it my best shot! My principle is to never be embarrassed to ask when faced with any difficulties or when you want to know more about anything,” said the man who was born in Bekasi on November 10, 1995.
To see the happiness radiating from his mother’s face upon receiving his gifts keeps him encouraged. This friendly man has a dream, to realize the wishes of his parents who want to renovate their home.
After graduation, Buchori quite often visited Rumah Belajar to meet with teachers there or just to play futsal with other students. In fact, Buchori was invited to share his experiences with the students in Rumah Belajar several times. “Every time I got a chance to share my story, I told them to make Rumah Belajar their second home,” Buchori said. “Also, I emphasize that Rumah Belajar is a place of learning, where we can encourage one another, and perform various activities,” he added.
Buchori shared with his friends who had not got a job yet, as well as those who couldn’t go on to college about the benefits that he had experienced after taking courses in Rumah Belajar. Someone who also succeeded thanks to Rumah Belajar was Buchori’s younger brother, Gunawan. Both graduated from Rumah Belajar Samsung, Gunawan now works at PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia in the service center department in Purwakarta. Buchori managed to prove to everyone that learning in Rumah Belajar can give added value to yourself so you can be useful to others. “So, never hesitate to study in Rumah Belajar,” Buchori said.
The important thing is to never be shy to ask in every difficulty or if you want to know about anything.
‘Weaving’ The Future
Nobody knows the journey of human lives. Plans that fail can sometimes change into something bigger and better.
Willpower and passion for life were clearly felt when talking with Saeful Alimi. After graduating Junior High in Tegal, Saeful moved to Jakarta. The goal was to improve his English skill. “In my village, there are not many English or computer courses like in Jakarta,” he said.
Born on September 9, 1996 he left Ketanggungan village, Dukuh Turi, thirty minutes from the central city of Tegal. Saeful’s desire to learn English started from him failing to enter the vocational school that he wanted. His grade in English was considered not eligible. “My English is bad,” said Saeful truthfully. Though he was eyeing to major in Computer Network Engineering in the vocational school, he finally decided to take an English course for one year, and then return to the village and try to enroll to the vocational school again. So he headed for Jakarta. He left his grandma, whom he called Simbah, to stay in Kedoya with his mother and father.
Getting Acquainted with Rumah Belajar
Arriving in Jakarta, Saeful started looking for information about where he could take an English course. That’s when he gained some information about Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. “I remember, at that time I met with the receptionist, who we called Bunda. She told me many things, and encouraged me to learn in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa,” Saeful said.
Saeful was very interested, seeing that Rumah Belajar’s facility was quite complete. In addition to English, there were also computer courses. The rooms were equipped with air conditioning. And the good news was that he did not have to dig too deep into his pocket to go to school. With only Rp10.000 he could go to school, take some courses, and enjoy all the facilities. And so Saeful became a student in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa.
With only ten thousand rupiah a month, it could last a lifetime
Incidentally, PT Samsung at that time provided training for mobile phone repair, and household electronics, such as washing machines and air conditioners. Saeful chose to join the mobile phone repair workshop. Not long after that, Samsung’s building at the Rumah Belajar complex was established. The courses became more extensive with Information Technology training. Without hesitation, Saeful immediately registered. It was like getting the way to get to his dream to study Computer Engineering.
The Precious Diploma
Saeful was educated in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa until he graduated. He admitted that there were still people who looked down on students who graduated from Rumah Belajar, because it only offered Package C diploma. But Saeful did not care. He never let himself feel inferior, though he was at one point worried that his diploma couldn’t be used to apply for jobs.
“I applied for an apprenticeship at Samsung Center, because I had never attended training from Samsung. But then two weeks had passed and still no phone calls, though I was really hopeful,” Saeful explained. He guessed that his diploma, which was only for Package C was the cause. He was feeling hesitant, thinking that perhaps his diploma was not of any worth. However, his preconceptions were wrong. He received a short message for a job vacancy and he was asked to come to YCAB.
“I thought graduates of Package C like me, were unlikely to be accepted working as an IT staff. To become an IT staff, one must be at least a bachelor, right?” Saeful said. So he guessed that he would get a data entry job of some sort. At YCAB’s office, he got the clarification that the vacancy was available in the field of Information Technology. Saeful is very happy now, because he has become one of YCAB’s IT support staff.
Hope for The Village
After his wishes had come true, apparently Saeful still had an ambition. “I want to start computer courses or training in the village. So I’ve set aside part of my income to make this dream come to life,” he said. The ambition was not for no reason. Saeful knew that in villages, public facilities to play and learn computers were almost nonexistent. If any, the place was in a remote café and they charged Rp3.000 per hour. At school, computers were only accessible once a week. That too, with one computer usually used by several people at once. Saeful’s hope was so great; he was even ready to give up his house for a training ground. He was sure that it would be useful for the community in the village. “There are many children who just play after school. If there are computer training centers, they could learn to use computers instead,” Saeful explained. “I hope YCAB can help establish computer training centers in the area. If possible, I could also ask for help for the training to be provided with teachers and certificates,” he continued.
There are many children who just play after school. If there are computer training centers, they could learn how to use computers instead.
Hope That Never Goes Out
Ricky almost gave up on his dream to continue his schooling when money became an obstacle. However, opportunities side with those who do not give up. Now, Ricky starts to become successful. The key is to be patient.
The days of Ricky Ardianto are now filled with lectures. As a third year student in the faculty of Economics of Islamic University Attahiriyah, Jakarta, he must be good at managing his time to study. In addition to college, he must also work. Tired? Of course. But he got rid of all the obstacles. His determination to finish college is very strong. “I want to progress, because it is going to be really tough if I only graduated from high school. It is going to be difficult to attain a good career,” Ricky said. “Not to mention, people often do not take high school graduates seriously. I do not want that to happen to me,” he added.
The Story of the Past
Ricky was born in Jakarta on September 10, 1991. Sadly, he never had the affection from his mother not even one bit. He only had his dad, Asmadi (49), who was present as his only parent. Due to his effort to make a living for his son, Asmadi barely had time for Ricky, his only son. Ricky spent more time with his aunt than his dad.
Time passed, and Ricky started going to school. He went through primary school without any difficulties. Junior High also went smoothly for him. Unfortunately, in the second year, Asmadi started to find it difficult to afford Ricky’s education. The family’s financial difficulty made Ricky feel disappointed. “At that time, I felt that my chance of achieving my dream to get into my favorite high school was slim to none,” he recalled. Luckily, he never gave up. He continued to study diligently and graduated from junior high. However, finally Ricky’s anxiety came forth. His father stated that he was no longer able to finance Ricky’s school. Meaning? As he already predicted, Ricky couldn’t continue his study at his favorite high school.
All the obstacles he faced, he regarded as a whip that enriched his experiences. “I am fortunate to have many acquaintances and neighbors, who gave me information about education in Rumah Belajar.”
God blessed Ricky with an unbroken spirit. Although he could not continue formal schooling, he remained actively seeking for information. From friends and neighbors, he recognized non-formal education at the Teaching and Learning Activities Center (PKBM) in Kemanggisan, West Jakarta. It was in this PKBM that he met an attentive accounting teacher. “Mrs. Herlina told me about Rumah Belajar,” Ricky said. Once he found out about Rumah Belajar established by YCAB Foundation, Ricky immediately enrolled. So from 2007-2010, Ricky became a student of Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa.
Ricky learned many lessons during his study in Rumah Belajar. One of them was to put aside prestige to get a better education. Ricky admitted that he often got rejection when he recommended his friends to continue their education in Rumah Belajar. “The reason being, there was Package C stated on the diploma. That’s what made the diploma lose its credibility. But if you stopped going to school just because of prestige, nothing would ever change. While those who were already in school must be diligent in learning and foster self-motivation in order to be successful,” said Ricky.
Self-motivating himself. That’s what he never stops doing. After passing Package C from Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa, Ricky immediately tried his luck in the professional world. He encountered an unfriendly world, and it made him switch professions several times.
“I was once a salesperson at a material company, credit card marketing staff, and correspondent data manager at Rumah Belajar. I was once cheated. I was told to pay some money to get a job, and it turned out to be a hoax,” he said.
But it would be unlike Ricky if he were to give up. All these obstacles were regarded as a whip to enrich his experiences. When YCAB held a job fair, he signed up. Luckily, he was accepted as a call center staff of an insurance company. The income was good. He could finance his study. Now, Ricky works part-time, so he can still have time to study.
He does not want to succeed alone. Ricky could never forget the kindness of his aunt who took care of him all this time. “Currently, I am paying for my cousin’s school, my aunt’s son. It was my way to give back to her, thanking her for caring for me like her own son,” Ricky explained. To increase his earnings, Ricky runs a small business selling mobile phone accessories.
The Story of the Present
The ups and downs working in the call center had made Ricky become a strong figure. He is in charge of answering questions, including receiving complaints. “Occasionally, there are difficult customers who speak harsh words,” said Ricky. However, all are responded to wisely. “The key is patience. As a call center staff, I can only do the job in accordance with the standard operational procedure, and must remain polite to the customers. Moreover, everything I do to customers affects the good name of the company,” he explained. Ricky is well aware that everything is a process. Although he feels fit to work in the service field, he thinks that he should continue to learn. “At first it was not easy, because I never knew anything about insurance. Fortunately, there was training in operating the program to read the customer policy,” Ricky said.
All work must be done from the heart. The key is patience.
He adds knowledge with a lot of reading. His determination to be better than he is right now is strong. Learning experiences in Rumah Belajar makes Ricky’s spirit always raging. He also enthusiastically helps Rumah Belajar. “I am never ashamed to admit that I am a graduate of Rumah Belajar and I am proud to have been a student here,” he said. That’s why he maintains a good relationship with the teachers at YCAB. “Including being willing to share my experiences with the new students. For now, that’s all I can do for YCAB. I will never be someone who forgets his own roots,” he concluded.
He had been a scavenger, but he did not give up. Thirsty for knowledge, he kept trying to learn. He hopes that his knowledge will lead him to success.
The desire to find experiences and work in Jakarta made Muntaka move from Indramayu. Equipped with a high school certificate from MAN Sukra Indramayu, he followed his
uncle, without knowing what he would become. He only had his strong willpower; the willingness to succeed in the capital city. Unfortunately, his willpower was not enough. Without qualified skills, it would be difficult to compete with other job seekers. Even with a high school diploma, it still had not much value. Having no choice, Muntaka survived by being a scavenger.
Luckily, near the house of his uncle in Pondok Bambu, the man who was familiarly called Mun saw Rumah Belajar. At that time, in 2013, YCAB Foundation recently established a Rumah Belajar. Mun was interested and decided to take a mechanical course. “I wanted to know everything about motorcycles, including any problems that were often encountered,” he said. Never dealing with mechanical tools before did not make Mun tremble. He even managed to become the best graduate.
The Best Graduate
As the best graduate in Rumah Belajar, Mun was selected to participate in advanced training at Astra Honda Motor. During the first month Mun learned the theory, the second month of practice, and the remaining two months were spent on an internship at a Honda Motor shop in Pondok Bambu area. “Because of my apprenticeship, I understood about motorcycles, knew the damages, knew the difference between Honda and Yamaha motorcycles, and knew the difference between two-stroke and four-stroke motors,” Mun said in detail. In the training, he managed to become the best graduate, so he earned a prize of Rp5.000.000, -.
After the course was finished, Mun still came to Rumah Belajar. “I felt the need to get more experiences and knowledge. For example, learning about fuel injection. In the past, all the motorcycles were using a carburetor, but now it has changed, it is now the fuel injection era,” Mun explained. In addition, Mun also wanted to help the younger students of his generation. “I can teach how to open the carburetor, change the oil,” said Mun. He was not paid to teach, but volunteered to do so, because he knew he could benefit from sharing knowledge. “By teaching, our knowledge will automatically increase,” he added.
One day, Mun received some information about the course in another Rumah Belajar. Apparently, Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa provides audio, mobile, and sewing courses, while Rumah Belajar Cipinang holds a computer course. Mun decided to take the computer course.
The reason was simple, “Technology is getting more and more sophisticated, I do not want to miss out,” he said. At Rumah Belajar he learned how to operate Microsoft Office.
After the computer course, Mun returned to Indramayu. Using the gift from Honda, he enrolled to the Department of Information Management, Bina Sarana Informatika (BSI) in 2014. However, his plan to be a college student did not run smoothly. Paying tuition became an obstacle for Mun to earn his bachelor’s degree. “I was forced to leave college, after 1.5 years,” he said softly.
Weaving The Dream
As a strong and tough person, Mun did not want to get lost in sorrow. He remained diligent in looking for new opportunities. He returned to Jakarta and visited Rumah Belajar. Apparently, YCAB offered him a job at PT Penta Artha Impressi. Mun accepted the offer straight away. “People said motorcycles and cars were the same, so I took the job offer. But it turned out there was a difference between theory and practice,” said Mun. Concerned that he did not quite master the job, Mun admitted that he was often feeling nervous. “Because I haven’t got to know my friends and the surrounding, and my lack of skills, I am a bit embarrassed,” he said. But Mun maintained his curious attitude. That way, he is constantly learning, even at work. Every day, Mun works from 8am to 5pm. Sometimes, he must work until late. While working, Mun still keeps the dream of finishing college. “Thank God, it turns out my dream to go to college can come true, because YCAB gave me a scholarship to continue college,” he concluded.
Learning Is a Stepping Stone
Financial constraints became Yudi’s obstacle in getting into higher education. But that was then, now…
The tough life as a single parent made Yudi’s mother gave up. Supporting six children all on her own was certainly not an easy task. It was very difficult meeting their basic needs, let alone having to think about education. Muhammad Triwahyudi, who was then in his second year of high school, had to accept a bitter decision: to get out of school due to financial constraints. But God’s way was never closed. There were always plenty of other paths opening up to those who would try and keep on praying. “When I had nothing to do, I saw a friend. He advised me to go to Rumah Belajar Cipinang. “My friend said, ‘It’s pretty good there. There are affordable computer and English courses and you pay only Rp10.000 per month,’” Yudi said.
Yudi followed the suggestion of his friend. Equipped with a certificate of competence from neighborhood associations, and a junior high school diploma, he was accepted to take Package C in Rumah Belajar managed by YCAB Foundation. Later on, Yudi discovered that Rumah Belajar was God’s answer to his prayers so far: to continue school. “In addition to Package C, there were vocational courses as well in Rumah Belajar. It was true, as my friend said; the cost of school and courses was only Rp10.000 per month. Very affordable but I received a lot of benefits,” he recalled.
The five of them, Yudi with other friends from Rumah Belajar Cipinang’s first generation of students, continued their education. “Out of the five people, however a few were not yet qualified to attend the third grade. Some had to enroll in the first grade, and others were still in the second grade. There were only two people who attended the third grade.” Having only a few friends did not dampen Yudi’s interest in learning. “I was the best student in my class … of two people … hahaha,” he joked.
The schedule in Rumah Belajar was almost like a formal school, every day from morning until noon. The lesson in formal school made no difference. In fact, Yudi felt that learning at Rumah Belajar was more fun. “In my old school, the teacher was not attentive. The students were sleeping, made too much noise, or wanted to listen … it was up to them…,” he said. While in Rumah Belajar, especially with the condition of one class with only two students, studying was more serious and focused, preparing students to take the Package C test. “Oh my God, there were no cheat sheets during exams in Rumah Belajar, and we could not open our books. I was quite frustrated,” recalled Yudi as he laughed. He compared the conditions of his friends in formal schools who were busy looking for key answers and preparing a cheat sheet.
There were no cheat sheets during exams in Rumah Belajar and I was not allowed to open my books
New Life Chapter
After finishing his education in Rumah Belajar, apparently good fortune had not been in favor of Yudi. He had tried to apply for jobs in various companies, but the results were not as expected. For example, in one fast food restaurant he was not accepted, because he only had a Package C diploma. Disappointed? Certainly. But Yudi did not despair. He decided to help his mother selling food. His mother’s stall was in Thamrin, Central Jakarta, and at that time it had only been running for two years. Yudi’s job was to bring his mother’s cooking to the stall before lunch, and then serve the customers until the shop closed. From this business, Yudi earned money.
Little by little, Yudi’s saved enough to enroll in the college of Language Education and Indonesian Literature, University Indraprasta PGRI. Lectures take place every Monday-Thursday afternoon, after Yudi finishes selling.
Now, Yudi is in his second year. He hopes to graduate on time so he can get a better job. The third son of six siblings is the only one in the house who has had a taste of college. “My two elder siblings did not graduate from junior high school. But they did not want to go to Rumah Belajar. My brother who graduated from vocational school, did not want to go to college, because he didn’t like learning …,” he said. But Yudi is still eager to promote Rumah Belajar, because he feels that his life is better after studying there. “Rumah Belajar is my stepping stone. Thanks to Rumah Belajar, I have a high school diploma, and I can go to college. If not, surely I would still be unemployed even now. Now, at least I know I can have a bachelor’s degree,” he said optimistically. With a Bachelor’s degree, Yudi hopes that his quality of life can be even better. Hopefully!
Fighting to Change Destiny
Equipped with education, anybody can become independent for sure
Asep Hidayat could not forget the feelings in his heart while reminiscing the events of many years ago. At that time, he could not do much when he had to drop out of school. In fact, he was diligent and enthusiastic, having a taste of studying for a semester in High School (SMA).
Despite his passionate learning spirits, his dreams ran aground when his dad declared that he could no longer afford his schooling. Asep had no other choice, because he really understood his father’s unpredictable income as a construction worker. However, it is not life if it only contains misfortune. Life spins like a wheel. For Asep, the wheel of fortune turned when he found out about Rumah Belajar. Rumah Belajar is a program run by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB). It was initiated in 2003, and in Rumah Belajar, school dropouts can take the basic education programs Package A, Package B, and Package C. Rumah Belajar spreads over 33 cities in Indonesia, including Bandung, Banjarmasin, Banyuwangi, Denpasar, Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, And Situbondo.
Rumah Belajar focuses on the equality of education and skills. School-aged children who have problems paying for their studies get basic education in accordance to their abilities. In addition, Rumah Belajar also opens courses tailored to the different regions, including computer, hair and beauty, mechanics, and repair of electronic equipment. The goal is for students to be independent.
Only by paying Rp10.000 I could get a lot of useful knowledge. I won a lot!
“I was informed by a friend. He said he had a sibling who went to school in Rumah Belajar,” recalled Asep. He then finished high school, and took the Package C program. He took the program for two and a half years. “The cost was very affordable. It was only Rp10.000 a month. The facilities in Rumah Belajar were extremely complete. There was even a special laboratory. It was a very good experience. I won a lot,” Asep added with a chuckle. “The presumption of many people was that Package C students only come to study once a week. It’s not true. In Rumah Belajar, school was from Monday to Friday; from morning till noon. So, it was just like the regular school in general,” said Asep. “There were many advantages in attending Rumah Belajar. After school, we could join the courses that we were interested in,” he continued.
Basically, Asep’s desire to move forward was passionate. He did not want to waste the opportunity. Through a program equipped with these facilities, Asep further equipped himself with language skill. “In the past, I was totally unable to speak English. However, after the course, it has got better. I’m still not very fluent, but I can do it,” he said proudly. Armed with a high school diploma and foreign language skills, graduated from Rumah Belajar, Asep had an internship in a studio. He acquired a new skill, which was to operate a camera.
With his skills and diplomas, he became one of dozens of YCAB employees. He is now a photographer and videographer for YCAB events. He also gained the opportunity to travel around to many cities, adding to his experiences. “Sometimes, I was involved in several projects at once,” Asep said happily.
Full of Good Memories
On various occasions, Asep always tries to disseminate information about the benefits that can be obtained while studying in Rumah Belajar. There are at least two things he always conveys. In addition to the quality of the lecturers and facilities, Asep also mentions the quality of the curriculum used in Rumah Belajar.
A very memorable experience for Asep was when he did performing arts. Asep and his friends were working on a play about the dangers of drugs. “Unexpectedly, the play was very well appreciated,” he said with a proud expression. Asep will not forget that moment. “I really felt appreciated. It was very memorable for me,” he said excitedly.
The quality of lecturers in Rumah Belajar is very good. They are all professionals.
The teachers in Rumah Belajar gave lasting impressions for Asep. According to him, the teachers there are all highly qualified and professional. In fact, Asep was once taught directly by a native speaker learning English. Of course, this made him more excited. “Qualified, professional lecturers as well as great facilities will produce excellent students. Of course, we as the recipient of the materials must also be dedicated,” he said wisely.
Since 2005, YCAB’s Rumah Belajar has been working with Bina Nusantara Foundation, especially for computer and English course materials. Thus, in the field of computer and English, the students in Rumah Belajar have qualified competency standards.
Thanks to Rumah Belajar, Asep’s life is forever changed. He does not want to say that he is already successful, but at least he has a provision to achieve a brighter future. Who would have thought, children who had dropped out of school, now can have a fixed income and can help their families “I suggest, if money is a problem, go to Rumah Belajar. The fee is very affordable, but the facilities are also no less than any other expensive courses. And if you are a student in Rumah Belajar, make the most of it,” he said wisely.
Sharing, Do Not Quit
Regretting fate is useless. Trying and working hard with prayer is the way to a more beautiful future.
Helping his mother in the stall, selling phone credits, all the way to driving a motorcycle taxi, Ahmad Ruyani had done it all. In terms of income, he felt that what he earned was enough. The alumnus of MAN Cikarang high school graduated in 2007 was not able to freely move like other youth. The story began after Ahmad graduated high school. His mother asked Ahmad to get some guava fruit growing in his house. “I fell from a height of about 5 meters, because of my carelessness. I fell and landed sitting down, so my hip bones cracked,” Ahmad recalled the event back in 2007.
After the incident, I was taken to the hospital. “From the x-rays, I knew that my hip bones were broken. It should be operated,” said Ahmad. “But, because it was expensive, I did not do it. My dad had no money, so I just underwent treatments with traditional medicine and had my hip massaged,” he added.
Time passed, and months later, Ahmad did not show any sign of recovering. “After three months with no progress, I finally stopped the treatment,” said Ahmad. Because of his frequent pain, Ahmad ended up staying more at home. But he really wanted to work. Fortunately, the mother had a small shop in the house that sold fried food and snacks. “I helped keep the shop with my brother from 2007 to 2012,” he said. Bright hope began to appear when the father finally approved his sister’s suggestion for Ahmad to be operated on. “After surgery in March 2012, I felt much better, even though my posture was still not perfect,” said Ahmad.
Learning new things will not go in vain, someday it will be useful for our lives
“And what made me happier was when I got Rp500.000 from my brother to sell phone credits. Then, I made a small kiosk with my father near my house. After that, I was given a capital of Rp3.000.000 from my father,” Ahmad continued.
Looking for New Things
Although his income was enough to live, Ahmad was not satisfied. Something was troubling him. He wanted to go back to school. Around the year of 2013, Ahmad’s dream came true thanks to Rumah Belajar Samsung managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB). “Once Rumah Belajar was established, around 2013, there was a social gathering. The goal was to invite teenagers and young people to attend courses in Rumah Belajar. But I ended up learning about Rumah Belajar Samsung from my friend, Buchori Muslim. He was the one who asked me to study in Rumah Belajar,” Ahmad recounted his introduction to Rumah Belajar. After being informed, the ninth child of 12 siblings from H Abdul Choer and the late Hj Nurjanah enrolled himself in Rumah Belajar. “I am the second generation. The courses started from May to September 2014,” he said.
The reason to join the course was to utilize vocational skills to become more independent. “There were mobile repair service as well as home appliances repair courses for refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners. In addition, there were computer network service and computer network courses,” said the single man whose hobby is fishing. “But, I chose to learn about mobile phones, because I already had a little bit of experience. When I was working at the phone credit kiosk, I learned about mobile phones from Google,” Ahmad explained.
Eager to study, Ahmad enthusiastically participated in the course. There was not the slightest intention of skipping his classes in his mind. Ahmad absorbed all the knowledge gained from his teachers in Rumah Belajar. “Actually, the schedule was only twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, from 1pm to 5pm; four hours in each meeting. But, I came to Rumah Belajar almost every day,” said the man who was born on August 24, 1989. “I really did not want to miss a lesson. Instead, I just wanted to quickly master the science of mobile phone repair services and deepened or repeated the lessons that had been given. So I never skipped classes,” Ahmad explained.
Armed with knowledge from Rumah Belajar, Ahmad felt a tremendous change in his life. “I felt that I learned so much from Rumah Belajar. What did not exist in Google, I got the answer from my teachers in Rumah Belajar,” said Ahmad. “In my experience, basic knowledge could be learned from Google. But, if you wanted to excel, you must take on some courses,” he continued.
In addition, Ahmad added that interest and seriousness were crucial. “In my first course, we were a group of 25 people; 60 percent male, and 40 percent female,” said Ahmad. “However, over time, some begin to resign. Starting with the girls first, and before long, the boys also stopped going to class,” he continued.
I still have many dreams, among others, adding more counters, so I can accommodate Rumah Belajar graduates who are still unemployed.
Ahmad suspected that his friends left because they were not really interested and not up for the challenge. “In practice, we were challenged to disassemble mobile phones. Of course, I was nervous. I was worried that the mobile phone would be broken, while they were not even mine,” he said with a smile. “Yes, you must be brave. My teacher also said ‘it’s okay, if we don’t try, we will never know.’ And so I was confident to practice. But, I broke two mobile phones in the process, “he admitted.
Now Ahmad opens a mobile phone repair service near his house, in addition to selling phone credits. Of course his income is much higher than when he was just starting out. He can save some money, buy a motorcycle, and help his family. “I still want to open more counters, in order to help my friends from Rumah Belajar,” he said wisely. “In addition, I will follow the home appliance course to add knowledge and open up a new business,” said Ahmad with great enthusiasm. Ahmad only has one regret. “My mother passed away in 2009, so she cannot see me who is already independent. However, I believe, mother would be happy if she was here to see me now,” he said.
Pursuing Passion with Determination
Life’s experiences have made her become a strong and independent person.
Since she was still in elementary school, Marta Yunita Wati Hasibuan no longer lived with her sister and her parents in Medan. He joined her aunt, Clara Manurung, and her grandpa in Jakarta. Clara brought her niece, because her parents were less supportive of Marta to continue studying. So, Marta could go to elementary school all the way to junior high school in Jakarta at the expense of Clara and her grandpa. Unfortunately, after Marta graduated from junior high school, her grandpa passed away. “I initially want to continue to SMAN 17, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish school, because I didn’t have enough money,” said Marta. The aunt then mentioned to Marta about Rumah Belajar (RB) Duri Kepa, which is managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB). Apparently Marta was interested to join after visiting RB Duri Kepa. The important thing was to continue to go to school, wherever it was, it didn’t really matter.
According to Marta, learning in Rumah Belajar was the same with formal school, both in terms of studying hours and subjects. To Marta, studying in Rumah Belajar had many benefits. “Rumah Belajar’s location was close from home, so I just walked to school,” said Marta. In addition to the location, there were also other advantages. “I could go to school and take the course with only Rp 10.000 a month,” said Marta. “The classrooms are all air-conditioned, making them more comfortable,” she added.
Because of her intelligence, Martha became the best in her classes from grade 1 all the way to grade 3. So, naturally she was able to tutor her neighbour who was still sitting in junior high school. She earned money from teaching. Despite her modest income, Marta was quite happy, even taking pride in her work when the neighbour was able to attend the public school she had been dreaming of.
During her third year, a Rumah Belajar teacher, Mrs. Eva, offered Martha a job as a saleswoman. Marta accepted the job joyfully. The job increased her income. Marta was also actively looking for other opportunities. She often participated in competitions held at school, including a writing contest. “I once won Rp250.000. Not bad. I could use the money to pay for schools, exams, and other things,” explained the woman born on October 10, 1993.
In addition to school, Marta attended computer course in Rumah Belajar. “There were basic and intermediate levels. For intermediate level, the test was done in Bina Nusantara (Binus),” said Marta. She had received four certificates for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power Point, and Windows exams.
Struggling from Scratch
Graduating from Rumah Belajar in 2012, Marta attended a job fair held by YCAB. She was accepted at a BCA’s partner company that fills in a multi filing position in a Consumer Credit Business Unit (UBKK). “I felt lucky, because the computer course was very useful. It turned out to be one of several considerations,” Marta revealed. After working for a year, Marta felt ready to go to college. She enrolled in Esa Unggul University. Her salary as an employee was enough to pay for college. “I could also buy a motorcycle. When payday comes, I immediately distributed my income, to pay for tuition, rent, motorcycle instalment, and a little for bit for food,” said Marta with eyes sparkling.
Showing devotion to her parents, she always sent money over to Medan. Now she’s relieved, because the motorcycle instalment had been paid off. Still in college, Marta now works at Sutramas Line, a distributor in West Jakarta. Her work schedule is from Monday to Saturday. While her college schedule is Friday night, Saturday afternoon starting at 1pm, and Sunday morning to night. “Actually I have work until 2pm on Saturdays, but I am given a permission to leave early. Therefore, I replace the hours by working overtime,” said Marta.
Juggling a very busy schedule between work and college, Marta admits that sometimes she feels exhausted. However, her aunt always reminds her to never give up. She is also self-motivated to believe in herself and she encourages herself that everything she has been doing will definitely be useful in the future. “My principle is it’s better to lose my youth than to lose the future. If I lose my future, I will not be able to go back in time,” Marta said firmly. “I still have time to meet with friends, though I limit the time,” she continued.
“Many people underestimate me because of my Package C diploma, but I do not feel inferior. After all, I also have learned English, computer, and a little bit of web design skills. I also have a permanent job,” said Marta. She knew that even someone who went to a regular school did not necessarily have all those abilities; this was something that made Marta relentlessly thankful that she had attended Rumah Belajar.
Because Rumah Belajar had been really helpful for her, Marta also invited her neighbours who had economic difficulties to enter Rumah Belajar. “My neighbour dropped out of school. Then she joined and took a sewing course. Last time I heard, she had graduated and works,” explained Marta. “At least she already has the skills to be independent,” she continued. According to Marta, motivational sessions from her seniors were one of the things that helped her grow in confidence. Before graduating, Marta met Fitri, her senior. Fitri worked at McDonald’s and had traveled overseas. “If she can do it, I can, too.” Marta also admired Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa’s headmaster, Mr. Firza, who always motivates his students.
With the success she has achieved, does she have more wishes? “Now, I am still focused on completing my thesis. But I aspire to have my own business. The distribution company who I work for now is very inspiring. It had gone bankrupt due to fire, but it was able to rise again, successful as ever. I am very impressed. Hopefully my wish to have my own business can be realized,” said Marta optimistically.
It is better to lose my youth than to lose the future. If I lose the future, I won’t be able to go back in time.
A young man who dropped out of school can become a teacher. How could it be? Rizal is a living proof.
Rizal Firmansyah was still in the first year in SMK Al Hamidiyah, Jakarta, when the economic condition of his family was experiencing a difficult time. Kusnadi (his father) worked in the workshop, while Meilinah (his mother) was a vegetable vendor in the market. At that time, the younger sibling continued his education in a private school in the area of West Jakarta. In his mind Rizal immediately imagined the large sum of money that needed to be provided his father. Rizal did not have the heart. Feeling responsible, as the eldest, he decided to quit school. “I have to give in to my brother. I’d feel really bad if he does not go to school,” he said.
He remembered the times when he finally had to help his father run a non-permanent workshop at the edge of Jalan Panjang, Kedoya, Jakarta. Not having a choice, Rizal worked from morning to night. He also began to harbor his dream of becoming a teacher. Almost every afternoon while working in the workshop, Rizal saw children of his age coming home from school with a cheerful face. “I felt both envious and sad. Why couldn’t I be like them,” Rizal questioned in a low tone.
By learning how to sew, we don’t only become tailors, but we can become entrepreneurs and designers.
However, the sense of responsibility surrounded him yet again, so he did not linger over self-pity. He remained working diligently while continuing to seek information about schools at affordable costs. And one day the opportunity finally arrived. A neighbor gave him some information about Rumah Belajar (RB) in Duri Kepa managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB). Rizal was very happy to hear about Rumah Belajar.
Without delay, he immediately went to Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. “I did some tests on some subjects, and the result suggested that I should enroll into grade 3,” said Rizal. “I wondered too, because I dropped out of grade 1. Was it because I was 17 years old?” He added with a smile. Rumah Belajar was not a public school, but Rizal was still grateful, because the cost was very affordable. He felt lucky, for paying so little, he could go to a school with complete facilities. The lecturers also always motivate students to move forward. Mr. Anton was one of his favorite teachers. Thanks to the encouragement of the teachers, besides attending school, Rizal also attended computer training, English, and sewing.
Teaching has become my calling. Teaching also helps me stay young.
He didn’t take his interest in sewing so seriously. “Because a lot of friends participated, I also wanted to learn,” he said. Apparently, it gave him new insights. Sewing lessons started from making bag designs. And that’s when Rizal found a new interest. The sewing class opened the door to the design world that he loved. Rizal liked to try to make bags as he wished. Eventually he was accepting special orders. “I could earn some money while studying, so I was not burdening my parents,” he said proudly.
Provision for Work
After graduating Package C in Rumah Belajar in 2011, Rizal helped his friend open a sewing business. He became a business partner of the friend who got a capital loan from YCAB. But, after joining for eight months, Rizal opted out, because he had not found his true identity. He then worked in a manufacturing company located in Cipadu, Tangerang.
According to the agreement, Rizal was hired as a sewing machine operator to make bags. But in reality, the work he did was not just that. “I was doing so many things. From working on designs, cutting materials, gluing, drawing on materials, and sewing until finally one bag was made,” said Rizal. Although he was not too happy, but he survived three years in the garment manufacturing company, because he didn’t have any other offers then.
Fortunately, God’s plan always happens at the right time. When he was feeling overwhelmed with manufacturing work, Rizal was informed about a D1 college scholarship from YCAB. Rushing, he visited Rumah Belajar, with the intention to find complete information about the scholarship. In Rumah Belajar, he saw his former teacher, Purwanto. Instead of inquiring more about the scholarship, Purwanto offered Rizal to be an assistant in Rumah Jahit. “I replaced Pak Purwanto as a trainer in Rumah Jahit because he was transferred to Pekalongan to manage Rumah Batik,” Rizal said. He was touched. How could he not? In the past, many years ago, Rizal had aspired to become a teacher. Dreams that he had buried because he thought that it was impossible to become a teacher without a degree in education. But now, it turns out, he can teach, even without a college degree.
Calling in Life
Rizal began as a sewing trainer in 2014. He does not only teach YCAB students, but also teaches general students. In Rumah Belajar, sewing materials and equipment are available for free. After being a lecturer for two years, Rizal expresses concerns, seeing many students who feel too proud to learn how to sew. “They think, by studying in Rumah Jahit, the opportunities that they will have later is just working as a tailor. When all the while they can become entrepreneurs. They can also become designers. It’s our job to explain,” Rizal declared.
Until now, Rizal still enjoys being a teacher. “Teaching has become a calling. Teaching can also keep me young,” he said. Once, he taught a male student who attended a private vocational school majoring in automotive. Rizal succeeded in encouraging him to learn how to sew. In fact, he even opened his own business.
Don’t feel too proud to learn how to sew.
From his income as a teacher, Rizal prioritizes his hard work to help his parents. Furthermore, he can still save up some money. And until now, he still receives special orders to make bags, including from the owner of the manufacturing company where he once worked. As a result, his income also doubled. However, Rizal does not seem to want to stop. “I want to learn to draw anime. I’ve seen drawing courses for it on the Internet, but it’s expensive. So I had to postpone it,” he closed the conversation.
Moving On After Dropping Out
What happened in the past is in the past. The important thing now is how to make the present meaningful and how we can be useful in the future.
His name is Singgih Bayu. Usually called Bayu. He is a waiter in 99 Restaurant, Grand Indonesia, Jakarta. He has been a waiter for five years. “Maybe if I did not know Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa, I’d still be unemployed or working as a red brick maker,” he said with a laugh.
His features showed his above-average intelligence. Although quite smart, he had been unemployed as well as working as a red brick maker; all because Bayu had a bad record as a teenager. “I was expelled from school,” Bayu recalled. “At that time, I was still attending 4 Ambarawa Junior High School. I admitted I often skipped classes, because I was having too much fun playing play station. I was addicted. In a week, at most, I went in for two days. As a result, I was expelled from school,” he said. In Ambarawa, Bayu lived with his now deceased grandfather and grandmother, who at the time did not seem too strict in watching over their grandson. After he stopped going to school, Bayu spent his days aimlessly.
I saved my salary and I gave it to the parents.
He most often played with his friends. He was unemployed for about 6-7 months. “After a while, I was not comfortable being unemployed,” Bayu said. “Finally, I decided to join my brother, becoming a red brick maker,” he continued.
Learning About Rumah Belajar
Which parents are willing for their children to be a red brick maker? Budiono (father) who knew his son no longer went to school in Ambarawa, immediately moved Bayu back to Jakarta. He was disappointed to see his son’s condition. “My dad wanted me to go to school. So once I returned to Jakarta and gathered with my family, Dad went around to find me a school,” Bayu said. “Evidently, finding a school for me was not easy. Maybe because I was expelled from school in the past,” he recalled. Budiono worked as a courier. He wanted his son to be educated. Not giving up, he went to several schools. Until one day, while delivering goods in the area of Duri Kepa, Budiono saw Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa, which was managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) Foundation. Soon, he was inquiring for information about Rumah Belajar. Once he learned more about Rumah Belajar, Budiono signed Bayu up for school. Not wanting to disappoint his father, Bayu obeyed his father’s request.
Because he had no junior high school diploma, Bayu must take Package B. Apparently, Bayu really liked studying in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. He felt comfortable there. Not satisfied with the Package B diploma, Bayu also continued to the next level, which was high school until he graduated. While studying, he gained new skills by taking computer and English courses. It was not known why Bayu seemed to be so eager learning in Rumah Belajar; must be because of the interesting teaching system, or because it was the right school. Although he finally received his Package C diploma, he still took another course. “I took the hospitality course from Bina Nusantara which was once a week,” said Bayu.
This hospitality course brought him to an internship at PT Sejahtera Eka Mandiri, which then placed Bayu in 99 Restaurant. This is the way his life is. After holding the hospitality certificate from Bina Nusantara, Bayu then started his career as an employee in 99 Restaurant in 2011. “My job at that time was just helping, including lifting dishes and dirty glasses,” Bayu explained.
However, over time, perseverance and work ethics shown by Bayu managed to reward him a promotion as a waiter. “I feel at home and happy to work here, especially since I’ve had the opportunity to learn to make coffee,” Bayu added. “But, unfortunately until now there has been no opportunity to become a barista. And I really want to be a barista. Hopefully my dream can be realized someday,” he continued hopefully.
While waiting for that opportunity to come, Bayu tried to work as well as possible. “At least I hope to be promoted to be a senior waiter here, because I like my co-workers and the work environment,” Bayu explained. “Moreover, by working here, I can help my parents, save up, and buy two motorcycles,” he said proudly.
With the achievements that have been obtained, Bayu feels very grateful for his life at this time. “All my life I will never forget the services of YCAB. For that, I thank all the teachers in Rumah Belajar and Mrs. Veronica. If I did not go to school in Rumah Belajar, I couldn’t possibly get the job that I have right now. Besides, I was expelled from school in the past. Who wants to accept someone with a bad record?” Bayu said. YCAB had a special place in Bayu’s heart. “I’ve been to Australia to raise funds for YCAB,” said the man who was skilful in percussion, with a cheerful expression. “Until now I did not know the reason why I could be selected to go abroad,” said Bayu. “Maybe because of my exciting life story? Or maybe it is because people are curious about my experiences, who can work when I only have a Package C diploma? I do not know. What’s certain was, I could go abroad, again thanks to YCAB. I will never forget YCAB,” he promised.
If I didn’t find out about Rumah Belajar, perhaps I’d still be a red brick maker even now.
Gaining Knowledge Without Hesitation
It doesn’t matter which school; the important thing is that the school diploma is legitimate. There is no need to be inferior because of school diplomas, because the important thing is refined knowledge.
When she graduated from the Mitra Reformasi Junior High School in 2005 in Kembangan, West Jakarta, Neneng Julia Rizky was immediately searching for another school. Sadly, some of the private high schools she went to, cost a fortune. Unfortunately, to enter the public school, her grades were not good enough. She was restless. The desire to go to school was burning up within her. However, if the cost was expensive, where could she get the money?
In the midst of her anxiety, a friend told her about Rumah Belajar (RB) in Duri Kepa. Neneng enthusiastically listened in that Rumah Belajar provided learning facilities. She immediately went to Rumah Belajar (RB) Duri Kepa. She fell in love at the first sight, and decided to continue her education at RB owned by YCAB Foundation. Its complete facilities, on par with regular schools, made Neneng excited. Her parents were supportive, especially because the cost of learning was very affordable, and the location was not far from home.
Neneng took the Package C class, the equivalent of high school. Her studying schedule remained like a regular school, from morning to noon. “In the early days there was a sense of shock, because it was different than public schools. Especially at that time, Rumah Belajar was newly established, with only a few students. I belong to an early generation of students in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa,” Neneng said.
Opening Up Opportunities
The advantage of going to Rumah Belajar was it offered vocational courses for its students, so that students could have a choice of activities other than learning. Neneng did not waste the opportunity, immediately joining the salon course. She learned that she had the patience and thoroughness doing hair care and body treatments. When Neneng was in the third grade, Rumah Belajar awarded a scholarship program for a course in Rudi Hadisuwarno Salon. The course was conducted in Bulungan, Blok M, South Jakarta.
The youngest child is identified as a spoiled child, but not so with Neneng. On the contrary, she is very independent and she makes her parents proud.
After graduation, the scholarship recipients were assigned to be trainers at Rumah Cantik (RC) salon in Kedoya, West Jakarta. “Two friends and I were selected by the teacher to receive the scholarship. So, towards the final exam, my schedule was overwhelming. I must study for exams as well as the course,” Neneng recalled.
But Neneng stayed encouraged. She even spurred herself to be more active and more diligent. In the mornings, she attended Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. In the afternoons, she was in Blok M for the course. “Sometimes I stayed in late,” said Neneng. The routine ran from Monday to Friday. “Schools and coursework were draining. Sometimes I had to struggle not to fall asleep,” Neneng recalled.
I never thought that I could get a scholarship.
She understood, only with such hard work that she could change the life of her family. Hard work always brought brilliant results. Neneng passed the equivalent of high school and passed the exam course in Rudi Hadisuwarno Salon. She soon became a trainer at RC. By becoming a trainer, she could automatically earn her own income. At such a young age, as a high school graduate, Neneng managed to be independent, no longer dependent on her parents. Neneng was excited about her days as a trainer. She enjoyed the process of sharing knowledge with others. Students studying in RC were not only limited to students in Rumah Belajar only, but there were also general students.
Neneng pioneered the opening of a salon serving the general public. In this salon, students could practice what they had learned. This was certainly a fun new challenge, because students used non-mannequin models. If clients were not satisfied, they could complain. But, on the bright side, clients paid for the services of the students. “I taught and served customers. I also oversaw students who were serving clients. If there was something wrong, I jumped in and helped out,” said Neneng. As a trainer at RC, Neneng became a part of YCAB.
As she earned money working, so she was able to finance her own tuition in Universitas Indonesia Esa Unggul, majoring in Public Relations. Unfortunately, due to time and space constraints, RC’s “open to all” salon did not last long. Due to many obstacles, the existence of RC was restored again as before, as a place of learning. By 2015, she was moved to the YCAB Business Lab section. Business Lab is a kind of program that prepares business plans from several courses held by RB so that every program is sustainable. What she is doing right now is the Business Lab for Rumah Jahit. As a coordinator, Neneng should try to cover the operational cost of Rumah Jahit. She is to market a variety of Rumah Jahit’s products. “There are 11 products made from the basic material of denim. Pouches, yoga mats, clutches, iPad cases … we can make it all,” said Neneng. She also came up with new ideas, such as combining denim with batik or songket. “The majority of consumers are companies. And companies can place orders from Rumah Jahit, because the orders are quite a lot. Additionally, we also receive goody bag orders,” she added.
Optimistically Looking at The Future
Both parents are very proud of Neneng’s achievements. Of course, at a relatively young age, Neneng has managed to finance her own college tuition. As the youngest daughter, she has proved her determination to be independent. The girl born on July 17, 1990 shows the advantages of studying in Rumah Belajar. “If there are neighbors who are having financial difficulties, I encourage them to attend Rumah Belajar. I always emphasize that Rumah Belajar is good,” said Neneng.
She felt the confidence and opportunity to learn in Rudy Hadisuwarno Salon as a golden opportunity that was beneficial for the journey of her life. When the neighbors held a wedding, Neneng was trusted to handle bridal makeup as well as the bride’s family. “The price is reasonable,” said Neneng. “But I am happy, because my skills can be useful to others.” She is grateful to be able to get extra allowance from her makeup and hair styling services. Neneng believes that Rumah Belajar helped her get to where she is now. “The confidence from YCAB for the course in Rudi Hadisuwarno makes me feel lucky and this is my motivation to continue studying non-stop,” Neneng explained gratefully.
Putting His Hope Up in Batik
Because he loves batik, Agung established his career and picked up his dream of success by learning to make batik.
Many people believe that you can find your soulmate anywhere. Just look at Agung Prasetyo’s experience related to where he is now. Agung was involved with Rumah Batik of PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure, Tbk (Rumah Batik TBIG) managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB), accidentally.
“One day I met Pak Pur on the street. At that time, Pak Pur was looking for students to learn to make batik. Then, he invited me to join in Rumah Batik TBIG,” Agung said. Pak Pur in question was Slamet Purwanto. Since 2014, Purwanto has been in charge of Rumah Belajar TBIG located in Wiradesa Village, Pekalongan. Living in a city famous for its Pesisir batik production, Agung was already familiar with batik since childhood. However, the fourth child of seven siblings was not interested in learning the process of making batik.
Like young people his age, Agung was more interested in being a factory worker, not a batik craftsman. After the education of Package C in Pokjar Tirto Jaya, Pekalongan, he worked as a laborer in a scarf making company. His job was coloring.
“I remembered once, Pak Pur said ‘There are more people who come to Pekalongan to look for batik than veils. Let’s learn in Rumah Batik,’”Agung recounted. “Pak Pur’s words immediately hit the heart,” he continued.
I am not successful yet, but I’m sure, someday, I’ll be a success.
Although Pekalongan and batik have long been inseparable, when the son of the now deceased father Kaelan, and Durotun decided to learn batik in RB TBIG, there was an objection. “My mother did not agree, because I had to quit my job,” said Agung. “Indeed, because I stopped working, I could no longer earn money. Though all this time I always gave my parents some money every week, although not much, because my wages were quite low. For every kodi I got eight thousand rupiah and I could finish 4-5 kodi per day,” he continued.
However, the objections of the mother did not discourage Agung to learn batik. “I wanted to be able to make batik, because I wanted to be a successful batik entrepreneur,” said Agung sincerely.
The SMP Negeri 1 Wonokerto Pekalongan graduate then enrolled in Rumah Belajar TBIG in 2015, as the first generation of students. “Since I first came to school, I was amazed. Why? Because I did not have to pay for school at all. All materials had been prepared,” said Agung. “And when I joined Package C, I had to pay Rp10.000 per month. Just for school only. There were no additional charges,” Agung added.
He was also keen to learn the design of batik, batik coloring, refinement, management, business, marketing management. He is now preparing for an exhibition that will run for four months in RB TBIG. “However, not all students learned the material, because there were a few who quit in the middle of the road. We started with 15 students, only 5 people made it through graduation,” said Agung. “I did not know what cause it. Possibly because they were not patient enough and more comfortable to be a laborer and they could earn money regularly,” said Agung.
The level of interest of young people to learn batik is still low today. According to Agung, RB TBIG students mostly came from boarding schools and orphanages. No friends and neighbors were interested. They preferred to work in factories. In fact, learning hours to make batik in RB TBIG was flexible, it could accommodate the schedule of students who worked. But, still rarely anyone was interested.
Admittedly, batik making is a process that requires a lot of patience. “The process nyanting is the most difficult process for me. Just imagine, the batik must be redrawn, meaning following the design that has been made, using hot wax with a different canting. (writing tool)
My dream is to be a successful entrepreneur, so I can make my mother and family happy.
If done carelessly, the shape of the motif will be imperfect,” said Agung. Besides nyanting, there is another process that was also no less challenging, namely coloring. “Especially using natural dyes. The result is somewhat difficult to predict. Those who do not understand must ask why the color is less ‘bright’,” Agung explained expressively, illustrating colors that came out not as bright.
The problem of natural dyes not only caused the colors to not appear as bright, but also on the application. “Indigo color is the most challenging color. The difficulty level to apply on cloth is more difficult than yellow or red,” said Agung. “And I’ve been using natural dyes that are ready to use. It’s unthinkable if I had to make my own natural dyes,” he laughed.
Embracing The Future
After mastering the making of batik, Agung is now accepting batik orders for dresses and shawls. “Clients or customers can personalize their batik; made out of silk fabric, mori cloth, primis cotton or others. They can also choose between natural dyes or chemical,” said Agung. “I can work on hand-made batik and printed batik,” he added. How about the price? “Depending on the complexity of the motifs and colors used. Of course, if the motif is difficult, with a lot of details, needing to go through the process of dyeing many times, then the price will be more expensive than the simple motif with fewer colors,” said Agung diplomatically.
Having to go through intricate process, it is only reasonable if the price of a piece of batik is expensive. For that matter, buyers or consumers understand that making a piece of batik cloth can take about a month, sometimes even up to half a year. Batik is like a work of art that needs a long process in the making. However, there is still a choice of batik for buyers who want batik with more affordable price, namely printed batik. “The price of printed batik, again depending on the complexity of the motif, especially if the motive is rather special. The more complicated the design of the motif, the price will be more expensive,” Agung explained. Of course the works of students of RB TBIG must also be marketed. So far, Agung has been marketing his batik through social media. “I will ask buyers to pay half of the price upfront, because now I have no capital at all,” said Agung.
He also promoted his batik by participating in exhibitions, including in Jakarta. Even today, Agung is preparing 10 pieces of batik cloth that YCAB ordered for TBIG guests. Although at a glance he looks independent, but Agung admits that he is not yet financially independent. His earnings are unpredictable, so he has not been able to help his unemployed mother financially.
As a novice entrepreneur, Agung still has a long way to go. A strong will and tremendous patience are needed to be successful. Agung is very hopeful that YCAB will always be willing to provide capital assistance. “I need some capital, at least until I am completely independent. And fortunately now YCAB cooperatives are willing to accept our works. This means the cooperative has helped to market our work,” he said eagerly.
When there is a will, there’s definitely a way
Who says sewing is a woman’s job? Men can do it, too, even better. Dani Pramana proves it.
The journey of one’s life could never be predicted, including the journey of Dani Pramana. The absence of the cost to go to school almost made him hopeless, but hope was always there for those who want to try. Dani was still a child then. He just graduated from elementary school (SD). However, his parents said that they could not afford Dani’s education to the junior high level (SMP). Little Dani was sad, of course. But he did not want to surrender to his fate. He felt that he had to get out of his difficulties, because he did not want to end up like his father, Disri, who worked as a construction worker. He spontaneously followed the advice of friends who lived in his neighborhood who were studying at Rumah Belajar (RB) Duri Kepa. “My friends invited me to join them. So without hesitation, I immediately registered,” said Dani. The important thing was going back to school, he thought to himself.
Pursuing After Package B and C
Because Dani graduated from elementary school, he automatically joined Package B program, which was equivalent to Junior High School. The first child of three siblings admitted initially he did not follow the lessons in RB managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) too seriously. “But after a while, I started to have fun at school. Moreover, I had some friends at school. Solidarity among students was great,” said Dani. “Since I felt comfortable, I became more serious and diligent,” he recalled with a smile. He even joined some courses. Dani chose a sewing course, again based on his friend’s invitation.
If we only dream and imagine things, but do nothing, what good is that for? Our lives depend on ourselves.
Probably because he initially was just following his friends, Dani took the course half-heartedly and often skipped classes. “I got chased by the teacher,” he recalled with a laugh. “But RB was really great. My teachers were patient and continued to motivate me, and I was changed. My teachers said ‘sewing is a job that will not go extinct, and the more creative the tailor, the more promising the future will be’,” Dani recalled.
Self-motivation was not the only thing that made this single man born in Lampung, May 19, 1995 became diligent. “The course’s material was getting more and more interesting. Finally, I was no longer skipping classes,” said Dani seriously. “I found a new passion. It turned out sewing was really exciting,” he added. Going to school while taking sewing course did not make Dani forget his responsibility to study. High spirits and a pleasant environment made Dani always enthusiastic about going to Rumah Belajar. “From grade 1 to grade 3, I excelled, and got into the top three,” said Dani. These achievements produced unexpected results. “From grade 2 to grade 3, I received a scholarship from YCAB,” Dani said. After passing Package B in 2012, Dani continued to take Package C, also in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. However, just a few months after having a taste of school equivalent to high school, Dani was offered by his teacher to attend International Training Garment Center in Bogor. The training program was organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and lasted for two months.
After the training, Dani received a job offer. But Dani refused, because he wanted to go back to school. When returning to school, it was near the final exam time of the semester. Faced with many tasks, Dani who had just gone to training missed a lot of his classes. “I was clueless. Obviously I had missed the lectures. I did my exam to the best of my ability,” Dani said. The result as he already expected, was not good. However, when he retook the exam, his grade increased, but that semester Dani did not get a scholarship. The incident became a whip for Dani. Eager to turn the situation around, Dani studied harder in his second semester. His efforts paid off. Dani was again entitled to a scholarship from YCAB up to the third grade.
Apparently, during second grade, one of the few compulsory subjects at school was sewing. RB even brought in master trainers who then invited students to work on orders from outside parties. “The lesson was deepened and we were doing more practice. When working on orders, we got paid. The money could be used to meet personal needs, so there was no need to ask our parents for money,” said Dani cheerfully.
Sewing can make money. There’s no need to go to the office because it can be done at home.
Being able to be a little bit more independent made Dani more enthusiastic to learn sewing. “Teachers motivated us by telling us that sewing could make money. There was no need to go to the office. This activity could be done at home,” said Dani mimicking the words of his teacher. According to Dani, sewing clothes tend to be easier than sewing bags, because almost 95% of the time, he only has to sew straight to make clothes. “In contrast to making or sewing bags. In accordance with the shape of the bag, there are a circle, an oval, or a rectangle. Especially for a small bag or pouch, the sewing is more complicated,” said Dani. “In addition, bag materials also tend to be thicker than clothing or shirts. Hence handbag makers are mostly male, because physically they tend to be stronger than female,” he added.
On The Road to Success
When he had finished Package C in RB Duri Kepa, Dani tried to work as a janitorial supply shopkeeper. Until finally in 2015, there was a teacher from YCAB who came to Dani’s house to discuss about working at YCAB. “I immediately rejoined YCAB. This time not as a student, but as a staff member,” said Dani with a twinkle of happiness on his face that could not be hidden.
Family is my passion for learning and working.
Dani is placed in the bag production section. “There is a supervisor who receives orders from customers my friends and I make the bags and fulfill the orders,” Dani said. His family became his passion to keep learning and working. “After my mom passed away in 2010, my dad had been living alone. My brothers, Aldi (16 years) lives in Pandeglang and Rangga (6 years) lives with my grandmother,” said Dani. “The kind of bags we produce are clutches, tote bags, and goodie bags,” he continued. This work not only makes him independent, but he can also help his family.
As the first child of three siblings, Dani assumes the task of sustaining the family’s economy as his responsibility. “All of them rely on me,” he continued. “My success is when I can help my dad financially including making him and the whole family happy,” he said wisely.
Everything starts from a dream. The next step is to consistently pursue and realize the dream.
Information Technology (IT) Staff for Information System (IS) at YCAB’s office. That is the answer that will be given by a man named Renaldi, when asked what his job is now. “My responsibility is to update the YCAB website content,” Renaldi said proudly.
It’s only natural if Renaldi feels proud. He is also grateful for his life now. How could he not? Still recorded clearly in his mind, the struggle he had to go through after finishing High School, four years ago. “In 2012, as I recall, there was no free high school. As a result, my mother was struggling to look for an affordable school. My parents struggled financially. My dad was only a Bajaj (tuk tuk) serviceman who sometimes became a Bajaj driver, while mom did not work,” said Renaldi. “So, high cost became the obstacle to continue school,” he added.
Fortunately, Renaldi’s mom remembered having a friend whose son was an alumnus of Rumah Belajar. “Mother also asked about YCAB school. After getting the information, Mom concluded, YCAB was the right place for me. My mom told me that ‘there are various courses there’. Finally, my mother enrolled me in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa,” Renaldi added.
Like a public school, Rumah Belajar (RB) Duri Kepa, located in West Jakarta, conducted admission tests to determine the ability of prospective students. “But, actually the test score is not very important. As long as the student is motivated, RB will be able to help. What is seen is the spirit of the child; whether he wants to learn or not,” said Renaldi. “So, even if the test result was bad, but the student seemed to potentially want to change for the better, he would be accepted,” continued the first son of Warti and Wahidin firmly.
In addition to the Package C school, Renaldi also utilized his skills by taking the computer course. The man who was born on December 28, 1966 mentioned that he was interested in technology. According to him, teaching materials in the computer course in RB prioritized theory rather than practice. Many lessons were given, such as basic electronics devices, maintenance techniques, minor troubleshooting, and how to fix it.
The learning system set by RB was very attractive for Renaldi. “The location of Rumah Belajar Samsung was adjacent to Rumah Belajar, so once there was a vocational lesson, we just moved to the next building,” he said. Indeed, many children took advantage of RB, so the number of students increased rapidly, which made the space feel tighter. While Renaldi was happily studying, he was faced with a stumbling block. Renaldi’s family’s home, which was originally in Gandaria area, South Jakarta, was moved to Serpong, Banten. “Initially, I just needed to ride TransJakarta, suddenly I had to ride the commuter line first, and then took the TransJakarta bus. The commuting time was longer and the fare became more expensive,” he said.
Although he was troubled because of the change of residence, the spirit of Renaldi to continue school remained high. His principle is: ‘if you have stepped forward, never
look back and do not stop in the middle of the road ‘. With his belief in YCAB’s good credibility, Renaldi was determined to finish his education. “It is unlikely that I could get all the knowledge I gained, including the courses I attended in Rumah Belajar, from other schools. Why? Because in Rumah Belajar, the fee was almost free,” Renaldi explained. Therefore, Renaldi learned earnestly.
The Dream Job
In 2015 Renaldi graduated from RB. New problems confronted him. Renaldi wanted to work, but he did not yet have a Citizen Identity Card (KTP). “Creating an ID card costs a lot. We could not afford it. My dad and mom had no ID and Family Card (KK),” Renaldi explained. Having no choice, the man who loved technology and science chose to do nothing at home, while looking for a way to find work.
Luckily, Retno, the YCAB’s sports teacher contacted him. “Retno is a good person. She knew my circumstances and offered me a job at the YCAB office,” Renaldi said. He of course did not waste the golden opportunity. Although he didn’t quite like his first assignment, Renaldi accepted the job offer. To him, the job was promising. “It felt awful to be unemployed for three months. It was a blessing to be able to work,” he said.
Initially Renaldi was assigned to the Marketing and Communication (Marcom) department. “I felt like I was forcing myself. Fortunately, a few months after that my supervisor recognized my potential in the IT field. Finally, I was moved to the IT, Information System department. I was very happy,” Renaldi said with sparkling eyes. In RB, Renaldi learned everything about hardware. “However, now, I am in charge of software, among others is to update the YCAB website content. So now I have to learn programming. Whenever there is spare time, I use it to learn programming to utilize my skills,” said Renaldi.
For Renaldi, learning something new is not a problem. “Any science would be useful though it might not currently be applicable. Someday it will do some good. For an example, if a computer is broken, I can fix it myself, there’s no need to spend extra money for repairs,” Renaldi explained. “After getting a job, I feel happier. If my sibling asks for snacks, I can buy some and if my parents ask for money, I can help,” he added. Renaldi’s happiness was evident when he and his parents now have KTP and KK. Being part of the YCAB family is greatly appreciated by Renaldi. “The family culture at YCAB office is very strong.
It’s very important to have a KTP to work. Because without it, one’s job application will surely be rejected despite the diploma.
When someone left, it felt like parting with family or relatives, not colleagues,” said Renaldi. When asked if he still has a dream for his future, he replied, “Yes, but I’m not sure. My dreams are still changing.” He added that he is currently enjoying the learning process of programming languages. “So, now, my goal is to be a good programmer, because a programmer can create a new programming language. In fact, it’s possible that a programmer becomes a software scientist. I want to be a scientist,” the avid reader optimistically stated.