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.