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.