Safe storage

Promoting healthy money management

A hubub of voices accompanied by jingling coins; dust and exhaust; the lingering aroma each time a motorcycle passes, following the screech of rails. “Train, train! Stop!” Residents by the railway track shout at motorcyclists wanting to cross. This is the railway’s edge near Duri Station, Kalianyar, where a handful of families find the food, clothing and shelter they need to live.

Asep Gunawan works for a cottage clothing manufacturer in Kalianyar, and on the side sorts organic and non-organic waste near the railway tracks. The 23-year-old is a member of the savings group started by the YPP community centre in Kalianyar and now managed by a local leader named Pak Ujang.

“I don’t have a bank account, but I plan to (because my savings keep growing). I used to just stash my money at home. But I started to save once we had the savings group, so I don’t use it for non-necessities. If I keep it at home, I can’t resist spending it,” Asep explains while sitting in a warung food stall at the edge of the tracks.

“I plan to use my savings for needs in the fasting month. It’s also good to be prepared for sickness,” he adds, hurrying off to work. Asep works from 8 am through 9 at night, every day.

One of the benefits of the railway savings group is that it promotes sound money management. Not all those who live by the tracks have become members; but Asep sees the benefit of the savings group not only as a means to save. He intends to open his own bank account once his balance grows larger.

Asep saves regularly, and it’s not surprising that he has the highest savings in the group. This is our hope, not only for Asep, but for all who live by the railway tracks of Kalianyar.

 

My second home

By Randi Sanjaya

The many benefits of learning English at the English Zone

I officially became a member of the English Zone in February 2010. When I became an EZ member there were many English skills I still needed to improve. At the EZ I met with many young people from Indonesia and from other countries who loved to talk, and new friends who wanted to develop their English languge abilities. In the English Zone I meet many new people, have many close friends, and attend special events every month. Long story short, in this group we have evolved into friends, students, and siblings. I cannot say how much the EZ has shaped me into the person I am now, I am so grateful. It is a base camp where people with the motivation to learn English can gather.

Being able to speak English makes us stand out, in college, in seminars, in competitions, even in the workplace. Other opportunities surface when we have this skill. By speaking English we are able to access and understand information more quickly, communicate globally, and make friends. Many members have been able to travel to other countries because they enjoy speaking English and are able to do so well.

Personally, I was fortunate to be able to speak in English while I was in university. I could understand English books, I succeeded in campus competitions because of my English presentations, and I got an internship at one of the largest energy companies in the world.

The benefit that now makes me so grateful that I came to the English Zone was when I graduated from college and began looking for a job. Since my goal was to find a job in a multinational company, I applied to several. Being able to speak English in interviews was a great benefit, because it was a requirement for these positions. I passed screening interviews from two multinational companies and was able to move forward to the next selection process.

EZ is my second home, and it will always be home for me.

I want to be well

Ibu Haria’s story

My name is Ibu Haria. I am 39 years old and I live in the village of Teluk Kanidai. I suffered from cataracts starting in 2012. Because of my illness, I had trouble working and I was restricted in my everyday activities. The drop in my income significantly affected my family. Normally, I worked in a plantation and I tapped rubber trees, but it became too difficult.

Frightening stories

I had heard that cataracts can be fixed with an operation, but there were many terrible stories circulating from another village about the procedure. They said that your eyes would be removed from their sockets and that the “grey area” would be scraped away until it was gone. After this, the eye would be cleansed with water and then placed back in the socket. They even said that the eye would be totally soaked with water and scrubbed clean before being put back.

I heard stories like this very often and it traumatized me. I decided that I would rather not have this surgery since it made me very afraid. Just the thought of it gave me the shivers! It sounded horrible.

Beginning to feel safe

All of this changed when the team from YPP came to my house. They explained the way cataract surgery  actually works, and it was totally different from way I had been hearing! They reassured me that this was a minor, safe operation and that I did not need to be afraid. Finally, after quickly praying for God’s blessing, I agreed to be helped by YPP and undergo the operation.

Right now, thanks be to Allah, I am able to see clearly and go about my regular activities. I am able to work in my rubber plantation again and I help my husband support our family. Thank you Allah, and thank you YPP.