School and shoes for Reni and Remi

We first went to collect information from Teluk Kanidai in 2012. This was difficult and confusing at first, because they speak a local dialect called bahasa Ocu. Despite the difficulties, our passion and excitement were not shaken.

We met Pak Saprudin and his family and they soon began asking questions, “Why are you here?” and “Where are you from?” When we introduced Yayasan Pendar Pagi and our interest in meeting with less fortunate families they brought us to their own house.

Their home was dilapidated and their lives were very difficult. This was because Pak Saprudin could only use one hand after being injured in a motorbike accident. He was still passionate about making a living for his family, but he needed a great deal of help. As a result, their oldest child never graduated from elementary school. He was forced to drop out in order to help his father make money. Their second and third children are still in third and fourth grade, but they also help the family make ends meet. After school they help their parents make and sell treats.

Today, this family is very grateful. With the help of Yayasan Pendar Pagi, the family is able to afford schoolbooks, writing tools, and shoes for their children.

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.


Kalianyar Community Day 2015

NEWS | Community Day 29 November 2015

Kalianyar Community Day is an annual event involving the wider Kalianyar community. On the afternoon of Sunday, 29 November 2105, YPP brought a focus on education assisted by some 20 volunteers, both from within and outside Kalianyar. Activities included colouring competitions in two categories; “keen observation” for grades 4-6; an educational campaign; garbage pickup involving local children; and, to close out the festivities, a men’s cooking competition.

Education opens doors

In the educational campaign, Mr Stuart shared that elementary school graduates earn less than junior secondary graduates, and senior high graduates earn less than those with a bachelor’s degree. This was to encourage local residents to understand the importance of formal education. YPP also shared about the benefits of acquiring informal education to equip themselves with necessary skills. The mother of Raja, the child who won first prize in the “keen observation” competition, commented, “Raja’s a smart kid, but he is shy in front of people. God willing I will do everything I can to put him through school.”

Caring for the environment, building community

YPP shared a second important lesson, love for a clean environment, by inviting the children as a group to pick up garbage the length of Kalianyar 8 Street to Kalianyar market. A local resident was impressed: “That’s excellent, teaching the kids to pick up garbage, so that they can learn about sanitation and not toss out their garbage carelessly.”

The fried rice cooking competition was a sensation! Usually it’s the women who cook, but this time we invited the men to show us what they could do. Several joined the competition to make the healthiest and tastiest fried rice. The final product was evaluated by Ibu Kafiah, chair of local neighbourhood 09: “The rice is delicious and the presentation is also good. Who would have guessed that the men could cook, too!”

bapak-bapak masak
anak-anak pungut sampah

Fried rice produced by the male chefs

Children picking up garbage on Kalianyar 8 Street

“When it rains outside, it rains inside”

When finances are tight, putting food on the table comes first and other expenses go on hold. And when things are tight for years on end, once sturdy houses can fall into perilous disrepair, with crumbling walls, gaping leaks, and structural decay threatening collapse.

So it was for three families in a Bekasi Regency village whom YPP knew through a work relationship. “When it rains outside, it also rains inside,” said Bapak Taqi, a father of five. Their neighbours across the way showed us the structural mayhem inflicted by termites.

In discussion with these families, the YPP team arranged for partial financing of home repair loans. Of the total amount available, half would be repayable in fortnightly installments, coinciding with their paydays, over a couple of years.

One of the conditions for receiving the loan was successful completion of three months of “savings” payments, in order to demonstrate their ability and commitment to making the repayments. All three families met these criteria, and the loan was released at the beginning of September 2013.

Each family decided what repairs were necessary, and within weeks all the renovations had been completed. The outcome has been overwhelmingly positive, with significant improvements to their homes being carried out efficiently and wisely.

One man dismantled his entire collapsing roof and erected a fresh, termite-free wood frame covered in durable roof-sheeting. Another thoughtfully decided to build one concrete-walled, waterproof room in the centre of his bamboo-walled house as the first part of the new home that he hopes he will eventually have.

The changes were dramatic, to our shared delight! All the more so as the months have passed: rainy seasons have brought heavy downpours and floods and the family with the new roof have stayed dry, while the family with the waterproof room have been able to take shelter with their small grandson from the knee-high floods.

One family sought supplementary loans from friends, which meant they were able to change bamboo matting for concrete breeze block walls for part of the kitchen, and replace the entranceway that was in dangerous condition. Their kitchen and bathroom still need work, but the rain doesn’t come in any more, and they are able to sleep in peace without fear of tiles falling on their heads. This is a big first step, and we hope they will do more when they can.

All the recipients of the loan have been diligent in making repayments, in one case exceeding what is required so that the loan can be repaid more quickly.