Living in a developing country with high population growth, maintaining a decent living becomes a difficult challenge. The industry is highly competitive with companies demanding higher competence. With so many people fighting for a job, many are left with unstable incomes, unfair wages or even jobless.
As families are struggling to stand on their feet, children are also left to minimize their needs. They focus on fulfilling the essentials: food, shelter, clothing and protection. Things like education and future guidance are forced to be less prioritized, even if they long for it.
In other words, pointing that education can be the key out of poverty isn’t necessarily practical. People who live under the poverty line have limited access to their educational right. They need support to achieve it which initially is in the form of funding.
One of our communities, Yayasan Mata Air, is reaching out to their local community in Cinere, Depok, Indonesia. The founders, dr. Heru Prasetyo Kasidi and Meutia, saw that many orphaned and underprivileged children living in their community and was unable to get access to education, where the children actually held potential within. Therefore, the couple started Yayasan Mata Air to help the children by providing access to education, in the hope that they will contribute positively towards the Cinere community in general.
The Indonesian government only require a compulsory education of 12 years (high school level), However, realistically speaking, even those who hold college degrees still find it hard to get a decent paying job. This is why Yayasan Mata Air tries to provide education up to the point where the children can be independent and improve their living quality.
Established 20 years ago, the foundation has now cared for around 70 children, ranging from 7 to 20 years old. They have provided many of their children up to college degrees, from Midwifery, Civil Engineering, Fine Arts, IT, Islamic Scholar and so on. One of the children who have finished an engineering degree have even earned a master’s scholarship abroad and started an engineering consultant agency.
Aside from financial support, Yayasan Mata Air also give spiritual course of Quran reciting, so that the children will be morally and spiritually guided towards the good deeds. They taught life skills as well, such as English and handicrafts. The members wish to expand these additional courses in the future, so they could facilitate wider access to education for the children to maximize their potential.
In the long term, they wish to continuously provide educational funds for their children. They also hope that the children can later give back to the community in Cinere and perhaps provide jobs for the other unprivileged residents.
However, the foundation’s income still rely heavily on the founders’ private family fund. This impacts on how many children they can reach and support. Therefore, they will need more hands to help them expand their reach and support.