When orphaned children enter an orphanage, they are safe and well provided. However, they can’t live in the orphanage forever, can they? Orphanages’ main mission is to be a shelter for children, not adults. So, when they reached adulthood (or teenage-hood, in fact) they have to start their own life. This is the real, long-term challenge for orphaned children.
As they lack of parental guidance and support, it’s hard to guarantee that they can provide for themselves decently among the competitive real life. There is something we can do for them, if not becoming their parents, as you may read here. One of our communities have realised this problem and have taken an impactful action for it.
Yayasan Prima Unggul (YPU) is a foundation that focuses on building self-reliability of orphaned and children coming from underprivileged backgrounds. The foundation envisioned to produce 10.000 independent humans from the underprivileged and orphans, be it as an entrepreneur or other contribution in the society. Thus, they apply an entrepreneurship-based education system to direct the children to become providers of employment or employees with positive and contributing mindset. They also work in parallel with the national curriculum and standards.
The main differentiator in YPU’s system, besides the purpose, is that they give a contextual education regarding social, cultural and historical aspects. Since their aim isn’t merely to achieve academic recognition, they focus instead on character building, leadership, mindset and anything that will practically come of use for the children to compete in the ‘real’ world. So, growing the children’s natural talents by providing a platform and systematic guidance for them.
Started in 2011 on the initiative of Martinus Masurdi Gea, the foundation has now work with orphanages in remote areas across Indonesia. Besides school, the children are also given the chance to professionally practice their interests through YPU’s business units, which were started by the students themselves from the earlier batches.
They now have a catering service of “Lumbung Selera” and motorbike cleaning service. Then, students who are keen in performing arts are trained in terms of singing, dancing and acting. They have even released a music album called “Menggapai Angan” (Reaching for the Dreams), produced a musical drama and receive calls for events: weddings, birthdays, religious processions, formal ceremonies and so on.
Every student at YPU must show their determination and progress along the process of character building and education. If they fail to do so within a certain measured period, YPU has to return them to their hometown or origin orphanage. By doing this, YPU shows the students how competitive the real world can be.