On 11 May, American Women’s Association (AWA) visited an informal study group, Sekolah Kami, which provides education for trash pickers and underprivileged children. The organisation is located on the outskirts of Jakarta. The visit, which also included lunch for the students at the organisation, included discussions on collaborative efforts between AWA and Sekolah Kami.
Founded by Dr. Irina Amongpradja in 2001, Sekolah Kami was selected as the recipient of the fund from the 2017 Angel Tree Luncheon, AWA’s biggest fundraiser of the year for the past 13 years in Jakarta.
The luncheon event was started by a small group of ladies who wanted an enjoyable way to raise much needed funds to support yayasan (foundations) in Indonesia. They decided that the luncheon was a great way to kick off the festivities before the holiday season by getting together and raising awareness of communities in need. The AWA’s Social Welfare Committee will choose three foundations as the recipents. This year, all proceeds from the luncheon will go to Sekolah Kami which currently has about 120 students from grades one to nine.
Sekolah Kami provides children of the trash picker communities of East Jakarta basic education and vocational skill such as sewing, soap making and various handicrafts to earn a living. The school is financed through the sale of products made from recycled goods and the artwork of students in addition to donations and sponsorships. The core curriculum of the school is reading, writing, math, English and social science.
Before having lunch together with the children, AWA members visited the school, under the guidance of Dr. Irina, and spoke to students and members of the surrounding communities.
The AWA members also surveyed the progress of the school facilities particularly the kitchen and bathrooms, newly renovated facilities for which AWA helped raise around IDR 53 million. The funds were also used to purchase supplies and equipment and helped pay for an English teacher at the school for six months.
“We have been privileged to work with Sekolah Kami and this is such a great organization. This organization is so good for the children and is kind of an oasis in their lives. They can come and just feel at peace, are safe and enjoy their time and there is so much warmth here. We love being able to support them. Our largest charity fundraiser this year went to Sekolah Kami, and with that we’ve worked with Ibu Irina on multiple projects and improvements in the school. Irina works so tirelessly and she is doing an amazing job making a positive change in the lives of these children. We are excited to complete the projects we have worked so hard on this year and to continue to support Sekolah Kami in the work they are doing.” said Sherri Anderson, Social Welfare Co-Chair of AWA.
Each year, AWA sponsors between five to seven different foundations based on applications for funding.
During their visit to Sekolah Kami, the AWA’s members also enjoyed the music performance of angklung presented by the students and invited them to dance together.
It was a day of fun as students enjoyed the fried chicken, rice, vegetables and fruit were provided by KFC Indonesia, AWA and the members.