At last an update newsletter about the FlyFree education centre. I am delighted to report that everything is running smoothly. I have been in Scotland for 5 months and have to say a big thank you to Agus Deni and Uwa Ukar for managing the safe haven project while I was away. An Earthquake hit West Java on 2nd September in our area but I am glad to report that the school building was only slightly damaged as well as 7 computers and 1 printer, all have been repaired now and things are back to normal.
We feel extremely lucky as in other areas there is complete devastation. The computer classes are still very well attended, with students receiving prizes at the end of the school year in August. The teachers held a games day for all the children. The English classes have smaller numbers, mostly girls. The boys only want to learn about computers, but that’s the same the world over. The local school program has been very successful and will be continuing this year. Our aim is to get the centre run by community and financially independent. To do this we must have small businesses to bring in the funds needed.
Project 1 is the cow project:
We ask sponsors to invest for a year, we buy a calf, fatten it up and then sell it. We started this program at the beginning of the year, with help from local village families, they feed and look after 1 animal each and we share the profit, it is good to know that we are helping poor families as well as school. We have funding to buy more calves to increase this project.
Project 2 is Coconut grove:
We plan to buy a mature coconut grove, where we will be able to sell coconuts to the city every month. Underneath the trees we can grow grass to feed the cows, so double benefit.
Inverurie Academy has been very supportive to us and raised the funds to buy three more calves, the coconut grove and pay one of the teachers for a year. Originally they raised the funds for a fishing boat but a Japanese business man has brought many boat to Legok and there is no longer a need for one. This is Indonesia where nothing goes to plan and option B is always needed.
Our other news is that we have applied for UK charity Status, hopefully this will make it easier to get sponsors as tax relief will be a benefit to supporters.
The team and I have been working at the earthquake sites both here in West Java and in West Sumatra, first with rescue then clear up and distribution of food and medical supplies. Alison from the MUM foundation in Bali has been in contact with us looking at the possibility of rebuilding kindergartens, there are many children without education due to the earthquake disaster.
To finish on a happy note many of our first students from the FlyFree education centre are now employed in office type jobs, bringing a decent wage home to their families. This brings us great satisfaction as that was our aim from the beginning – ” to help them to help themselves.” East and West United have help this impossible dream to become a reality. A very big thank you to all our supporters – without your help none of this would be possible.
Love and light
From Val, Agus and Team.