Through our newsletter we like to keep you informed of the (recent) developments within the projects in Indonesia and our activities in the Netherlands.
AUGUST 2023 – number 31
By the end of April, after 4 long years, Janny and Willemien finally travelled to Indonesia again. They were to visit the women’s projects and hoped to meet all the children who receive support in Solo and Klaten. You can read about these visits in this newsletter.
As per usual Janny and Willemien stayed in Alamanda Villa, near Yogyakarta to acclimatize. Alamanda Villa consists of a few bungalows near the paddy fields, managed by a Dutch national. He helps Indonesian youth and educates them on hospitality to prepare them for a job in that branch of industry. He also assists SRI by advising and helping whenever he can. Alamanda Villa is a great location to relax.
On Java, Janny and Willemien visited the new women’s cooperation Sangu Gesang in Jumantono, Karanganyar district (near Solo) in Central Java. During their visit the project was officially launched in the presence of the head of Karanganyar district. In his speech, the head of the Karanganyar district he offered his support and emphasized the importance of women’s empowerment. He thanked SRI for their support in providing training sessions. The women of this cooperation now earn their living by selling whatever they can collect from the waste dumpsite near their homes. They would like to learn how to back cookies (traditional Indonesian snacks) to sell and one woman would like to start a laundry service.
Janny and Willemien also visited a few members of Kembang Wangi in Musuk, on Merapi’s slope. They visited a woman, who – together with other women – backs several types of cookies which they sell online or in person. Sometimes they receive large orders, even from government organizations. The woman has requested financial support to help purchase a kitchen aid (a food processor) to help in the production process as they currently use two hand mixers to produce their cookies.
Janny and Willemien also visited the goats’ pen. In 2017 SRI purchased two goats. The goats’ pen now currently has more than 30 occupants. Our contact from Solo bought a goat on the spot in preparation for the Muslim holiday, Feast of Sacrifice which would occur in three weeks time.
Impression of the Kembang Wangi visit: home made cookies, hand mixers and of course, the goats.
In Solo Janny and Willemien attended a meeting organized by women’s cooperation Lidia. It was a very happy and busy gathering and many members brought their products such as clothing, cookies, cakes, jewelry, hearty snacks, assorted fried chips and fried shallots. And ofcourse, Janny and Willemien have purchased several products.
They also visited three entrepreneurs in Solo. A woman showed us the whole production process of making stuffed cookies (cream filled etc). She sells a lot of her cookies online. At first, her husband forbade her endeavor since a woman should manage the housekeeping, but now he is proud of her!
After this they visited a seamstress, a young woman who just finished her formal training in textiles and tries to earn a living from accepting orders i.e. sewing of school uniforms.
Janny and Willemien also visited a woman, bound to a wheel chair, who runs a small food stall and cooks for loyal customers. When they visited her, it rained heavily and to protect her food stall a large piece of canvas was strung to keep her dry.
At the home of our contact in Solo, Janny and Willemien met and spoke with the children who receive support from SRI. Many new children came to introduce themselves as their predecessors have graduated. Their English language skills have noticeably improved; the children were quite assertive and willing to actively share their stories, even the new children! Of course, we asked them about their dreams for the future – what would they like to be when they grow up? A little girl replied very convincingly that she wanted to become an astronaut! Another girl is currently playing soccer on an exceptional level and dreams of joining the national team. Another child would like to study robotics in Japan. All great plans!
Janny and Willemien also met up with the children supported by SRI in Klaten. One of the girls in Klaten would like to travel to Japan to work and study. And all of the children love Korean pop music or K-pop as it is widely known.
In Bagung, near Ubud, Janny and Willemien visited the Seva Karuna school. SRI offers support to Seva Karuna by providing funds to train the teachers of the school. Janny and Willemien spent one morning there so that they could join both groups during their school session. First group consists of 5-6 year olds, the second group consists of 3-4 year olds. The pupils use many natural materials to create different products such as a skipping rope (made from twigs) and a scarecrow to put in their vegetable garden (made of dried rice stalks). The school’s program focusses on nature and environment.
Janny and Willemien visited Hendra’s fruit juice stall at the evening market near Sanur. They spent a few happy hours talking at the market while the stall was being prepared for the evening rush. Their oldest son is now married and works for an online business. The second son just graduated and wants to learn Japanese to be able to study food technology while working in a process plant. The youngest child is still in school.
Janny and Willemien also visited Yoyon’s widow. Their food stall (warung) is doing well and is now being managed by one of their sons. Another son currently works in Thailand. Everything looked the same as it did four years ago.
In Sanur, quite a few people visited us at the address we were staying. These people do not receive SRI support anymore, but they came to meet and talk with Janny and Willemien. All of these people are doing well now.
By the end of May, Janny and Willemien returned from their visit to Indonesia. It was a great trip! Janny suffered some health issues; her skin turned yellow and she lost some weight. No one would have thought that Janny would end up in the hospital just one week after getting back home and being diagnosed with an aggressive type of pancreatic cancer. The world collapsed. When it became clear that treatment was impossible, Janny was released and went home. She realized that her life had changed and she wished to spend as much of her remaining days at “the best place in the world”, i.e. her own home and enjoy the companionship of her loved ones and say goodbye to them. She was able to do that thanks to the care of dear friends and family who set up a roster so that she was always accompanied by someone, 24/7. Also together with the great assistance of Buurtzorg Kijkduin (mobile caretakers Kijkduin). Janny has passed away in herown bed on July 10.
The memorial service and burial took place on July 18. It became very clear how much Janny meant to people as more than 200 people attended the service. Janny was brought to her final resting place by all of them. We will miss her dearly.
Janny may not be with us anymore, but she knows that SRI continues to support different projects and people. This was her final and greatest wish.
We would like to organize an Indonesian day somewhere this fall. We will get back to you on the details. Judith and Janny started the activities of Stichting Ruggensteuntje Indonesië (Support Indonesia Foundation – SRI) and these will be continued!
Willemien, Ingrid and Helga
Perhaps unnecessarily, we would like to point out again that all travel and boarding expenses of Janny and Willemien during their annual trip to Indonesia are completely covered by Janny and Willemien themselves. They find this an acceptable norm and have always acted accor-dingly. Since some people asked questions about these expenses, we thought it best to repeat again that all expenses are covered by Janny and Willemien and are not paid by SRI.