Stichting Ruggensteuntje Indonesië

Newsletter

Through our newsletter we like to keep you informed of the (recent) developments within the projects in Indonesia and our activities in the Netherlands.


MAY 2024 – number 32

This is the latest news letter from SRI. We would like to tell you all about the activities of SRI and what has happened the past few months. 

Indonesia Day
The Indonesia day was organized in November 2023. It turned out to be a real ‘kumpulan’ (gathering) where old and new SRI sympathizers met. The SRI board looks back on the Indonesia day with a smile. It was the first Indonesia day without Janny, but we all felt she was with us in spirit.

Projects visit in Indonesia
Mid February Willemien travelled to Indonesia by herself to visit the different projects. It felt strange to do this alone, without Janny by her side, but at the same time it felt good to do so with Janny always at her side spiritually. During all the visits people commemorated Janny in different ways.

JAVA

Like every year before the Java visit started with a few days acclimatizing at Alamanda Villa just outside Yogyakarta. This is a fantastic place to unwind and relax and enjoy the Indonesian sounds and fragrances. We truly recommend this place! For Willemien this location feels like pulang kampong (coming home).

SRI contact Ratih
First, Willemien met with our contact Ratih. Willemien and Ratih discussed about the women’s cooperation Lidia and the school children who receive SRI support. 
The next day Willemien together with a few of Lidia’s board members visited a few small businesses. They first visited a woman who manages a warung (small shop) at her house. Before the COVID pandemic (In Indonesia: pandemi) she used to rent another location for her warung. She cannot afford the rent anymore and moved her business to her place of living. People order online and she will deliver all her products per motorcycle. During COVID she lost this income and she received emergency funds from SRI. 
They continued their trip and visited a woman who acts like a intermediary for other businesses; she buys products in bulk such as rice. Divides these products in smaller, more family size portions and sells these products online. This woman not only sells rice, but also shoes, clothes, kitchen utilities etc. The online business is booming in Indonesia!
The last woman they visited used to teach in Kindergarten, but is now tutoring children in accordance with the Belajar Baja Ahe method at her house. Children who want to apply for admission to a good primary school need to be able to read and write, do basic math and know the arithmetic tables (1 – 10). When the Belajar Baja Ahe method is applied, children will be able to acquire all those skills just by studying three times per week (30 min and additional homework) during 3 months.

Later that afternoon 19 school children from Solo gathered at Ratih’s home. All these children receive SRI support to allow them to attend school. Willemien talked to each pupil individually. It is always a joy to talk to these children and ask them about their dreams and what they would like to be when they grow up. When you meet them again the next year and ask if they still want to become a doctor or teacher, the answer will most likely have changed, but it remains a nice subject to discuss with the youngsters. 
Willemien also congratulated Aprilita – she has graduated and received her Bachelor’s degree in accounting! We supported her throughout her education. She will start her working career.
It is always a bit of a challenge to motivate the older pupils to use their English conversational skills. Sometimes we succeeded!

The next day Willemien visited Klaten, a city west of Solo. The 21 school children who receive SRI support, gathered at the house of Ratih’s parents. This was a joyful reunion and Willemien spoke with each child individually as well. Many of these children’s parents work in the (rice) fields. In Solo, the pupils are all city children

Solo soup for all present at Lidia’s annual meeting. Of course, a group picture was also taken.

Lidia’s annual board meeting was organized on February 29. This meeting was attended by more than 200 Lidia members. Ratih commemorated Janny in a eulogy. The annual report was presented, followed by the financial report over 2023. A few questions were asked regarding the reports. Planning and scheduling for the coming year was also presented and discussed. SRI will support the training sessions again. Willemien also told about the illness and passing of Janny using Bahasa Indonesia. Willemien will visit the different projects supported by SRI by herself and that SRI will continue to support these projects. Willemien concluded her speech by presenting a large bag filled with chocolate easter eggs to Lidia’s president. 
After the board meeting a traditional Solo soup was served to all attendees. Several women brought their products to sell. Willemien has looked at all the products and bought several of them. Obviously, we have taken many pictures during this day! This also concludes our visit to Ratih.

Our contact Yani
Willemien went to Musuk, on Merapi’s slope, together with our other contact Yani, on Saturday March 2. They were to visit with a few members of women’s cooperation Kembang Wangi. Bu (Mrs) Fifin was very grateful for the food processor (kitchen aid) that SRI helped to purchase. Bu Fifin is now able to process larger cookie orders. She also teaches other women from Kembang Wangi how to bake cookies. All of the orders are placed online!
Next we went to visit Bu Hartitik. A large part of the goat herd lives near Bu Hartitik’s place. SRI has purchased two goats in the past and now the herd includes more than 100 goats! The herd lives and grazes in several different desa (villages) around Musuk.

Above: Visiting the goat pen.

In the middle: The kitchen aide purchased by SRI support.

Kembang Wangi now consists of 22 members who congregate monthly. They have set up a cooperation to purchase rice jointly. Each member invests monthly to purchase rice in bulk as this is cheaper. Rice is currently very expensive.

Willemien visited the women’s cooperation Sangu Gesang in Jumantono, at the foot of Lawu volcano, together with Yani. Willemien and Yani visited Bu Linda first. Bu Linda requested a washing machine last year, as she wanted to start a laundry service. She held on to her plan and SRI recently purchased a washing machine for her. Bu Linda also purchased tubs, buckets, dry racks etc with SRI support. The laundry business had a flying start; Bu Linda works together with 2 other women and all are very motivated!

Laundry service by Bu (Mrs) Linda.

After this we attended the meeting of Sangu Gesang. Yani and Pa (Mr) Fadhil (the local contact) held a inspiring speech about the importance of empowerment. A few women came forward with ideas to start sewing (clothes), baking cookies and so on. Yani will keep in touch with Pa Fadhil to keep track of the women’s ambitions. If these women hold on to their motivations and plans, SRI may be able to support them. The Sangu Gesang women received a t-shirt with their logo to increase their sense of solidarity. 

SRI supports 4 children of Sangu Gesang with their education.

Willemien visited Sebelas Maret university in Solo. At this university, Yani lectures on environmental science. Her PhD students are also involved with Sangu Gesang for their field studies. This allows them to combine their lectures with practical experience.

BALI

After arriving on Bali, Willemien visited Yoyon’s widow. She manages the food stall (warung) by herself now. Two sons are working in Den Pasar and the third son still works in Thailand. SRI has supported this family for many years and they have always appreciated our annual visits. 
Pa Eddy, a contact person in Den Pasar for 5 children who receive SRI support, has met up with Willemien twice to catch up. These visits are always special and enjoyable. 
Vynski, Kiem’s granddaughter, visited with Willemien. While Vynski was still in school, she received support from SRI. In February, Vynski married. She has continued teaching her online Korean language course and also sells sweet and savory snacks online. Her brother delivers these online orders by motorcycle.

 

Hendrawadi inside Ivan’s fruit stall.

Willemien also visited the fruit juice stall of Hendrawadi. He has relocated his stall from the pasar malam to his residence. Dicky, his eldest son, married last year and now has a little girl. Hendrawadi proudly showed Willemien pictures of his 2-month old granddaughter. We spent several hours in front of his house, a humble two-bedroom building, talking and sharing a delicious satay. 
Hendrawadi’s second son, Ivan, decided against relocating to Japan, much to Hendrawadi’s relief. Ivan has his own fruit stall and will start his study in Den Pasar in August. He will be studying food securities. 
Heikal, the youngest son, will start high school in August. He will be sent to a boarding house (asrama) in East Java, near his new high school. His parents think that a more structured environment will be better for him. SRI provides financial support for his education. 
Hendrawadi brought Willemien back, riding pillion on his motorcycle, to Keke in Sanur where Willemien always stays when visiting Bali

After these two days in Sanur, Willemien continued on to Lothundu, near Ubud. As this was the festive season in Bali, many people travelled to and from temples and road closures often happened. The holdays included Galungan, a period where people celebrate the victory of Good over Evil; Kuningan, which is the last day of Galungan and of course Hari Nyepi, which is the Balinese new year. 

Sjaki-Tari-Us was closed due to the holidays and could not be visited. Sjaki-Tari-Us is a day care facility for children with disabilities, and receives SRI support for acquiring learning material. Willemien met two Dutch interns who did their internship at Sjaki-Tari-Us. They also stayed at Pondok Saraswati, where Willemien spent a few nights while in Lothundu. They told Willemien that Sjaki-Tari-Us is doing well, and that the number of students has increased since the pandemic.

Willemien also visited Yogi and Dudyk in Sedang, not far from Ubud and their school Seva Karuna. The school itself was closed due to the holidays. SRI has supported this school for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Their educational program also focuses on nature and environment. The children care for their own vegetable garden and they frequently visit the rice paddy fields. They also learn that nature provides different products which can be used for coloring. Willemien discussed the future of this school with Yogi and Dudyk. They also took a look at the location of the intended new school building. The lease of their current building ends in 3 years, and they have planned to have the new school building ready just before the end of their lease. The number of applications has increased for next year, compared to last year’s number. The colored seats and tables (purchased by SRI) have arrived and look very cheerful.
Yogi and Dudyk also would like to use the new building as a communal space where women can meet and receive training, which of course is another focal point of SRI.

A cheerful interior at Seva Karuna.

Willemien spent Hari Nyepi in pondok Saraswati. On this day you need to stay indoors (no wandering on the streets), cooking is not allowed and at night no lights may be switched on. It needs to be quiet and dark, so the gods will not return after they were expelled by the ogoh-ogoh (demonlike monsters) the night before Nyepi. Even the international airport is closed for 24 hours!

On her way back to Sanur, Willemien met with Sita. Sita is Dutch, has a Balinese husband and has lived in Bali for more than 30 years. Janny and Willemien have known Sita for many years. Sita put forward another possible candidate for SRI support: Pondok Gerasa, which is a safe house for minors on Bali. 9 children are currently living in Pondok Gerasa, who cannot stay with their own families due to domestic violence and/ or abuse, or even prostitution. In this pondok (home) the children receive mental care and guidance and an education so that they become more resilient and can return to society. SRI will support this program financially in a more structured manner; previously, Pondok Gerasa received infrequent donations which helped, but did not provide stability. Hopefully, with SRI support this program will be able to help more children in the future. Communication and keeping in contact with Pondok Gerasa’s director are well.

Looking back on her visit, Willemien is glad that she went by herself; Janny was commemorated and her life and achievements celebrated by all. Willemien was welcomed with open arms at any project and by anyone she met. And all were grateful to know that SRI will continue to provide support. SRI’s board are fully confident that all money will be well spend; SRI has noticed the progress of all women involved in SRI sponsored activities and the children are so grateful they can attend school and finish their education. During the year, we communicate through whatsapp and e-mail often. This way the board of SRI is fully aware of all projects’ status.

SRI will organize another Kumpulan on August 18, which will be in another location and in slightly different setting. We will come back to you with the details!

Willemien, Ingrid and Helga wish you a great summer!


Costs of projects visit Indonesia
Perhaps unnecessarily, we would like to point out again that all travel and boarding expenses of Willemien during their annual trip to Indonesia are completely covered by Willemien herself. Since some questions were asked about these expenses, we thought it best to repeat again that all expenses are covered by Willemien and are not paid by SRI.