Indonesia Teaching Frontline Teachers Stories of Inspiring Teachers Teaching in Outback -
29 May 2023

Latest posts by Media ( Aldy ) (see all)

Indonesia Teaches Frontline Teachers Inspirational Teacher Stories

Henny Kristianus Education for Outback Children

January 2006, Henny Kristianus and his small family already had a skyrocketing business and got a Permanent Resident (PR) in Australia, but with great awareness he let it all go. Instead, Henny left the establishment to go to remote areas throughout Indonesia. The initial plan was that Henny would only have a vacation with her twins, Chloe and Zoe Kristianus, who were only 4.5 months old. A month later, he decided to stay in Indonesia. Then Yoanes Kristianus, her husband got a job in Bandung, and they lived in a shop near a garbage dump. There are many children who do not go to school and just play.

Her childhood, which was far from happy and the problems she saw, made Henny pay special attention to the poor. Henny also offered the children to learn English. “Initially, the five children I taught used a small blackboard and my children’s books. After that there were several tens of children,” recalls this woman who has three children. Orphanage Because her husband’s work contract ended, Henny and her family moved to Jakarta. Henny also began to find out what the poor needed most in order to help them.

Is it money or food. Suddenly, he felt that God was giving him an answer. That what the poor need most is to get out of poverty. You do this by giving them skills so they can make money and make their family life better. It was with this awareness that Henny founded the Tangan Pengharapan Foundation (YTP) in 2007. This foundation focuses on free education services for street children. September 2007, Henny provided eight Feeding Centers in Jakarta. Sounds luxurious, but actually it’s just a small room and a kitchen. In total there are 1,028 street children who receive free education and food.

Unfortunately, in March 2008, Henny stopped this activity because she felt that street children in Jakarta didn’t need it. “Street children in Jakarta don’t want to go to school. They prefer to make money and the money is used to play. If the food is not delicious, they don’t want to eat it,” said this 39-year-old woman. Therefore, Henny wanted to find the underprivileged children who needed her help the most. Not long after, Henny was introduced to an orphanage in the Pegangsaan Dua area, Kelapa Gading. In this orphanage there are 135 children who come from all over the archipelago. It was from here that Henny’s first steps towards the hinterlands began. The first city Henny visited was North Halmahera, Maluku in 2008. In this eastern part of Indonesia, Henny helped 225 children.

Next he went to Pepe hamlet, Grobogan, Central Java. According to information, there are around 75-80 children who need education and health assistance. After these two places, Henny and YTP gradually began to tour the interior of Indonesia. Such as NTT, Papua, Mentawai, West Kalimantan, Sumba and Sulawesi. “Until the end of 2016, there were 5,000 children in 50 points across Indonesia who had received assistance from YTP,” explained the woman who can be in the interior for 10-12 days. A healthy home After having a long conversation with Intisari, Henny also shared about her unforgettable experience when she went directly to the interior of Indonesia.

His memory goes back to his visit to Timor, NTT. According to Henny, this area is the most concerning. Apart from being very remote and difficult to access, many families live in round huts made of leaves. One of the residents there was named Jeni Beis’ mother. This mother has stage four acute tuberculosis. She lived in one of the huts with her two children because her husband had left her. Every day Jeni Beis’ mother prays that she can live in a good house. Hearing Jeni Beis’ prayer, without thinking Henny immediately said to her team, “Let’s build a house.” In NTT, semi-permanent houses are usually made of red bricks and tin roofs.

The price is not too expensive, around IDR 10-15 million. Several months later, the house was finished. Even though Jeni Beis’ mother died in the end, she and her two children lived in the house. “Before I died, I remember very well that Jeni Beis’ mother looked at me as if she wanted to say thank you,” recalls Henny. Now, Jeni Beis’ two children are being cared for by the Children Rescue Home team, NTT. Since that incident, Henny and YTP have built a healthy home in Timor, NTT. Until now, the construction of healthy houses has reached 70 houses. The house consists of two bedrooms and one bathroom. Henny also made a home learning program. The concept is also simple, namely several rooms for classrooms made of cement, tin roofs, and wire.

In total there are 25 learning houses. “The plan is for 2017 to add five more in several regions,” said Henny. Another program is Life Changing Journey, which is open to anyone to share their life. There are four categories to choose from, namely teaching, cooking, training, and building. If he likes teaching, then he must be prepared to be placed to teach at YTP centers or at elementary schools throughout Indonesia. But if he likes making bags, then he can train children to make them.

Henny even believes that if someone joins this program, their life will definitely change. “He will be more grateful with what he has now,” he added. Lastly, Henny advised that life is only temporary. If we can fulfill our own life then what next? Life will be much more meaningful if you can make other people’s lives better. “I hope that what I have done with YTP will give birth to a better generation for Indonesia,” he explained.

Unhappy childhood

Born with the name Henny Lim, this woman who was born in Jakarta on January 23, 1978 said that what she is doing now was never planned. Henny was born from a broken home family. His parents divorced when Henny was only 10 years old. His older brother was adopted by his uncle. While he and his younger brother live with his father’s family on Bangka Island. In 1994, when he was 18 years old, Henny was picked up by his mother and sent to school in Sydney, Australia in 1996.

His sister should have gone to school there. However, because he was sick with typhus, Henny was sent to replace his sister. However, it was later discovered that his mother had “left” him in Australia. Even the school fees at the Commerce Foundation of UNSW, Sydney, the school his mother chose were only paid for one year. Practically, Henny’s life became difficult. There is no word play for teenage Henny. All of his teenage time is used for work. For example, when worshiping at church, Henny would bring bread from the factory and sell it after the service was over. Or when Henny continued her education at Aquila College, Sydney, she worked as a cashier at Clancy’s Supermarket on Oxford St. Sydney and several other places.

Prison for children

Henny has one more dream, which is to build a special prison for children. Even though it sounds evil, actually the prison in question is more like a dormitory. Where, there are no parents who pick him up to work on the street or thugs who force him to beg. At the juvenile prison, Henny wanted the children to receive 50% learning theory and 50% practical skills. So when they get out of prison, they don’t need to go to school but can immediately work, like entrepreneurs. A simple example, those who are good at making cakes sell cakes. Those who are good at cutting hair, work in salons.

They will be trained in skills according to their respective interests. Unfortunately, this dream is difficult to realize because it is hindered by costs and government permits. Because of that, Henny turned her idea around to directly helping child prisoners in existing prisons. Starting in 2016, Henny has helped 80 child prisoners at the Salemba Prison, Jakarta. Apart from that, he also assisted 190 child prisoners in Sukamiskin prison, Bandung and women’s prison. The assistance that Henny and YTP have provided is in the form of package A, B and C exams, computer and English lessons, as well as life skills recently in collaboration with Tokopedia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *