By Arnau Bertran, IHF Executive Director
It’s been already 3 years since I joined IHF back in 2010. Time surely goes fast! After moving around the Indonesian Centers quite regularly, I have been able to settle down in Jakarta for these past months.
Jakarta has become an extraordinary center at the hands of Ade, Ayu and Tess. One thing I am more happy about, is the increasing number of special workshops held at the center. Besides the usual English, Math and Computer classes, those kind of workshops give us an edge as an Educational Center. In my opinion, one of the major problems that the Indonesian education system has, and it has many problems, is that it doesn’t empower the creativity or self-thinking of students. The way Indonesian curriculum is taught only focuses on short-term results and students grades. Students are not taught to learn why, only what. And that’s something that cripples their potential and exactly what we try to avoid in IHF Centers.
Back to the workshops, one of the ones I personally love is the Art Class. They’ve been learning to paint, draw objects, create a piggy bank out of a used water bottle,… they really enjoy it and have improved a lot. You can realize it when they are given a blank piece of paper and told to paint something at will. At first, they all draw the usual landscape: mountains, sun and a house. Now they draw everything from people to fruit.
One of my hobbies, which I had put aside for too much time, is photography. But thanks to these classes, I now have the perfect excuse to go out and take as many photos of the students and their lovely paintings, drawings, dance steps, laughs, etc. On top of it, there is a special circumstance that makes it even more special. Increasingly, children come wearing Barcelona Football Club T-Shirts. I love football, and I am from Barcelona. The club is a banner of Catalonia, where I come from, a nation without state. It represents it’s people and it’s traditions and culture. Recently, the club has decided to use Catalonia’s flag for the design of next season’s t-shirts. And Indonesia seems to find it quite attractive. So it’s funny that at the center, or going around the city, you see all these people literally wearing Catalonia’s flag without even realizing it. F.C. Barcelona’s motto, is “Més que un club” (more than a club), the same way as these workshops make IHF more than an educational Center. And proud of it.