By Yang Yingping & Jiang Danjing, Voluntourists at IHF Jakarta center
This Friday, all four volunteers from IHF Jakarta walked around the local area to distribute handouts advertising free classes available through the IHF education center. The handouts were targeting schoolchildren from poor families. This is the first time we were able to see the very poor people in the area and it was a great shock to us.
At first, we walked behind the center directors and distributed the handouts without saying a word. We soon found that this was not productive as the local people could not completely understand what we were doing and had doubts about taking the handouts from us. This motivated us to learn some basic Indonesian terms, such as ‘free course’ ‘thank you’ and ‘English class’. Being able to speak these basic phrases helped us greatly and we were able to do a much better job at attracting many parents and children.
During the day of distributing handouts, we saw many poor families who lived in very narrow living spaces. They were unable to provide their kids with education due to their limited income. By seeing the children’s happy faces, we felt delighted and reassured that we were doing the right thing.
This Sunday is Jakarta center’s registration day and we found that we had lots of new students. We played many games which were very fun, including donut eating, musical chairs and vocabulary guessing.
The children had a lot of enthusiasm when playing the games and all of them received gifts as a reward for the good job they did.