Uncountable Nouns and Creativity

Indonesia, Jakarta

By:  Kristine, Co-Director JakartaFullSizeRender 27

We’re almost at the finish line!  One more week of exam preparations then it’s time for our students to show what they have learned this semester.

Last week in Jakarta, our junior high school students reviewed present and future tenses.  They did grammar drills and practiced choosing the right tense to complete sentences.
IMG_3137Some of our youngest students reviewed family vocabulary by drawing family trees and others reviewed words to describe taste and food.  Others of our students reviewed countable and uncountable nouns – they did not have a lot of fun doing it but it was necessary.  Did you get the uncountable noun pun there?

Meanwhile, we continue our artsy ways in Jakarta, starting with a day of royalty. Some of our younger girls were princesses for an afternoon when they made paper crowns.  This activity involved 3 of their favourite activities: drawing, colouring and cutting paper.  They also used “jewels” to enhance their fabulous headgear.IMG_3134
We also had a special colour theory activity, where the children learned about primary, secondary and tertiary colors. They made color wheels for each other and also did an activity where they had to pick complementary colors and color an illusion.  Fun was had by all!


Super Heroes for Super Kids

Indonesia, Jakarta

By: Gabby, Co-Director Jakarta

This week our special activity was to create super heroes! All of the students were very excited, and we had a larger than normal turnout. Seeing the student’s anticipation throughout the week for this Friday special activity was great. Both the boys and the girls were excited. Who doesn’t love super heroes?

IMG_2234For this super craft, we needed Popsicle sticks. Thankfully we had recently bought some, so it was not an issue. We also needed some paint, and some super glue. The paint was to add the details. The super glue was used to put two of the Popsicle sticks together, creating a larger work area for painting on the super hero’s.

Before we started the craft, Emma, who has transferred here with Kristine from Aceh, created some examples for the students to look at. I think she had just as much fun as the kids! Then when it was 5:00pm, it came time for the students to try it out.IMG_2231

Like I said, this was a pretty popular special activity, but we were well prepared. As usual, Fika and Oktavina were there to help us out. The students made the Green Lantern, Wonder Women, and Iron Man. All in all the activity was a huge success. Hooray for super heroes!

5 Days at IHF Jakarta

Indonesia, Jakarta


By: Gabby, Co-Director Jakarta


The first day of the week is always filled with surprises and hard work. We continued our training with Joyce and looked at the week ahead:xcvn 001 sponsor letters to write, special activities to plan, another (!) co-director to invite into our home, and the finance training workshop for our SMA and SMP students to finalize.


This is always a wonderful day. We have a full schedule of classes, and are rewarded. On Wednesday Katarina, who teaches design at a local university, runs a great art history session filled with creativity and knowledge. Before we get to this, we must go recruiting. We met the sweetest girl, who gave us a lovely (and very professional) tour around her xcvn 022neighborhood, helping us look for potential students.


Another full day of classes starts with a great first lesson from our new Aflatoun teachers Gita and Annetta. They had so much fun with their students, and stayed an extra two hours to plan their next few lessons. But the excitement didn’t stop there. We also welcomed our latest co-director Archita to the center. She is going to be trained here at Jakarta before heading out to our center in Bali. xcvn 015


Friday is not only the day to make colorful paper fans with our students, but our latest Archita’s first full day as well. She got a crash course in the hectic atmosphere that is Jakarta center, and handled it all with grace! Even if we did have to take a stroll down to our local coffee shop, the God Brewer, to take xcvn 009refuge in the AC.


Saturday was the busiest day of our week this time around. We started with a trip to the market with Archita, then to get a sim card, and finally back to the house. Then was the important task of setting up the computer room so it would be ready for our finance training. After this, we were off to get food, and get our kids into class! The finance training was a huge success. On top of this preparation and execution for the finance training, we had to help our students write sponsor letters, teach, and maintain our own sanity! Last but not least, we built the xcvn 031bookshelves we bought with a wonderful donation for our library.

Stay tuned, and see if you can keep up with us here at IHF Jakarta!


Some First for Jakarta’s Newest Co-Director

Indonesia, Jakarta

By: Joyce, Co-Director Jakarta

First Impression1 (1)

When I stepped out of airport in Jakarta, the heat wave immediately hit me. A new journey is going to start for me on this tropical island. On the way to Jakarta center, I was trying to picture my new life while watching the most common transportation, motorbikes, passing by wildly.  You can’t possibly imagine how many people can fit on one vehicle.

2 (1)First-week life in Jakarta

 Our center in Jakarta located in a peaceful and friendly neighborhood. Even though I struggle with the local language, people will still be patient and try to understand my requests.  Street vendors are arrayed along the road and provide tasty snacks as well as typical local dishes. Pisang Bakar Coklat Keju (Grilled Bananas topped with chocolate and cheese) is definitely my favorite so far.

First connection with students

 Kids at center are terribly adorable and energetic. They never seem worried about anything.  I cannot help smiling just watching them play and joke with one another. Their innocent laughs are infectious.  I had a nice conversation one day with a girl, Eka, who is in class SMP. She was very shy and quiet at first.  We started to talk about the book she is reading.  She told me she loves3 (1) reading and wanted to be a writer in the future. She is completely different when she talks about literature. I can see the confidence, determination and passion in her eyes and voice.  At that time, I realized that teaching here is not only about knowledge. More importantly, I’m dealing with many pure and beautiful souls, which may need to be comforted when they are down, encouraged when they are lost, and blessed when they are proud.

Art History and Fundraising

Indonesia, Jakarta

By: Gabby, Co-Director Jakarta

This was a very special week for use here at JakartaIMG_5157 center. Not only did we have a full week of classes, but we organized and hosted a fundraiser as well!

Katarina has begun her Art history program with our students. This week they learned about the art of ancient Egypt. Art history is a great way to get students curious about other cultures, while still enabling them to think creatively. Though the class was delayed (due to the infamous Jakarta traffic) the students left with a greater knowledge of the world around them, and capitalized on a chance to stretch those creative muscles!

IIMG_5161 (1)n addition, we practiced some abstract painting with our SD1-6 students. They really took to the activity, and enjoyed the lack of rules or structure. Sometimes being able to do works of art like this can be the greatest stress reliever. Let’s not forget that children can get stressed out too! all in all it was a great, stress-free event and day.

The most notable part of this week however did not occur in the classroom. Our Fundraiser, “Meatballs for Education” was held on Sunday. Even though it was the beginning of Chinese New Year, we still had a pretty good turnout. The event IMG_5208was a lunch, where attendees could eat some Bakso (or meatballs,) kindly donated by Bakso Benhil, tour our center, and learn a bit more about our programs. We raised a total of Rp. 781,000 on the day, and are incredibly thankful to everyone who attended.

IMG_5211Hopefully we are able to host more events like this in the future. We are passionate about our children, and will continue to work with the Jakarta community to garner even further support for our programs.

Positive Momentum at IHF Jakarta

Indonesia, Jakarta
By: Gabby, Co-Director IHF Jakarta

037Some new introductions are in order for us here at IHF Jakarta. As volunteers progress in their lives and careers, changes must be made. Though we are always sad to see our local volunteers move on, we support them wholeheartedly in their future endeavors.

We were happy to officially take on a new math teacher for our SD 1 and 2 classes this week! Ario, who had been majoring in education at university, will take on the classes. Though we are sad to see Innes go, we are happy to have Ario, who has already been a major hit among our students.

In addition, we welcome our new SMA teacher, Vidhi. Vidih is a teacher at one of the international schools in Jakarta. Originally from India, she has her masters in English literature, and is already making positive impacts and connections with our older students! She takes time and care in her class preparation, and it shows in how smoothly her classes progress. She is definitely an asset to our team, and we greatly appreciate her work with s so far!

Katarina, who is a professor of design 013at a college in Jakarta, has taken on the role as art educator for our older students. Our students have a great passion for art and drawing, and to have this course taught by a true professional is a real gift. Not only does Katarina have an infectious positive attitude, she is a self-starter, innovative, and passionate about the impact art education can have on our student’s overall well-being.

Lastly, Anza, who had been teaching our Aflatoun class on Thursdays, has transitioned to teaching our morning Maths classes instead, as she has gotten a part-time position teaching accounting at a non-traditional education center. We are proud of her achievement, and are glad she has found a way to maintain her connection with us here at IHF.

023We would like to give out a sincere thank you to all of our past and present local volunteers who make IHF’s programs possible. Without you, IHF Jakarta could not exist at its fullest capacity, providing supplementary education to our ~250 registered students.

A Sponsor Visits: a Busy Week for Jakarta

Indonesia, Jakarta

By: Gabby, Co-Director Jakarta

IMG_4994This week was busy here in Jakarta as always! Along with classes and special activities, we had a visit from one of our sponsors and held a meeting for our teachers.

Lenko and Renta are sponsors for two of our children here in Jakarta: Putri and Ica. Putri and Ica are our house mother’s daughters.

This past week, Lenko and Renta were able to visit our center and get some face time with their sponsored children! In order to have a visit with their sponsor children, they had to contact our sponsor processing team. This is done to ensure the sponsors and and Co-Directors at the center have a clear understanding of the time in which the visits will take place, and what is to be expected.

The visit was a great moment for us all. At times like these, the connections between sponsors and children strengthen, and we can see the friendship between the two grow.

In addition to this excitement, IMG_4986we had two special activities. With our SD students, we made treasure chests. Though the activity ended up being a lot more difficult than anticipated, the children left very proud of their creations! Us teachers were pretty worn out by the end of it all, but it was worth it to see the joy upon their faces. With our SMA students, we ran a drawing class with our newest volunteer–a proper art teacher! It was great, and the students had a lot of fun. They always love drawing, and to be able to give them more tools in their creative toolbox is always

Saturday was also an incredibly busy day. We had IMG_4992a meeting with all of our teachers to go over information about IHF and review classroom procedures. The meeting went well, and we got a few laughs from our modeling activity where we discussed various outlandish (but all true!) class behavior scenarios. As anyone who has spent time teaching would know, classroom control is half the battle when trying to engage students to learn. We hope that by discussing classroom management strategies, we and our teachers can grow as educators at IHF.

Edible Creation and Destruction

Indonesia, Jakarta

media 080By: Gabby, Co-Director Jakarta

As the students are on a break from school, many of them have gone home to their villages to visit their families. As such, attendance has dropped, and will remain low until the new year. In addition, the holidays were fast approaching. Thus, we focused this past week on special activities.

After having our last formal classes on Wednesday and insuring all of the students were aware of our schedule for the last two weeks of December, we media 044got down to the business of prepping all of our special activities! There were candy baskets to be made, Gingerbread houses to be decorated, and cowboy hats to be created.

Each special activity had a fairly high attendance considering they occurred on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,  and Boxing Day (the day after Christmas,) respectively. The students were especially excited by the fact that they were able to eat two out of the three creations!

media 063The students really got into all of the activities, but I think my favorite was when we made gingerbread houses. Having this event on Christmas day was my own little celebration. I had always loved making gingerbread houses and was excited to be able to share this activity with my students. They were so creative with their designs, and both the younger and older children enjoyed themselves immensely. They didn’t even get too upset when faulty architecture led to fallen houses. Jokingly the students said they had been hit by a tsunami, and fell into a small fit of giggles. media 060

Seeing their joy in making these silly little edible houses reminded me why I came to Indonesia, so far from my home and my family. Their creativity and intelligence deserves to be supported in a structured educational environment, and I am glad to be part of an organization that gives that to them.

This realization was the greatest gift of all.

Graffiti and Revision

Indonesia, Jakarta

By: Gabby, Co-Director Jakarta

We are still reminiscing Pass it On 095about how wonderful our ceremony was last weekend. With Pass-It-On behind us, we have entered the time of year when students will go on break.  Children will soon have off from school, and attendance will drop. As such, we have been re-enforcing past topics, rather than starting new ones. In this way, we are able to make sure students who are unable to come to classes in the end of December do not fall behind.

But reviewing old information does not have to be a bore! At Jakarta center, we have been trying to create engaging ways to go back through the information. Incorporating movie clips, like Mr. Bean or Charlie Chapman are always a hit. The students are told to write their reactions to what they watch or describe what they see in paragraph form.

File_000 (1) (1)Paragraph writing can be one of the most difficult things when learning a new language and this is a fun, engaging way to get the students thinking.

As usual, we ran 2 special activities this week. The first was to make fish out of paper. Though we did not have many students come and it was not as complicated as some of our more recent activities, the children who participated had a blast. They used glue, scissors, and colored paper to make beautiful fish.

The second activity was a graffiti File_002 (1) (1)class for our SD5-SMA students. After talking to Rhama, one of the children living at Jakarta center, I decided that this would be a great activity. Many of our students SD5 and above are interested in Graffiti.  Even the boys showed up; usually they shy away from the craft activities.

As always, we are hectic and frazzled, but in good spirits!

Creative Problem Solving in Art

Indonesia, Jakarta, Uncategorized

By Gabby, Co-Director IHF Jakarta sdgfg 003

Like trees, children will grow tall and strong! This is why I decided for our Special Activity we would make trees out of cardboard.

The kids really enjoyed the activity because they were able to use scissors. Usually I am uncomfortable with giving them scissors, as our children tend to be quite high energy, and we average 15-25 students per Art class. However, after seeing them grow and progress through these craft activities, I came to the conclusion that they were mature enough to handle a bit of scissor wielding themselves.

As it was a 3D construction activity, the students had to figure out what pieces had to fit where in order for the tree to be able to stand. They also had to figure out how to attach the branches without having them fall off during the painting process. Even after giving an example, some of the students still had difficulty. However, sdgfg 007it was great to see their minds working, creatively solving the problems of construction.

Once the structure of their trees was secure, they were able to paint the trunk and branches of the tree. In order to increase their creative freedom, they were not constricted to natures norms when it came to choosing the color they wished to paint their trees. Therefore we had blue, brown, orange, and pink trees.

After picking what color paper they sdgfg 008waned their leaves to be, they cut and glued them on. Or rather, they asked the teachers for some assistance in cutting the leaves, and then glued them on themselves.

All in all, concentration and joy was abounding!