A real problem in West Java and a plea for help

Ern Adrian is a young man endowed with a heart that cares deeply for his fellow man and particularly for those in the area on Pangandaran, West Java, where he was born, lives, teaches and studies. Ern Adrian is poor and yet always manages to give to his students, friends and those in need.

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I sponsor Ern Adrian to complete his University course and become a fully qualified teacher, his thesis is on the effect of sport in early learning. He works at the local Pangandaran school as a social teacher, that is, he is paid a very nominal wage and has many of the responsibilities of a qualified teacher. Ern always asks me if I approve when he is about to use some of the money I provide for a charitable reason and I have never yet said no. His heart would break.

Ern Adrian loves his work, his school and Pangandaran.

The other day he called me in an extremely distressed state, over the short end of year break, someone had broken into the school and stolen the computer, the printer, the sound system and the contents of the small kitchen (it was left bare). Ern Adrian blamed himself saying it was because he was not a good teacher and that was why God had allowed this to happen.

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Ern Adrian is not specially religious, but Indonesia is and his reaction, given the circumstances was not unusual.

There are 240 million people living in Indonesia, nearly 19 million of whom live below the poverty line. The majority of rural Indonesians are living just above the poverty line. The Distance between Australia and Indonesia is about 500 miles (depending where you measure).

A few facts about Indonesia…

Made up of 13,000 islands.

120+ Active volcano’s

Official language Bahasa although English is widely taught.

Islam is practised by 80% of the population.

In so many respects, Indonesia is remarkable for its ability to sustain the lives of its large population as well as it does and to offer the services such as electricity, travel, internet as much as it does. The area of education is perhaps one of the most challenging…

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/education/rural-teachers-in-indonesia-make-do-with-sticks-and-stones/412769

http://rsj.e-contentmanagement.com/archives/vol/2/issue/3/article/1585/child-labour-in-rural-indonesia

And yet, we seem oblivious to all of this as we plan yet another holiday in Bali. It would seem a foolish thing to neglect Indonesia and not to embrace its problems as our own and to help. Make no mistake, Indonesia is a great country, beautiful, intense, passionate. I suspect we ignore it at some peril. Don’t allow Muslim fundamentalists to dissuade you, its true they have some presence, but it is not all embracing and in so many ways, what you see is not what it is. Indonesians in the most part live harmoniously with other religions.

So I told Ern Adrian I would help, somehow I would find people in this country who cared and maybe they might give me some laptops, maybe they might even have a sound system, but I would help and I would be part of the solution out of poverty for the children of Indonesia’s poor. Because in the end what matters most is education, only through making sure that the children are educated can we also be sure that a path out of poverty for them and their families will happen.

Anyone who has an old, but functioning laptop can contact me on peter@peterwatson.com.au and we will get them to the children and the school administration.

Peter (61 419 303 463)

~ by peterwatsonfood on December 27, 2012.

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