Ajeng has always wanted to be a teacher for underprivileged children. She was inspired by one kid who gave her rude remarks when she once asked for directions.
Volunteerism Teaching Indonesian Children
“At that time I was shocked but not angry. The truth is they don’t really understand that it’s wrong. They are still good children, unfortunately, less touched by education. “
Ajeng was serious about her intentions to educate street children. She began building Lifeboats with temporary power poles in May 2015 with two friends, armed with paper, pencils and colored pencils.
“I started by coming to the mothers, asking if its okay if their children would be taught to read and write. On the first day there were only two people. But as days counted, two more children appeared, and the numbers started growing. “
Children taught in Lifeboats are at ages ranging from 5-12 years old. They live in very minimal houses under the bridge. Most of them work as scavengers, motorcycle taxis, buskers, or street vendors.
Their parents don’t consider education important, so these children prioritize making money rather than going to school. Lifeboats have a mission to educate children who are marginalized, instill a sense of love for the motherland, and instill character.
At present, there are more than 20 children joining the Lifeboat. The teaching team teaches English, Indonesian, religion, basic mathematics, also character.
The Teaching System Inside The Lifeboat
There are two curricula, namely Sailing Lifeboat and Land Lifeboat.
Lifeboat sails held every three months. In this class, children and teachers do field trips while learning.
“We’ve been to Taman Mini, Monas, Ragunan, took a double-decker bus to tour around Jakarta, also to Kota Tua Museum. The purpose of this tour is so that they can still walk while learning to relax, “said the girl born in March 15, 1990.
While the Landing Lifeboat is an academic learning activity that is carried out routinely every Sunday. Classes are also distinguished based on the age and ability of each child.
Teaching According To The Child’s Abilities
Landing A for children under 5 years, then split into A1 and A2. A1 for children who have not been able to communicate well, while A2 for those who can already interact smoothly.
Likewise with Landing B for children over 5 years separated into B1 and B2. B1 for those who still can’t read and B2 who can read.
“This aims to teach them according to their abilities. Pity if forced to the same class but different abilities. We also usually teach with fairy tales, because they are easier to understand when exemplified with fairy tales. “
Teaching The Importance of Sex Education
Ajeng and other teachers also provide sex education for children. They are working with NGOs to raise children’s awareness about sexual harassment and violence.
“We explain with singing, which parts of the body can be touched, which parts can not be touched by others.”
After a year, there will be report cards distributed to children. But unique, the report card is not merely a matter of value, but the development of the child.
“So the report card is like a journal, later the child’s development will be written, for example, he is now fluent reading. This is done because children’s development is more important than grades. “
Funding The Lifeboat
At the beginning of the lifeboat, Ajeng and friends used personal expenses to buy everything the school needed. They also have to study under a bridge next to rubbish.
Fortunately, now the Child-Friendly Integrated Public Space has been established, so that they can carry out teaching and learning activities there. Donations from volunteers also continue to arrive to support the children’s education.