The Sahabat Anak Local Tutorial Program
Bimbel stands for Bimbingan Belajar which can be translated to ‘Tutorial Classes’. When Sahabat Anak began in 1997 the founders recognised that there was a lack of education for underprivileged children living in Jakarta. Sahabat Anak has identified that it can be difficult for street children and children living in marginalized communities to access education for a number of different reasons, these include:
- Marginalised children feel pressure to ‘work’ (as beggars, buskers and scavengers) on the streets for their families. On average children begging or busking on the streets of Jakarta can earn Rp10,000 – Rp50,000 ($US1.10 - $US5.50) per day. This income is a significant amount for a poor Indonesian family. For instance one Coca-Cola costs Rp4,000.
- Marginalised children are not encouraged by their parents to pursue their education. This is normally due to the fact that their parents did not receive an education and they believe it is better for their children to ‘work’.
- Marginalised children do not have the right documents to attend school. Many children that we work with do not have birth certificates and it is very difficult to enter school without it. For more information on this issue please read: http://thevoiceofsahabatanak.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/a-birth-certificate-the-key-to-a-better-future-for-children-in-indonesia/
- Many marginalised children have never attended school and cannot read and write. Therefore, if they go to school they are significantly behind the children in their grade.
- Because of all these reasons Sahabat Anak saw a need to start weekly Bimbels in different areas around Jakarta. Therefore, in the year 2000 the first Bimbel began in Prumpung, East Jakarta. Today Sahabat Anak has 8 Bimbels around Jakarta: Prumpung, Mangga Dua, Manggarai, Kota Tua, Grogol, Gambir, Cijantung, Tanah Abang. Each area, on average, has 100 children attending regularly. These children range from kindergarten to senior high school.
The aim of the Bimbel is to:
- Assist marginalised children who are attending school in completing their homework, preparing for exams, lesson reviews and English classes.
- Provide basic education for marginalised children who do not attend school, such as reading, writing and mathematics.
- Provide other forms of educational activities such as; watching movies, public speaking, sports, music, art, craft, dancing and much more.
- Provide moral and financial support for those children who wish to return to formal education. Sahabat Anak will try and find donors to pay for the child’s school expenses and tuition.
- Build relationships with the community the Bimbel is in. It is important for Sahabat Anak to foster positive relationships with the families of the children we are working with. It is common that we have to explain to the parents why it is important for their child to go to school and not work on the street. We are also able to provide the parents with basic health and nutritional education.
Each Bimbel is 100% run by volunteers. Some of our volunteers have been with us for over 7 years. They come from a range of backgrounds but usually they are students or young professionals. Even though they have their own work and personal commitments they continue to work hard, volunteering their spare time and weekends to teach and fight for the rights of marginalised children in Jakarta. It is their commitment and hard work that keeps our programs running and that has seen children leave the streets, re-enter school and successfully enter university. Without the spirit of volunteerism Sahabat Anak would not be the organisation it is today. If you would like to volunteer at one of the Bimbels please click here for more information.