With the same vision like the other Doa Abang initiatives in previous years, the focus of Doa Abang 2018 has been about eradicating poverty and creating positive social impact through education. This year we collaborate with Hoshizora Foundation, a non-profit organisation providing scholarships and education support for underprivileged children across the Indonesian archipelago. Leveraging its extensive experience in the field since 2006, Hoshizora has been providing input for Doa Abang to build a program that aligns with our vision and will support the delivery of initiatives coming from the program.
Doa Abang and Hoshizora went through an extensive idea exploration and research to select the location and community for the aid target. Three factors were considered: the below than average living standard, the need for education aid and the potential social impact that can be generated through giving the aid. And after several collaborative discussions, we decided to dedicate Doa Abang 2018 to support children’s education in Solor, a small island located off the eastern tip of Flores island in East Indonesia.
Our next step after deciding the aid target was to perform a more in-depth and direct research to further understand the day-to-day situation in Solor and to build an aid program that will deliver significant values for the Solor community. The big part of this research was to have two of our members visited Solor and did Live-In program with the community there for approximately one week in July 2018. The two members stayed with several different families in Solor, helped the day-to-day activities in the villages, visited schools and interacted with the children, and together with Hoshizora Foundation personnel conducted interviews and observations on the education and its supporting factors on the island.
We sighted minimum education facilities as well as opportunities to significantly improve education quality, high school completion rate and community engagement towards education during the visit. Most children on the island can go to Elementary School. But the big challenge comes when they are about to go to Junior High School and Senior High School where financial issues and education access become two main reasons for dropouts. The lack of capacity within the community to provide sufficient education support and mentoring, such as providing help with homework and exam preparation as well as guidance to initiate study and career plan, has not also helped the situation. The visit also provided insights about instances where teenage students had low motivation to stay in school because of the competing priority to earn money as early as possible, and about the minimum learning facilities where education materials and books are not easily available in Solor.
Through the visit we also learned about the importance of tackling social issues from the ecosystem lens where transformation in the community happens as a result of synergy between several different initiatives. A social enterprise on the island has been successfully providing avenues for Solor women to leverage their craft and business skills which then gradually generates more income for many households. With this, there has been less pressure for children from these households to earn money from the very young age and can continue their education. Given there is adequate financial and education support provided to these children, the opportunity for them to continue their study and graduate from High School is widely opened. Hoshizora came to Solor to serve this need and since then has successfully piloted the scholarship and education program for a small number of underprivileged children on the island.
Equipped with the in-depth learning about the facts and after firming up our intention to scale the education aid provided for children in Solor, our team then designed the fundraising programs including a grand presentation night which received good support from the community in Sydney. Through songs, poem, dances and interactive talks on the presentation night, we were able to highlight the day-to-day lives of children in Solor, their challenges, their positive attitude as well as the potential social impact that would happen as a result of the aid program. The supporters and volunteers for the fundraising programs have been also exceptionally wonderful, tirelessly putting efforts onto the fundraising activities with the genuine intention to help the children in Solor. The total donation collected nearly doubled our initial target of AUD 30,000, and this definitely could not be achieved without the collaboration from everyone who has been involved in Doa Abang 2018.
Doa Abang 2018 Video Diary (Live In)
Doa Abang 2018 Photos For our Live In and Presentation Night photos please go to our facebook page here.