Who We are
How It started
It began in 2006 when H. Witdarmono published Koran Berani, the first and only children’s newspaper in Indonesia. As a veteran journalist, Witdarmono has always had great concern on the low literacy rate of Indonesian young. With the resolute mission to educate the nation’s children, Berani consistently delivers news and information that not only shapes a child’s literacy skills, but also ignites sparks for critical thoughts and excellent characters in the child.
It was based on that similar concern that Berani Bhakti Bangsa Foundation began its work. Berani literally translates to ‘brave’ or ‘courageous’ in our national Indonesian language. That bravery has continued to be our spirit as we venture through cities, slums, and villages of Indonesia. That bravery has also continued to be our hope in the nation’s young generation, as we build the ecosystem that would enable their better future.
We empower and educate children, and by doing so, we hope to create a ripple effect to the greater community and to the nation.
Our focus is to empower children and youth in Indonesia to be more literate. Literate carries a wide spectrum, from the ability to identify alphabets, to the ability to understand and process a complex situation. We believe that through literacy, children will be able to utilize the life skills that they possess, communicate their ideas and thoughts more effectively and therefore become more responsible adults.
Berani Bhakti Bangsa Foundation works toward national development. And we realized in a developing nation, there are many layers that stand before a child’s entitlement toward education. They are health, economy, and environment among many others. We realized that our wings should spread wider, touching upon those issues, beyond simply access and quality of schooling.
Pillars of Works
Our scopes of works are based on three main pillars: education, health, and environment. With strategic development in these pillars, we envision Indonesian children that are able to bring the nation toward a better and brighter future.
Do You Know?
- Indonesia ranks 60th out of 61 countries in reading interest and ability
- 68% of the total 57 million Indonesian students could not complete basic schooling
- More than half of teachers in Indonesia do not meet the government’s minimum qualification
Indonesia is home to 50 million students. The Ministry of Education had initiated 12 years of compulsory schooling, where students can receive basic education and be ready to become part of the productive economy. Unfortunately, study found that 66% of Indonesian youngs failed to complete basic schooling. This means only one third of Indonesian students are able to finish high school.
There are many factors behind this. Education is not the main priority in many households due to the family’s financial condition. When money is tight, children would help their parents by working. Around 2.7 million Indonesian children, half of them are younger than 13 years old, are involved in some form of child labor. Another factor is distance to school. While primary schools are in near proximity to family’s houses, middle and high schools are sometimes only available in the next cities. Travel time and cost incurred again became a hindrance toward children completing basic education.
There is also a great room for improvement for teachers’ quality in Indonesia. More than half of the teachers do not have the minimum qualification to teach according to government standards. 62% of elementary school teachers nationwide is also state that they rarely participated in teachers’ training. Lack of materials and knowledge to enhance teaching became main challenges for teachers to become effective educators.
We believe that all children are equal and it is our collective responsibility to create greater access to basic education. Our education program includes creative classroom activities concerning issues around them, extracurricular English course, reading campaigns, donation of school supplies, and teachers’ training to improve the quality of teachers in Indonesia.
Do You Know?
- 12% of Indonesian children under 5 suffer from overweight due to unhealthy lifestyles
- 25% of people with disabilities live in an extreme poverty
- 71% of total deaths in Indonesia are caused by non-communicable diseases as a result of dirty environment of unhealthy lifestyles choices.
Health is very much related to poverty and unfortunately, many developing countries still struggle with various health issues. In Indonesia, 11.2% of the total population still lives below poverty line and this has put constraints in the way people live. For example, those who live around slums cannot afford a more hygienic house. Many Indonesians have developed detrimental habits as well, such as lack of physical activities and frequent consumption of unhealthy food, evident by the types of snacks sold on school grounds. On top of that, smoking is a major culture in the country, affecting not just smokers but also people around them.
While poverty affects one’s lifestyle, it also has direct impacts, determining how families deal with diseases and disabilities. Costs of healthcare could be so high that when people cannot afford the price of doctor visits and medicines, they choose to ignore the disease. Many people, when facing the lack of financial ability, choose to treat conditions themselves with household materials and their limited knowledge. The refusal to seek medical help often times worsen the condition.
Material help is critical for people who live in poverty. It would help them with the immediate health necessities. Our programs have donated assistive devices to help people with disabilities not just to give them dignity to function and operate as well as they could, compared to their peers, but also to improve their productivity, both at home and at other spheres such as schools or workplace. We also have worked with schools and educational institutions to introduce habits that are beneficial for students’ health. In the long run, we hope to see this habit yielding fewer health risks and resulting in a more fit nation altogether.
Do You Know?
- Indonesia is the second biggest marine pollutant in the world with 3.3 tons waste per year
- Poor sanitation and hygiene in Indonesia cause 50,000 deaths annually
- Green spaces in the cities in Indonesia have shrunk to only 9.3% far below the target of 30% set by Law on Spatial Planning
Indonesia has been privileged with the vast amount of natural resources that includes oil, gas, gold, copper and timber among much more. Indonesia’s rainforest has become the habitat and source of life for many living beings. Due to rapid industrialization, exploitation of natural resources, deforestation and logging that sometimes takes place illegally, the density of green space in the country has continually dropped. In 2010, Indonesia was reported to have lost 30% of its forest, yet still being the world’s ninth largest pulp producer. Without the right preservation, our environment and natural resources in Indonesia are in danger.
The country’s population density has definitely played a part. With more than 250 million individuals, Indonesia produces 175.000 tons of trash every day, totaling to about 64 million tons per year. Human activities such as irresponsible garbage dumping, excess usage of water and energy resources, and urban construction impact environmental condition. Pollution and flood that frequently happen also counts as one of the environmental issues caused by human activities.
It is the responsibility of all stakeholders to prevent further damage to the environment and to the natural resources that Indonesia has. We approach this issue from an educational standpoint, where we share positive, eco-friendly habits that children can do without much hassle at home and in school, through structured learning activities. We have also worked with several city governments to design and construct public parks that include playground so to foster awareness on the need to play outdoors. By exposing children to nature and green spaces from early age, they would have stronger cognitive abilities and closer relationship with nature, therefore they would grow up to be responsible adults.