My name is I Ketut De Sujana Mahartana. I am the founder of the non-profit foundation known as Yayasan Widya Sari.
This is our story:
In 2008, I met a young boy named Juliarta who had just finished elementary school. Juliarta was motivated and had a strong desire to continue his education and go on to junior high school. Unfortunately, Juliarta came from a poor fisherman’s family and there was no way for them to afford the school fees (uniform, transportation, materials). I
was determined to help Juliarta, but just didn’t know how. I searched relentlessly for information on scholarships and tried to raise funds myself, but had no success, until one day when a friend of mine put me in touch with Gill Rijnenberg of the WINS Project.
There are many more children who suffer from the same financial conditions, some of whose family’s are even poorer than Juliarta’s. Their parents learned about what happened with Juliarta and asked me over and over for help to send their children to school too. I received so many requests for help and the children were so motivated to go to school that I decided to join the WINS Project.
With their help and guidance I set up and established this small foundation with the goal of supporting the underprivileged children in my village and preparing them for the future as well as I could.
I named the center and foundation Yayasan Widya Sari. “Yayasan” is an Indonesian term that designates non-profit foundations. “Widya Sari” has a double meaning in Balinese, the first is “essence of education” and the second “a better life through education.”
I hope that through this, all of the children in my village can receive an education and have the tools and knowledge necessary to build a brighter future for themselves.
Yayasan Widya Sari was founded in 2008. We had no budget, no resources. The children’s classes were held on a little patio. They sat on a mat on the floor; the whiteboard was an old wooden door.
My sister and I taught them math, English, Indonesian, and how to use a computer. In 2009, Mr. Rinus Van Heerde generously donated the funds to construct a building that houses our office and our first true classroom. In 2011, the “Happy House” was constructed from a donation made by Bob Romijn.
This building comprises a kitchen, a bedroom with a ceiling fan and an en suite bathroom, and a detached bathroom for students. Happy House was originally used to house one of our students, who was unable to continue living with his family, as their home didn’t have enough for them all. Later on it was offered to a student and her mother, who came to take care of an older family member nearby.
The bedroom is now used as volunteer lodging, the students are allowed to use the detached bathroom, and my mother, sister, and a mother of one of the students take advantage of the kitchen to prepare traditional meals, which are made available to the volunteers.
This year, 2013, the funds for the construction of our Multifunction Aula were donated. The Aula serves as a large, outdoor classroom during the weekdays and as a dance studio on Sundays, when the local boys and girls, and any interested volunteers, get together to learn Balinese dancing under the guided instruction of a local Balinese dance instructor.
Our many thanks go out to the donors who contributed funds to complete this project. Thank you Hansa Eerelman; thank you Donald Pinegar, Earnie Giles, and Frances Blair from WINS Project USA for your hard work; Rick Pursell from Australia for your kind support; Agathe Rouget and Sylvie from France for your relentless support. Thanks to Hans from Haarlem, Netherlands.
He held a farewell party in Holland a couple months before coming to Bali, and at his party he raised money from friends and colleagues who donated to our learning center.
Thank you so much to Jan and Bea, also from from Haarlem, Holland, they hold an annual charity event with their friends called 666. Six-six-six means running 6km on the 6th day of the 6th month. This activity accumulated a sum of money that they donated to the project. Thanks also go out to Gill Rijnenberg and Cherie Leijer from WINS Project Netherlands for their guidance.