NURUL HUDAA SCHOOL IS ANZA SOCIAL WELFARE’S NEWEST PROJECT by David Goodbody, Co-Director of ANZA Social Welfare
When I have visitors in Jakarta I try and take them to the old port at Sunda Kelapa and then through the old historic parts of Jakarta ending up and Kota and Cafe Batavia. A good day out. I organise this with a local tour guide, Pak Bram. As part of the tour he takes you through his kampung where he grew up and if you are lucky you get to meet his family, particularly his young daughter, the apple of his eye, and her school friends. The kampung is called Luar Batang. It is one of the poorest kampungs in Jakarta. The residents mostly derive their living from fishing in the waters off north Jakarta. The kampung is very low lying and is often subject to severe flooding during the rainy season. On a previous trip through the kampung Pak Bram mentioned to me how he supports a school in the kampung that we passed in our walk. The school, called Nurul Hudaa, is a Madrasah (Islamic School) catering for the poorest children in the area. On a subsequent tour with yet another visitor sometime last year, Pak Bram told me that the school was trying to raise funds to buy furniture for new classrooms they had built as part of a second floor extension to the building. I mentioned that I just happened to know some people who might be able to help. When an ANZA Social Welfare evaluation team visited the school they found that they had built the classrooms but had run out of money before they were completed. Not only had they been unable to buy desks and chairs but they had also been unable to build the windows and doors for the new classrooms, so they were open to the elements. We also learned that the teachers – already very poorly paid – had not been paid at all for the previous six months.
It was time to call our friends at the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation (PHMF). They agreed to pay for the new furniture for the classrooms while ANZA paid to finalise the building work. This involved raising the existing wall height and installing windows and doors to enclose the classrooms. ANZA also decided to include Nurul Hudaa amongst its regular monthly funded projects. A further benefit has been that with money the school had saved towards these projects, they have been able to raise the floor level of the ground floor classrooms to reduce the likelihood of them flooding. Previously the floor level had been below the street level so that once flood water got in, clearing it was a real problem. So on Saturday 9 January the folk at Nurul Hudaa invited David Adams from PHMF and people from ANZA to a celebration and thank you ceremony at the school. It was really nice to see how much our contribution was appreciated by Pak Syabhani, the headmaster and his team. When we first visited he looked like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Now he is cheerful and happy – but he still managed to provide us with a wish list of other items that they would like! ¿