YCM Newsletter April-October 2018

Dear friends and supporters of Yayasan Cipta Mandiri – the foundation that changes lives!

Time flies and life is full of changes and challenges, happy news and sad news!

I want to share some of the happy news with you today. News about students of YCM who reached their goals and set new goals!

Resti :  after she graduated from a high school in 2011, she decided to join YCM as a recommendation from a friend. She is a smart, active and a cheerful person that is why after a year of her involvement at YCM she was appointed to become a tutor assistant. She always did her best and improved day by day, until she received an offer to continue her study in a university from personal sponsors who visited YCM and met her in person. She decided to take English Education as her major study in a university in Bogor. In her campus, she was always being an outstanding student and she can excel her colleagues. In 2014 she obtained a chance of students exchange program to Thailand. She was not only busy in her campus but also committed to share her knowledge at YCM. She kept her tutoring schedule as Youth Development Counselor at YCM and in 2015 she also started to assist SOLA (YCM business division) as Marketing and Administration Officer.  Being a busy one did not make her as a sluggish one to finish her study; finally in July 2018 she graduated from the university and directly received an offer to work as Assistant Manager, Guest Relation and Administrations in Lodges Ekologika in Portibi Farm in Bogor Regency.

Ronald: he achieved his goal to work for “The Jakarta Post“, the biggest English newspaper of Indonesia! But not only this great achievement made us happy for him. Ronald finally got accepted for an Australian Awards Scholarship – this will enable him to pursue his Master studies in Australia. Amazing! We are so very proud of him. Read what he has to share!


Uni: she graduated from University (Bachelor in Accounting) sponsored by PMI, Die Brücke and YCM friends and now we try to help her reach the next goal: work and study in Germany! Kindergarten Schmusebacke Gmbh, Jutta Lembcke, our longtime donator tries to arrange the work permit and Visa for a one-year Internship in Hamburg. Uni already started to learn German at „Goethe Institut“. How exciting! I am convinced that Uni will easily adapt and be integrated in German reality! Any support is welcome!

Anis: after a one-year apprenticeship in Garment – Pattern-making and Design, Anis will start working in a Linguerie factory in Jakarta. She is such a lovely and brave person; we wish her all the best and will definitely keep in contact.


Ari: on 27.October Ari graduated from Hospitality College Bogor Hotel Institute –BHI (sponsored by a friend of YCM) and already has a great job offer! He will start working as assistant to management at Gili Asahan Eco Resort, Lombok. Ari’s communication skills are terrific. He successfully completed a 6 months internship at a 5 star Hotel in Bintan Island and also worked at a Vila in Gili Trawangan, Lombok for 5 months when he was just 18 years old.

Dery: once I said to Dery: „you can sleep when you are old.“ This quote became his motto in life! He is hardworking and dedicated.  On 24.10.2018 was Graduation day: English for Education sponsored by a former volunteer.  Besides studying in Jakarta he is teaching Photography in YCM and he is a member of our SOLA team for Photography/ Film.

(Dery calls me „my big Maaama“  🙂

Considering his background we are especially proud of his achievements and dedication.

Celebrating Life!

YCM family shares joy, happiness and gratefulness with Irfan ‘Leunyai’ and Fajrin. Both of them recently finished the 2-3 years of cancer treatment. We have highest respect as both of them – they mostly live at YCM – faced the very difficult, painful, stressful times with impressive patience. They both say that the support and love of the YCM family helped them so much and encouraged them to not give up.


During the last months we had some former Volunteers visiting YCM, Bogor and their host families. Trutz, Ole, Sophie and Nadine came back and even after a few years time we fell connected and happy to meet again. We can share memories and catch up with the lives and developments of the individuals and the YCM project. It is a pleasure to realise how many former volunters still keep attached to us!  Nico Vih Peltier and Mathilda Hartvig Munk from Danmark joined YCM as volunters through the AFS organisation. Both girls easily felt integrated and shared their passions and knowledge with our students. It is a benefit not only for our students but also for the volunters who are welcomed in such a friendly and open minded atmoshere. An amazing intercultural experience!

My name’s Ronatal (Ronald) Siahaan. I was a student who learned soft-skills and hard-skills at YCM from 2007 to 2011, and I also lived there from 2007 until 2017. I studied English Literature from 2011 to 2015. During my college years, I also spent my time teaching English and sharing my knowledge to YCM’s students.”

“YCM has changed my life upside down. There are so many important, useful things that I have gained from the foundation such as English, life-skills, and opportunities, which have helped me every step of the way.”

“In 2018, I accomplished two huge goals. The first one is I got accepted by a well-known, reputable English newspaper The Jakarta Post. I work there as a part-time proofreader, where my tasks revolve around reading and checking news stories – it’s been my fifth month. Ever since I started there, I have learned so much about journalism. There is always something new to absorb in terms of knowledge. Rather than calling it as a job, I’d prefer to call it a passion. Working there is such a great opportunity for me.”

“The second goal is I got awarded with the Australia Awards Scholarship (AAS) – thanks a lot to Mbak Mira M. Lay, YCM’s former volunteer, who nominated me through Embassy Partners category – which allows me to undertake a Master’s degree program in Australia next year. I would like to study Creative Writing, Publishing, and Editing that will take two years. I feel extremely grateful and lucky to receive the prestigious opportunity and I will harness it and make the most out of it.”

“YCM has changed my life – and it still does. Thank you, YCM. I couldn’t have done it without you. Hopefully, the students at YCM are inspired with the achievements that I have accomplished, so that they’re brave and confident to aim high when they grow up. Good luck!”



To boost the students reading motivation at YCM, we create a project called “Let’s Read”. It is a four-month project where students collect points based on the number of pages of the book they read. Collected points are accumulated and exchanged with rewards.


How it works

Once the students finish reading a book, they will

receive points for each book they read. They also have to write down minimum

five new words they find the book they are reading. At the end of the project, we will hold a spelling competition where the words are from the books they have read and each student will share the story they read with the committee.




Nadine Schartz from Germany was a volunteer at YCM from 2011 until 2012. In October this year, she came back to Bogor to visit YCM and shared her experience with us.

I really enjoyed my stay in Indonesia and teaching at YCM back when I was a volunteer. Therefore, I have always wanted to come back to Bogor for a visit or even a longer period of time. Time did not allow for me to stay longer than two weeks, but nevertheless, I am glad that I came back.

I had been a little bit worried that it would feel weird to come back after such a long time, as things and people at YCM, of course, have changed. The first thing I realised when walking towards YCM was that the front of the building is now painted in orange and red, which I remembered being green. However, as soon as I walked in, the tutors welcomed me warmly, and from that second on, it felt like I had never left. We were chatting and joking around just like six years ago. Even some of the students I used to teach where still there and it was good to see that they had grown and were still eager to learn.

In general, the students’ eagerness and excitement to learn and study had always amazed me. Their attitude has not changed, and more specific projects have evolved over the past six years. Back in 2011/2012, the main focus of YCM was on teaching English, sewing classes were offered and some students worked on film projects. By now, sewing and film have grown to become businesses that provide income to both YCM and students. You should see and buy the products of the ‘Kancing’ brand, they look very professional! I bought some small bags and yoga bags, what a good idea. And the movies created by the film team speak for themselves – awesome!

Other new projects are Robin Herbs and Bogor Tours. In Robin Herbs, a gardening project, students now grow their own plants and spices in YCM’s backyard. There is therefore even more going on in the backyard now, apart from futsal, the playground and the usual get together. In Bogor Tours, YCM students give guided tours in and around Bogor. I also joined the Bogor Hidden Places Tour and was pleasantly surprised about how professional and well my tour guide had prepared and led the tour. We saw places in Bogor that I did not know of and visited the market, a museum, a gong factory and a tofu factory. You should definitely book one of the tours if you get the chance to travel to Bogor!

But apart from those projects, it was really the little things that I remembered and missed most, and that I got to experience again. First, the good atmosphere at YCM. Students are very open-minded, there is no bullying or fighting, but instead music, laughter and playing. When you enter YCM at break time, you always find a group of students playing the guitar and singing. In the backyard, the students play futsal or just chat. It really is a home and safe place for them. Secondly, the respect and friendship. Students are very respectful towards the tutors and also see them as family, as brothers and sisters. Everyone is very kind and honest to each other. Thirdly, the effort everyone puts in. Tutors really care about every single one of their students, teach them and cheer them up. Students also actively take on tasks at YCM, such as cleaning or cooking lunch for all students and tutors or participating in the student council.

Kym Hall

I am an Australian Volunteer and part of the Australian Volunteers Program (AVP). This program and hence my position are funded by the Australian Government.

AVI is the recruiting agency for the volunteer program and accepts requests from organizations in 27 developing countries for skilled volunteers to help build the capacity of people in those organizations to better serve the communities in which they are involved.

In my case I was recruited by AVI as a Youth Horticulture Adviser to help build the capacity of the participants in the Yayasan Cipta Mandiri (YCM) Horticulture Project.

My career as a horticulturist spans approximately 40 years. Much of that time involved commercial plant production in my own nursery, a tertiary college and semi Government organizations. More recently I have worked as a volunteer in not-for-profit organizations in Timor Leste, Indonesia and Cambodia.

My assignment with YCM started in June 2018 and is due to end in May 2019. When I arrived the gardening team, under the leadership of Mas Ilham, had acquired hydroponic equipment and had had some rudimentary training in its operation. Whilst they were able to operate the systems and produce plants they were working well below their capacity and resulting crops were of uneven quality and the yield was at best unpredictable.

My role as a volunteer is primarily to build the capacity of the participants in the Gardening Project and YCM in general, by passing on my knowledge, there-by making the project and YCM more sustainable.

In consultation with Mas Ilham, the team leader, and his team, we set about trying to optimize production by putting in place routines that would ensure that the hydroponic nutrient and water levels were checked daily and replenished as required and each action recorded. In addition we record and track each crop from seeding to harvest. These records assist Ilham to manage the hydroponic units more effectively by comparing the condition of the plants with the data recorded. This has proved to be a powerful management tool, particularly when he is required to attend to other duties away from the horticulture project.

Although it is still early times we can see improvement in production levels, quality and predictability. I look forward to the next 6 months of my assignment when we will experiment with other crops and techniques. In that time it is expected the team will gain valuable experience, skills and planning ability necessary for them to develop the confidence to independently manage the hydroponics project.

Nico Vih Peltier

It has been a while since I left raining city of Bogor and my new found family that I made there. I still think back at my time at YCM and the many happy memories that I experienced such as: our camping trips, our meals, our lessons and basically just the fun times we shared. I learnt so many things about the people, the culture, and the country. But most importantly I know that I will always have a home to return to in Bogor and I am welcomed with open arms at YCM. With Love, Nico

Mathilde Hartvig Munk

My experience as a volunteer

My name is Mathilde and I’ve spent the last two months volunteering here at YCM. My stay has definitely been a very exciting, inspiring and educational experience! I am impressed by how much life, spirit and energy you find here. Everybody is so enthusiastic and committed to learn and share and become better human beings, which affects me in the most positive way.

I primarily have English classes which I really enjoy. The atmosphere is always relaxed and we laugh a lot. The fact that YCM doesn’t have any curriculum has both been challenging but also liberating as I have been able to share the things I find interesting. I have for instance had a theme about intercultural understanding and one about Danish culture with the pre-intermediate students.

Because the culture here is so different from my home country (Denmark) it definitely took some time for me to adjust. In the beginning everything was quite overwhelming. The food was spicier than I am used to, the traffic more chaotic, there were so many new faces and the conception of time was a lot more loose which sometimes lead to frustrations. But everybody has been so welcoming and sweet to help so I pretty quickly felt at home.

One of the things that has made the biggest impact on me so far is to hear the students and tutors share their stories of how YCM has given them a new opportunity in life – a new future. It has definitely put a new perspective on my own life as well.

Sadly now I only have a couple of weeks left here which is way too short. I am looking forward to going on a trip to the Baduy-tribe with Bogor Tours and on a camping trip with the YCM-family and otherwise I’m just trying to enjoy the rest of my time here as much as I can at this lovely place.

YCM & Deutsche Schule Jakarta (DSJ)

Throughout this year YCM has continued to develop its relationship with Deutsche Schule Jakarta (DSJ), the German School in Jakarta. YCM and DSJ held a project week in July in which a group of about 15 DSJ students and teachers visited YCM for the day and were taken on a city tour by Bogor Tours. That same week 8 youth students from YCM spent three fun-filled days at DSJ. They stayed with host families and participated in a range of activities, including scuba-diving and other sports, a field trip to Banten, and shared quality time getting to know one another. This was a wonderful opportunity for new experiences, strengthened relationships, and happy memories for both YCM and DSJ students.

More recently, 3 students from DSJ spent two weeks at YCM for their junior high school work experience placement. The students quickly found their place in YCM’s family, and by the end of their time had participated in almost all of YCM’s diverse activities, from English and sewing lessons, to cooking, singing, and playing games. The students enjoyed their time so much that they asked to return the following week for two days of their school holiday break! YCM has received fantastic feedback from the students, their families and teachers. We are so happy about this new cooperation with DSJ!

YCM staff outing

In other news, YCM’s tireless and dedicated leadership team and families had a much-earned break at the Ocean Queen Resort in Pelabuhan Ratu for a couple of days in September. Many thanks again to Mr Nick Andrews for supporting YCM by providing the accommodation. This was a wonderful chance for YCM staff to unwind, relax, and spend quality time together.



ISB-Green Camp

Also in September, 11 YCM students volunteered their time, energy, and creativity to the week-long Green Camp held at the Intercultural School of Bogor (ISB). The students led a range of activities with an environmental focus, including an outing to the cassava field and subsequent cassava cooking class, as well as many craft, singing, and games sessions. ISB were very grateful for the contribution of YCM students, and this has also helped to continue to grow the relationship between YCM and ISB.

Dear all, we are grateful for any donations and support. We are constantly looking for funding as you can imagine running a foundation with many people (all in need and from financially poor backgrounds) and programs involved costs quit some MONEY.

Any donation is welcome and appreciated.

Enjoy your life! Ibu Gesine

YCM paypal account:  rustam.ciptamandiri@gmail.com

Dear YCM donors and supporters,

We would like to apologize you if our newsletter’s emails did not go through to your primary inbox but through spam or other ways. In order to enable them to go through your primary inbox, please kindly add our email address yciptamandiri@gmail.com to your contact list.

Thank you and have a great day!

Kind regards,


Abdul Kohar

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