Volunteers’ Testimonies

“Before I came to Indonesia … I had been warned of closed minded people. That is simply not true. All of the students and tutors of YCM always appeared to be extremely open to me. I never felt as if I imposed myself on anybody. On the contrary, I thought I could really achieve something with my work and that everybody was unbelievably thankful for that… I cannot even retell all the successes and developments I witnessed during only six months in Indonesia. On top of that, I had fun. I made new friends and learned a lot. This project offers much more than just lessons and is much more than just a school. YCM never fails to make one smile as one enters the building and is welcomed by such affectionate and warm people. It feels like coming home. I am more than content with my decision to go to Indonesia and to help at YCM. Not only because I think that YCM helps a lot of students and makes them happy, but because it helped me and made me happy.” Max, Germany.

“To come here was one of the best decisions of our lives.” Simon, Germany.

“YCM is a place where the students can learn important skills to give them better chances in the difficult job market in Indonesia. I volunteered at YCM for one year from 2010 to 2011. I was impressed by the atmosphere there. Every student is willing to learn a lot and everybody is working and learning together in harmony… Every student is a part of YCM, so every student is given tasks to do like cooking shopping or cleaning. Through this system everybody learns to take responsibility. For example, every day a group of the morning classes cooks food for lunch. For some students it is the first time that they have cooked, especially for the boys. YCM has also nice activities like basketball, soccer, and traditional dance on Saturday. It is a good chance to develop relationships outside of learning lessons… YCM is a very useful and effective project. Through this project, a lot of students have already gained a chance of a better life. It is not only a place where students can learn useful skills, it is also a place where they can find motivation and hope for a better future in a hard environment.” Fabian, Germany.

“When I first came to YCM I was so surprised by all the cheerfulness. All the kids are so eager to learn, because they know how important education is for them. Truly, I even felt a bit ashamed because I wasn’t so grateful for my time at school. But with such happy faces around, it was always great to teach and to see them getting better at what they liked. I hope I can stroll by YCM someday soon, because I miss the great time I had at YCM.” Jascha, Germany.

“My time at YCM was inspirational and life-changing. The absolute dedication of all staff and tutors is remarkable, but the most special thing is the ownership that the students have of the Yayasan — the leadership they show and the responsibility which they take for their own learning and development. This is what the Yayasan is all about, and it does its job VERY WELL!” Alex, Australia.

“I was a volunteer at YCM for two months in 2009 and I still cherish the experiences I had there. It was great to spend a few weeks teaching in a place that is so full of positive energy and creativity. YCM teaches its students a lot of important, useful things, not only when it comes to linguistic and computer skills, but also when it comes to confidence and a positive, hopeful approach towards life. In class, the teachers address topics that the kids might otherwise not hear about in their daily lives, and the classes challenge them to question what they know, make up their minds and form their own, informed opinions. I certainly learned a lot from the kids there as well, whose humour and creativity left me very impressed.” Ellen, Germany.