Who We Are

Yayasan Cipta Mandiri (YCM) is an Independent Creative Foundation for disadvantaged children and youth in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. Rather than being a traditional academic school, YCM is a rumah pembinaan — a house in which students are able to build their self-confidence, general knowledge, and practical skills.

YCM is for children and youth aged from 10 to 22 who come from underprivileged backgrounds but are motivated to expand their knowledge and to exceed expectations. YCM began as a small facility for only a few children but today, with the invaluable support of sponsors, the foundation has grown to accommodate around 100 active students. YCM is housed in a two storey building which has classrooms, two computer rooms, two sewing rooms, and a kitchen.

YCM was established in 2002 by Mrs. Gesine Nitzschke and Ms. Putu Ayu Novitry Ariany, who shared a common vision for the foundation. The foundation is based on the values of mutual trust, responsibility, teamwork, creativity, and active input. YCM aims to maintain its current high standards, develop its internal systems, and build the capacity of its staff. The foundation is funded entirely through private sponsorship and donations.

“We make a living by what we get,

But we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill


Our Founders

Gesine is a German expatriate who has lived and worked in Asia for 25 years throughout her life. She raised her family in Bogor, and lived there until 2008. Her background encompasses social volunteering roles in prisons and orphanages across Thailand and Indonesia. She also established a kindergarten in Bogor which ran for seven years.

Gesine has a passion for working with children, and relished in the company of YCM’s students when her own children grew up. She now lives in Bali with her husband, but visits YCM regularly to continue her hands-on approach. This includes supporting management decisions, assessing building maintenance and student discipline using her eye for detail, and following up with individual students or tutors facing difficult circumstances.

Gesine also continues to provide support through the development of partnerships and sponsorship opportunities.