In one month, ten new TransformNation teachers in training will arrive in Malang. These young adults will come from 3 separate islands in this diverse archipelago nation. They will come from different cultures, different family circumstances, and speak different dialects (in addition to Bahasa Indonesia), but they will all have two things in common; a love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and a desire to serve the Lord and their country as a teacher. These remarkable, hand-picked, young people recognize that quality education means hope for a better future.
Papua, and Sumba, two of the three islands our new TransformNation (TfN) recruits call home, are some of the poorest and most under-educated islands in Indonesia. In 2011 a staggering 36% of the adult population in Papua could not read or write! (1)
One of the current second year TfN students,Tirta, grew up in a tiny village far into the jungles of Papua. He writes, “I left my family and home at the age of nine so that I could continue to attend school, since my village did not have a junior high or high school … I have only seen my mother and younger siblings once since leaving home.” Usually the journey from Tirta's village consists of a two day trek through the mountains followed by a short plane ride into the valley of Wamena. However, Tirta was too poor to pay for the flight, so he and his brothers hiked for 2 weeks up through the peaks and down through the valleys of mountainous terrain before arriving at a small middle school. Against incredible odds, Tirta continued his education beyond middle school, attending a MSI sponsored high school. Now in his second year of TfN, Tirta shares that he wants to “become an outstanding leader and someone who has influence in the realm of education.” As a teacher his desire is to “prepare the younger generation of Papuans to build up and revitalize their community through peaceful methods.”
When the MSI recruitment team was interviewing potential candidates for 2014/15, one the applicants broke down and wept. She chronicled how as a child her teacher rarely came to school, and how she has since resolved to be a teacher that provides the next generation with something better. She longs for the opportunity to learn and share her knowledge with others.
These two beautiful islands are ripe with potential but void of opportunity.
TransformNation equals opportunity! Opportunities for exceptional young people who desire to teach and share the love of Christ to be trained up and equipped. Opportunities for children to learn under the leadership and guidance of quality educators. Opportunities for communities to truly change by breaking the cycle of poverty through education.
Opportunities bring hope.
You too have an opportunity. Through sponsoring just one TfN teacher in training you have the opportunity to positively change the lives of potentially hundreds of Indonesian children. If one TfN teacher educates 20 children per year for 20 years, he/she will impact and influence 400 children! Just imagine the ways these young lives can transform this beautiful nation.