Ratna Megawangi, Founder and Director
I grew up in Indonesia and went to college in the United States to become an expert in food and nutrition to help people at home in Indonesia. But when I came home in 1993, I started to think that many of the social problems in my country related back to the first years of school: kindergarten. I realized that kindergarten is not only a place to learn reading, writing, or math, but also a place to make friends and learn how to become a good, honest person that wants to help your community.
Kindergarten is the key to becoming to successful. I thought that because so many people missed out on this experience of kindergarten, including leaders of the country, they missed out on a lot of important learning, including learning how to help their community. That’s when I started the Indonesia Heritage Foundation with my husband in 2000 to create more kindergartens for more kids.
WHERE WE WORK
Indonesia Heritage Foundation works in many parts of Indonesia, a country in Southeast Asia. We work in villages that are far away from cities and poor areas within cities. Most of our work is in areas around Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, and in Aceh, the area of Indonesia that was damaged by the tsunami in December 2004.
WHO WE HELP
Less than 2 out of 10 of Indonesia’s children get a chance to go to kindergarten. Because kindergartens are not free, very few families can afford to send their children to kindergarten.
Most families live in small cities or far away from cities where there are hardly any
kindergartens to go to at all.
Many people don’t believe that kindergarten is an important learning experience. They also think that setting up a kindergarten is very expensive and not worth the cost.
OUR UNIQUE SOLUTION
Create more kindergartens!
We discovered a way that setting up kindergartens doesn’t have to cost a lot. We use buildings that already exist instead of using time and money to build a new building. Kindergartens can come together in a space like a garage or front yard or a church or mosque. This way, we only have to ask families to pay a very small school fee to keep the school running.
We have started more than 300 kindergartens in many different neighborhoods. These kindergartens are available to the families that live in that area at a very low cost.
Each kindergarten has 2 teachers and 30 to 40 students. We train teachers from each neighborhood and make sure that they teach lessons about honesty, caring and being part of your community along with reading, writing and math.
HOW YOU CAN HELP WITH YOUR PENNY HARVEST FUNDS
• $150 can purchase all the story books needed to teach kids about good values
• $200 can fund teacher trainings for 10 teachers
• $400 can fund all the educational toys needed in one preschool
• $3000 can set up a whole new kindergarten in a neighborhood
HOW YOU CAN PARTNER WITH US
• We can connect you with one of our new preschools so that you can write to students in Indonesia.
• We will help you set up a supply drive in your school to send us materials we need for the preschools.
Name: Ratna Megawangi
Title: Executive Director
Address: Jalan Raya Bogor km 31
No. 46 Restoran Papatua Pizza
Cimanggis Depok Indonesia 16951
Phone: 011-62-21-5201634 (Indonesia)
Fax: 011-62-21-5201635 (Indonesia)
Best time to contact:
Preferred method of contact: email