I Made Sujana is in his first year of Jr High School, grade 7, and is 12 years old. Sujana’s mother and father work as part time rice field farmers, while looking after Sujana’s disabled brother. If they’re ‘lucky’ they earn about $40/month. Financially, the family’s life is a vicious cycle of paying off debt and trying to survive.
Sujana’s parents really believe in education, something admirable in people who did not get one themselves and struggle to get by. They want their son to have a better life.
Fifteen year old I Kadek Sandi Darma Putra will have to drop out and not enter High School next year. The school fees will be too high.
He would be grateful if he could graduate from any senior high school and get to work in the tourism industry, at the very least in the rafting place like his father did.
Sandi’s father suffers from a long term illness and his mother has passed away.. He doesn’t have any allowance to buy meals at school, but he’s still passionate to finish his education. His backpack and shoes are torn and worn out. Sandi’s grandmother earns money by collecting coconuts to make their oils, as well as making Balinese offerings.
Ni Nengah Juliani, age 15, is now in her first year of high school in Karangasem. She ranks the 6th in her class, and she loves going to school very much. Nengah dreams of working as a hotel receptionist.
Nengah still owes her uncle money for buying her school uniform last year when she advanced to vocational senior high school. So far, Nengah’s parents have been borrowing money to pay for her school fee, paying them later on. Nengah really wants to graduate from High School so she can help her parents. She also feels burdened every time she has to pay for her school fee, her parents have to borrow money.
13 year old 7th grader Dimas (from Bangli) dreams of becoming a tour guide. He would very much love to learn foreign languages to increase his chance of one day getting work. In order to help pay his expenses and help his family, he works as a shopkeeper after school every day near his house. He gets paid about $8.50/month for that.
He loves school and really hopes to be able to continue, and even afford English lessons. These are very cheap, but not when you have no money.
Widya’s father lost his leg to diabetes and uses a prosthetic. His mother has asthma and supports the family selling snacks.
Ni Kadek Widiantari, a 16 year old 10th grader in her first year of High School, had to quit school for a year because of her family’s financial struggles. She was heartbroken, because she knew how dim her future will be if she can’t graduate.
While Kadek was not in school, she worked and helped her parents with their work as laborers, making offerings to sell.
Her parents worked for a company that went out of business. So they had to take out exorbitant loans with high interest to survive, and this is why Kadek Widiantari had to drop out.
Kadek also needs to take courses in English and computer. Her dream is to work on a cruise line in Food & Beverage, so she can work as a cook or waitress later.
Ni Putu Era Juniarsani, a 12 year old 7th grader. She loves studying languages, especially English and Balinese, and wants to continue her extra English course. Sadly, her sponsor had to stop due to illness.
As well as a passion for Balinese dance, she also makes Balinese offerings to sell. The money from that goes to help buy meals for her family.
Her father is a manual laborer with no fixed income, and it’s doubtful that they can afford to keep Putu in school, though they really want to. After high school, Putu Era would love to go to University if it’s possible, and work while attending it. She would love to major in English Literature.
Juliawan lives alone with his elderly father since his mother passed away 8 years ago from heart disease. His two older sisters only finished Junior High and are now both married.
Juliawan, although he doesn’t want to, is on the brink of dropping out of school as his father cannot afford the more expensive Senior High School.
He already spend his spare time helping is father with labour work and at the moment, it looks like that will be his future. Juliawan would also dearly love to finish High School and work towards a new future.
Currently grade 6, is the youngest of 3 brothers. His older brothers are laborers and they graduated only from Junior High School. Wahyudi and his parents live in a temporary house which is actually a shack. His father has had two strokes so he cannot work as before.
Wahyudi must drop out of school if he doesn’t get any help, as his mother really can’t afford his school supplies for Junior High School and his father can’t work.
His dream is to work at a cruise line. He would love to improve his English skills. His hobby is playing sepak takraw, a sport mixed of soccer and volleyball.
Wayan Agustina Putra, age 17, has one more year to finish in high school. His home is the bare minimum, and he, his sister, and his parents all sleep in one room on mats on the floor.
Wayan currently has an internship in Ubud Terrace as a housekeeper. He is working hard to do everything it takes to graduate, but it’s stressful and difficult. He also feels terrible that his parents, already desperately poor, have taken out loans for his school.
His parents are already in debt for his school fees and they hope that they will be able to support him through graduation.
RahDe to his friends, Made is the younger brother of I Gusti Ngurah Raka Dipa, also awaiting a sponsor. RahDe has a dream to be a tour guide. He would love to be able to speak English more fluently. His father works as a wood carver, meanwhile her mother stays at home and makes Balinese offerings to be sold in the market. Sometimes his mother also works as laborer for other people.
His father owes IDR 7 millions in the village cooperation, while his older brother also still hasn’t paid 6 months of his SPP/school fees, about IDR 1.5 million.
With one more year to go in school, 17 year old RahKa is the oldest of two brothers. Because of the family’s poverty, he has a debt at school for about IDR 1.5 million for his SPP or monthly school fee. Currently he’s majoring in hospitality and he would like to work in the housekeeping department at a hotel or a villa once he graduates from his vocational high school. RahKa is a diligent student and never skips a day. He studies hard and enjoys school a lot.
RahKa also helps his father work, sometimes carving wood. The family are in serious debt and need a break to cover the two sons’ school costs.
Krisna is in his last year of Junior High and fearful that he will not be able to start Senior High at all.
Krisna’s father cannot afford his high school entrance fee and the school fees for 3 years in Senior High School. So his father had asked him to drop out of school once he graduates from Junior High School this year. However, Krisna still would like to continue school very much, as he wants to get a better and decent job so he can support his family, or at least not be a burden anymore after finishing school.
His mother (his father’s first wife) passed away about 5 years ago from breast cancer and his father has now remarried. His father owes about IDR 16 million (about $1,200) in total in three different places. The loans were to pay for his mother’s medical bills, cremation, their daily staples, and an allowance to buy meals for the children at school.