He has more than achieved his aim, and his is a truly inspiring story of one young person’s hopes and dreams becoming reality. Here is Roy’s story, so far:
After returning home, I contacted Volunteer Program Bali which helps students study English. They invite people from outside the country – including Europe and America - to teach local children English after school hours. I joined the program, and found out some of the kids (8 from my class, 7 to 10 years old) don’t go to school because their parents work in the fields or in the market, or are out on the street. I decided to do something about this, so I talked to the parents and said ‘how about if I feed them if you allow them to come to me, and I’ll teach them in the morning?’ They said, ‘are you sure you can provide them food?’ I was scared because I didn’t have a proper job at the time, but I said yes I could. I applied to a local bar and worked part-time during the night, and then used the money to pay for meals for the kids every time they came to me.
They were getting Indonesian food – rice - so I bought rice from the market. It’s not a proper English meal, but it’s enough for us! I also contacted some friends outside Bali, and they sent me a few pounds every month. It doesn’t sound a lot, but sometimes it was the difference between having a proper meal or very little to eat.
The program is actually for a paid volunteer, so if someone wants to volunteer they have to pay for their accommodation and food. I explained my situation to the manager of the NGO and they said they would waive the accommodation costs, but I would have to pay for food. I used the money I earned from bar work to sustain myself.
I’m not doing my volunteering job right now because its high season; many people come to Bali to teach and the organisation cannot provide me with accommodation - but I will join them again in February.
I taught most of the kids basic English and grammar. Those who don’t attend school regularly I taught how to read, count, and write because they skip the first and second grade, and I had to teach them from scratch. I’m not worried about the students in general because they are still at school. I am worried about the 8 kids I taught in the mornings because they have stopped reading books; they have stopped singing the ABC’s. I’m worried they aren’t progressing. I’m trying to find book supplies so even though I’m not in Bali I can still provide them with books. When I return in February I hope to have the same opportunities I had before, and will continue with my 8 kids. Hopefully, it will set them on the road to education - and maybe they’ll end up at Pestalozzi!
I don’t see myself as a teacher in the future, but will work in my field of science and maybe teach high-school students biology or similar. It was a struggle the first time I taught the kids, but I want to return to them after I finish my graduate study.
In Indonesia we have so many diverse cultures and it’s very different from Bali, so it was a culture shock when I arrived there, but Pestalozzi taught me that we have to respect each other; we have to learn how others live, so it wasn’t really hard for me to integrate.
I joined the academic club when at Pestalozzi, and taught biology and maths to my juniors. I didn’t find it too much trouble teaching them because I realised if they weren’t enjoying a class I should teach a different way. I learned how to teach when I was at Pestalozzi and, more importantly, they gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to succeed.