Thursday, 15 May 2014


Irwan, formerly of Bisa school, will begin university in September.

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What's the best kind of school?

Team Bintang Bisa

Could this be it?

The video opens on a new page.

The video clip is courtesy of Angelina Tan, whose daughter, Isabelle, raised sufficient funds to cover the cost of building a school for slum children.

Bisa school is a free school for slum kids in Jakarta in Indonesia.

Bisa school was set up by the British International School in Jakarta.

"Conceived, designed and managed" by kids at The British International School, Sekolah Bisa is a school for 25 shanty-dwelling primary children who formerly did not get any school education.


Mayang was a beggar on the streets.

Now she attends the Bisa school.

She’s one of the three female members of the Bintang Bisa! soccer team entered into the Jakarta Schools Football League. 

She wants to become a doctor.

Sekolah BISA, in Jakarta Indonesia, is on  Facebook

"We took on something that Sisyphus might have shied away from in envisioning a school:

"The mindsets of parent and child long habituated to exclusion.

"The shanty's communal lack of self belief.

"Our deep unfamiliarities with the culture.


"The shanty itself hidden, seemingly impenetrable, overwhelming.

"The huge societal forces that had determined in advance a child should not go to school.

"Our own fears and ignorance.

"The lack of any precedent."

Sekolah BISA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Education | Facebook

Sekolah Bisa (The School That Can) is on YouTube


"Overall, Mudi is the most committed member of the school."

A well and washroom at his home is being funded by the British International School's 'Spreading Smiles' charity.

Asked if he was happy at Sekolah Bisa, he said, 'Lebih dari pada senang' - 'More than happy.'

He likes reading and football.

Bisa School


Akbar lives in a home that is 3 metres by 3 metres.

He used to pull a cart.


Andik never fails to thank his teachers at the end of the class. 

Andik was once a beggar and in was once hit by a bus. 


Ahmad is a remarkably able child. 


Indra asked if he could become a student at Sekolah Bisa, and he is now enrolled.


Jefri used to beg at the railway station. 


Ella now has a birth certificate.

Many shanty-dwelling children do not have birth certificates and are not officially recognised as citizens of their own country. 


Yoga is 'a precocious and wonderfully aspirational child'.

He is 'a great goalkeeper'.


Cici's mother works as a maid.


Agung wants to be a footballer.


Lalita want to become a policewoman.


Fini wants to become a doctor or teacher.


Lipah wants to become a doctor or nurse.


"Andri is a very frail student - but impeccably polite and attentive to his studies." 


Jihan used to pull a garbage cart.

Jihan is a delightfully mannered girl and likes writing.


Ikki is often unwell 'but is a lovely child'. He lives with his family in a wood hut.


Heni is 'highly creative and talented'.


Rendy is 'remarkably witty and supportive of other’s learning. 

Rohmat and Rahmat

Rohmat and rahmat are twins.

"They belong to a very cooperative and functioning family."


Adrian Thirkell, of the British International School, came across Anik filthy and crying at Bintaro railway station.

Now she is at Bisa, and is described as being quick thinking, alert and creative.


Arie and his family were forced out of their shanty.

The new 'land owner' bulldozed the area.

Arie struggles to get to Sekolah Bisa because he has to go on a public bus first in order to reach the pick-up point for the Sekolah Bisa funded bus. 

He is 'a delightfully good humoured child who has missed almost no school at all since starting in May 2011.'


Siska loves Maths and problem solving


Lina wants to become a dentist.


There is very high death rate among children in some of the Jakarta slums.

Children die regularly from typhoid, typhus, tetanus, TB and a host of other ailments.

Medical care is not free and some of the doctors have only passed their exams through bribery.

A child can appear healthy on a Monday and be dead by Friday.

Maman, 13 years of age, died suddenly.

Maman's father died some time ago and his mother is a maid.

Maman used to chew uncooked noodles.


These Bisa students (above) were discovered on a garbage dump in Jakarta. They were collecting waste materials and selling them. The Street Kids of Jakarta

Strangely, the Bisa school appears to have only two corporate sponsors:

The Body Shop Indonesia and

Giant Hypermarket Jakarta.

One would hope that BP, Jardine Matheson, Unilever, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Rio Tinto, Premier Oil, BAT, Prudential, Shell, Rolls Royce, GlaxoSmithKline and a number of others will lend their support in future.

Sekolah Bisa!

"A boy whom BIS sent to school now teaches once a week at Sekolah Bisa!

"We gave. He gives back. Reciprocity. Synchronicity. NOT charity.

Lessons given to children in a slum area of Jakarta

1.5 million children live in the slums of Jakarta.

Most of the slum dwellers try to make ends meet by working as 'rag pickers'.

The children often have to start helping their families earn money early on.

Nearly half the population lives on under $2 a day.

Education is not free in Indonesia.

Various projects are "helping the children climb out of poverty through education."

For example, the British International School in Jakarta has set up its little school for slum children.

And Josef Fuchs, an Austrian businessman, has set up a foundation to make it possible for 2,500 children to attend school in 29 slums in Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.

Education gives hope to Indonesian slum kids 

YouTube videos
Jakarta Kid blog

Jakarta street children kids Archives | The Jakarta Globe


  1. Good luck to all those kids.

    I hope their dreams and aspirations are delivered.

  2. Butterfly's are very popular aren't they?

    Monarch anyone.....

  3. Marvellous, excellent - thanks for telling us about this. If only there were more things like it. God knows there's more than enough money to pay for it but will the selfish of this world ever part with it? It comes as no surprise that the two entities sponsoring the school are small fish in the corporate pool. The big fish equal predators equal no concern for anyone but themselves. Anyway kudos to the school and their little fish sponsors.

    best etc. etc.

  4. (I got to admit Buster... Im a little suspicious every time I see a blue butterfly aswell)
    This is brilliant Aang! :D
    Il never forget visiting a school in the Dominican Republic... Il always remember a little girl who was just fascinated by me! Followed me everywhere!

    Children in 'third world' conditions don't seem to have the same... 'shitness'? that children in developed countries have! They have a zest for life, a hunger and quest for knowledge, and a belief that they can achieve something amazing. It is fantastic to witness for oneself. Some of them have the most amazing smiles you will EVER see on a child!!! :D
    In a way, they have more of an awareness of how hard and tough life can be, but are unaware of the real causes as to 'why' (if that makes sense to anyone).

    The following Channel 4 'Unreported World' broke my heart a few weeks ago...
    'Children as young as SEVEN forced to fight for money in brutal Muay Thai bouts'. It is pretty brutal and horrific, but again it shows the attitude some children in poverty have.
    (I would have battered the trainer up and down the car park left right and f*****g centre!)


    Can you please read this Sweetie darlings...really important, more so than Bolly...

  6. Aang/Irfan... if one was wishing to dedicate a large part of their life to such a charity or school, and work with children in third world/slum conditions (Jakarta? India?)... how would they go about achieving it?

    I have no experience working with children, my qualifications are mainly Construction based, no health issues... I have a British criminal record (nothing major, no violence or theft, or anything 'ya know')... and surprisingly I don't use bad language when Im around children! :D (under 12's anyway). I am actually a completely different person around children, and it's something I would honestly like to dedicate my life to.
    (locating 'Atlantis' can be a hobby!)

    I've considered Palestine and Gaza strip, but been advised it may not be the best for my personal safety.

    I obviously do not want to get involved with any charity that may be connected to Western (ANY!) Intelligence agency, or anything with a political agenda (minimal political agenda).

    Im going to check out the links, and have an internet search myself... but I would appreciate some advice from yourselves or readers.

    I am genuinely interested in dedicating the rest of my life to something like that... genuine for the right reasons.

    Peace and Love X

    1. Best to get involved with (1) helping your own family (2) helping handicapped or elderly people in your own country.

  7. There are two sides to every coin
    What is school. It will separate you from your parents.
    What will they be taught.. Will they be told to question everything. Or nothing.
    The number one lesson is to be punctual. It is very important to imprint this
    From an early age.. What is the worst crime being late.
    All time must be filled no time should be wasted.
    "Im fixing a hole to stop my mind from wandering. Where it will go" Beatles
    .Yes your birth certificate. Your identity must be established and date of manufacture registered. Just as a ships goods were registered. Ownership is handed over to the state.
    "My name it means nothing my age it means less" Bob Dylan
    Second lesson obedience to authority. The teacher Illusion that the teacher has the wisdom and will pass the torch of knowledge. The reality is the teacher is reading from a narrow script the will be repeated again and again.
    Lesson three Conformity. You must be like all the other kids that have come before you and those that will follow you.
    Religion the next mind fuck. If you can be made to belive in an invisible thing. That watches your every move and will send you to hell to be tortured for eternity. But Will reward you after you have sacrificed your life. If you follow the rules. "Religion is the opium of the people" Karl Marx

  8. Hi there,

    I am british andmoving to Surabaya, Indonesia in July to teach English. I have been looking for some volunteering/charity projects to get involved with in the slums and i came across this organisation and articles about you in which i was extremely interested and moved by you. I want to help and make a difference in the slums in anyway i can. I worked and lived in Kenya, Africa for 3 months, where i worked in the largest slums teaching English and Music and building/setting up schools and charity projects. I set up a self sustainable music project to provide music education to the school's (because the government doesn't supply it). Music acted as a form of therapy for the children, giving them a way out and helping them in everyday aspects; learning, living, attitudes and especially chanelling there anger (instead of in gangs). I know that music is particularly important part of life in Indonesia as well. We organised concerts as well outside the slums, to raise money for the children's schools and education. I would love to volunteer and help/take part in similar work in Surabaya whether it's teaching or anything? Do you know of any way i can help and get involved or any opportunities for me?

    Many Thanks,


    1. Maybe some readers of this post can help.

      Best wishes,


    2. It is often the handicapped children who need most help.