6. School renovation

Grant Montgomery Travelogue: “Dreams do come true!”

Jakarta slums
I just returned from visiting a school in the Jakarta slums that has recently been renovated through the efforts of Family Care Indonesia. It is just down the alleyway from a home for street children where they make regular social investments, in a very, very poor part of the city.

The alleyway leading back into this slum reveals scenes unknown and unbelievable to most westerners. The whole area could best be described as somewhere between a slum and floating swamp.

Jakarta 02Last year when I saw the school, the walls consisted of rough boards nailed loosely on a framework, the sunlight shining through the cracks in the walls into the two “classrooms”, although it was quite a stretch to label them as such. This year I see a permanent brick building, with several classrooms, all with bright painted walls and ceiling fans, happy children in school uniforms, the school even boasting a state-of-the–art computer lab courtesy of Hewlett-Packard.

Jakarta 03These slum children who are now receiving an education, last year at this time were begging on the streets, one of the breadwinners of their impoverished families.

As the young, dedicated, energetic school supervisor (pictured in white shirt), who has labored here for years, confirmed to us over tea: “Dreams do come true!”

All photos and text © 2013 by Grant Montgomery. Not to be used elsewhere or replicated without permission.