Activating Empathy through Cross-Fostered Child Programme
This project also has a Changeshop where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Changeshop: Chained and Cross-Fostered Child Programme.
A multicultural school that aims to provide good quality education for everyone and promote peaceful coexistence through its whole-school approach.
About Your Organization
Yayasan Perguruan Sultan Iskandar Muda
Indonesia, SU, Medan
Country where this project is creating social impact
Indonesia, SU, Medan
Is your organization a
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for more than 5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The purposes of the programme are two-fold: to alleviate poverty and to reduce the latent sentiments between different groups, particularly the Chinese and non-Chinese in Indonesia that are often initiated and caused by pre-determined negative stereotyping and prejudicial views. These two aims are interrelated because a great number of literature has identified the three way relationships between education, poverty and conflict (e.g. Geoffrey Sachs, World Bank, Lynn Davies)
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
We offer cross-fostered child programme – a programme in which children from disadvantaged families go to school through the sponsors of economically-able individuals. The latter (foster parents) pay the tuition and other schooling-related fees of the former (fostered children). Foster parents are also encouraged to nurture their relationships with their fostered children beyond the financial ties, e.g. introducing their own family to the fostered children and spending quality times together. Through these vocational activities, bonds will be strengthened and prejudicial views often endorsed by the society can be challenged and eliminated. By providing the space and opportunity for quality interaction between the foster parents and the fostered children (both come from different racial, ethnic, economic and/or religious backgrounds), it is hoped that both sides will learn to respect and empathise each other.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Historically some multi-dimensional (ethnic, social status, religious) conflicts involving the aforementioned groups occurred, e.g.the 1998 riots, where horizontal factors (ethnic, race, religion) were enforced by vertical factors (political manipulation, socio-economic jealousy)to cause outbreaks. In relation to this past event, some people have argued that sentiments and stereotypes were used as a provocative tool to manipulate the often less educated, poor group of people to attack certain ethnic group, perceived to be well-off. By giving the poor children opportunities to be educated in a good quality school, they will be better equipped to compete in the labour market, and thence are able to improve their own and their families’ lives. When this group is well-educated and economically-sufficient, we hope that provocation to induce conflict will no longer work and peaceful society can be achieved. When combined with the close interaction and good quality relationship that is built between the foster parent and fostered child from different social backgrounds, the efforts towards prejudice reduction will be amplified. Through activities to maximise contact time and nurture bonding such as going out to cinema or shopping, giving presents or birthday cards to each other and sending festive greetings during religious celebrations, we hope that understanding and respect can be built. The involvement of community outside the school environment is essential because YPSIM wishes to minimise the often criticised mismatch between school culture and reality outside schooling.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
The Fostered-Child Programme has been promoted by the Indonesian government since the 1990s. Nonetheless, its implementation is often seen and perceived to have been limited to state-owned schools. The purpose of the normal fostered-child programme that focuses on poverty reduction is also one-dimensional, and that differentiates it from our CCFCP in which it concurrently aims to promote diversity. Our programme is also guided and run using systematic mechanism and procedures of selection, and it has also been proven to be able to address the issue of financial dependence upon donators' participation.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Multicultural school aiming to provide good quality education and reduce social tensions through holistic school culture and initiatives
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
CCFCP attempts to tackle two social problems in one go. It has a chained system to secure both financial and social sustainability.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Since it was first established in the 1990, the programme has given 2115 poor students the chance to go to school. This means it has participated in the attempts to increase the number of educated young people in this nation. In economical term, this educational opportunity which is linked to the rising of employment opportunity should also be considered as a meaningful investment to bring themselves and their families out of poverty. In social term, by bridging contacts between different social groups (economic, ethnic and religion), this programme has attempted to at least minimise the prejudicial views against the ‘other’ group that might be held by the fostered child and foster parent themselves, their immediate family and friends and their surroundings.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
We projected that the CCFCP’s alumni will be continuing their studies at a higher level and/or working with companies or becoming entrepeneurs, resulting the decline of unemployed and uneducated population. Following this achievement, we hope that more CCFCP’s alumni will become foster parents helping to provide educational opportunities to other poor young people, as agreed when they were once fostered children themselves.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The lack of public’s interest to become foster parents can limit the number of poor children the school can admit as the school only has limited fund to subsidise the costs of schooling for these children. We are planning to keep on promoting the programme and trying to build collaborations with NGOs or charitable organisations to extend the leverage of the programme. Promotion will also be done using virtual social networks, such as facebook or twitter to attract interest from potential fostered parents.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Establish CCFCP’s alumni network and appoint the alumni to be the CCFCP’s ambassadors to promote the CCFCP’s programme
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Locating the CCFCP’s alumni
Surveying their achievement
Asking for their supports as ambassadors in the CCFCP’s alumni reunion event.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Inspire current fostered children so that they dare to dream big and are more determined to reach their goals upon graduation
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Locating inspiring Indonesian young people who are either in Indonesia or abroad to be their foster brothers/sisters
Briefing this group of young people of their role, which is mainly to aspire, direct and guide them to achieve their dreams
Connecting the fostered children with their foster brothers/sisters, either through virtual world or face-to-face meetings
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
The programme was initiated in 1988, a year after YPSIM school was established. The school was located in the then underdeveloped small village, outskirt of Medan city, and at the time, there were so many poor children in the school neighbourhood who wanted to go to good quality school. Nonetheless, the school itself did not have sufficient funds to pay operational costs as well as the interest of their bank loans, let alone subsidising the schooling fees for so many children. Hence, dr Sofyan Tan came out with the adopted child programme. The ‘crossed’ nature of the programme, pairing the fostered children and foster parents from different ethnic, religious groups came from his vision to reduce prejudices and create peaceful coexistence between different socio-economic groups, particularly between the ethnic Chinese and other ethnic groups in Indonesia.
Tell us about your partnerships
We are building partnerships with philanthropists or people from charitable organisations to become our foster parents. In the past, a few government authorities who paid a visit to the school including Prof B.J Habibie (the former president of Indonesia), adopted some foster children as well.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
We have a solid team consisting of teaching and non-teaching staffs and psychologists that are involved in the programme, from the recruitment process to select candidates for fostered children, surveying the conditions of the fostered children and foster parents, until management of scholarships. This established team coupled with the commitment from public to reduce poverty and uneducated young people will ensure the achievement of future goals.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
YPSIM's cross and chained fostered child programme has been recognised regionally, nationally and internationally for its unique mechanism. We are looking forward to making partnerships to strengthen and proliferate our and our partners' initiatives.