The Story Of
Educating the Future of Papua
The simple but large stilt building that functioned as a classroom echoed with the cheerful voices of the children from the Wano tribe. Located up in the mountains of Puncak Jaya in Papua — the coldest area in Indonesia with temperatures averaging of 9° Celsius — the Sekolah Lentera Harapan (SLH) in Mokndoma radiates with warmth from students like Yaneton Nggire and Timiton.
A natural born leader, Yaneton is responsible for gathering firewood and looking after his younger brother, who has special needs. In school, he’s curious and eager to learn, often asking the teachers questions and earnest in learning the Indonesian language.
Bright and cheerful Timiton, on the other hand, displays creativity and problem-solving skills. Taking to heart the teachers’ reminders to be frugal with their school materials, he once attached a piece of wood to a pencil that was already too short to hold so he can continue using it. Even when his notebook was chewed on by a mouse, he laughed it off and kept using it.
Students like Yaneton and Timiton are what inspire educators like Andi Rumbrar to stay in Mokndoma, a region so remote it can only be reached by a small plane.
“I once had a choice, when a relative offered to assign me to another place. But this is a matter of the heart,” Andi says, recounting how sincere their students and their parents are.
A Papua native who won a scholarship to the Pelita Harapan University (UPH) Teachers College, Andi is now the principal of the six-classroom SLH in Mokndoma, looking after its 75 students.
“I want to devote my time here, the next 20-30 years. I want to see the people from the hinterlands of Papua advance and become leaders,” he says. “The future of Papua is in the hands of its children.”
Grade 2 SLH Gunung Agung Student
Global Founders Capital
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