With the rapid growth of Solar Chapter in our first year, we received an abundance of attention. The youth of Indonesia are passionate, motivated, and looking for more ways to help. With that being said, in Chapter Two, we would like to introduce a new branch to our organization, Solar Chapter Michigan. Solar Chapter Michigan is led by Indonesian students from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Our goal is to improve learning for the children of Desa Umutnana (Umutnana Village) and Desa As Manulea (As Manulea Village).
Visiting Desa Umutnana and Desa As Manulea gave a lot of our team an insight of the rural life in underprivileged villages in Indonesia. About 200 children from Desa Umutnana and Desa As Manulea attend SDN As Manulea for their elementary education. The children go to school every day, in less than ideal conditions: old and broken classrooms, unsanitary and disgusting restrooms, and a room with scattered old books and empty shelves they call a library.
These children carry jerry cans filled with water everyday and this water is used not only to drink, but also in the restroom and to water plants. Those wanting to read in the library often found the books placed on the table or scattered around the room. Their learning environment is not ideal with a lack of resources in the library and children cannot reach a higher potential due to the poor conditions of their school.
The Solar Chapter Michigan team will work on creating a more conducive learning environment for the children of Desa Umutnana and Desa As Manulea in SDN As Manulea.
Our main goal is to improve the library to get kids more excited about being in school and also giving them access to learning materials out of class. We believe that early childhood literacy is important because the earlier a person has access to information, the more efficient that access will be. This is why, we hope that this library will be a vital tool in improving the literacy skills of the future generation.
Our secondary goal is to provide books for the students in SDN As Manulea, so they would have the access to resources in order to enrich their knowledge and studying experience. The Solar Chapter UIUC team’s last goal is to improve sanitation at SDN As Manulea. Our plan is to build restrooms that are up to par and provide an adequate water piping system from our work at Desa Umutnana in Chapter One. We hope that with our contribution, the children of Desa Umutnana and Desa As Manulea can be positively benefited, have the ability to academically grow, and brighten the future of Indonesia.
On August 3, 2018, Solar Chapter went back to Desa Umutnana to focus on SDN As Manulea. We attempted to improve the learning environment in SDN As Manulea in a few different ways. Solar Chapter’s initial step was to replace and fix the roof of SDN As Manulea.
With the help of the villagers and the children from the school, the second step was to repaint the walls of the library. The children painted the library walls with their own drawings, names, hopes, and well wishes. It was beautiful to see their artwork and excitement be immortalized and showcased. To complete the upgrade of the library, Solar Chapter also added more books into the library’s collection.
The school’s restrooms were also reconstructed to make sure that the students of SDN As Manulea have the proper sanitation and proper access to a restroom when learning. Last but not least, the easier access to clean water has improved the soil quality of the school’s very own garden, which allows them to grow more vegetables and other plants.
Through these efforts, more than 200 students of SDN As Manulea now have an easy access to clean water, proper sanitation, and better school facilitation in the school environment.
We believe that this initial effort of building a positive learning environment is just the beginning of greater things to come for students at SDN As Manulea.