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Dewi, pictured here in her grandmother’s shop, is studying accounting but wants to be a novelist. I say do BOTH!

Amazing things are happening at Yayasan Sosial Bina Sejahtera (YSBS,) a very new member to the Kiva partner family. First, I’ll give you a little background on the organization.  YSBS has been around since 1976, and their main activity is assistance to educate young people at all levels and ages.  They believe that education is a major key to lifting future generations out of poverty.  Kiva is instrumental in allowing YSBS to expand their Vocational School loan program allowing students who most likely would have dropped out of school, to stay in and get better jobs after graduation.

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Arda is on the bike with me, the tall white guy, with Titiek on her own bike.

The founder of YSBS, Father Charlie, is an older, but very energetic, Irish priest who has dedicated his life to working with the people of Cilicap for almost 40 years!  Speaking with him is nothing short of inspirational, and seeing the fruits of his labour is truly humbling.

This program that YSBS wants to expand – with Kiva’s help – is Vocational School student loans.  Father Charlie has data showing that currently 30,000 students finish Junior High, but only 14,000 of those finish Senior High in the local, Cilacap area.  And sadly, it is the small fees for education that keep these 16,000 students out of a chance for a better paying job and a hand up out of poverty.

How it works is that a loan for one of these students is posted to the Kiva website and when funded the money gets sent to YSBS.  But, YSBS has designed a system that allows the student to pay 0% interest.  The full amount of 11,000,000 IDR (about $1,175 USD) goes to pay for 3 years of uniforms, tests, books and school fees in every form.  This 11,000,000 IDR pays for school fees and the interest earned (right now secured at 8%!) goes to repaying the loan back for the student.  The money is working for the student to assist them in paying back to full loan amount!

We are still ironing out all the intricacies of this system but at YSBS it is clear that the ultimate benefit to the student is paramount.  Currently there are no loans fundraising for YSBS but stay tuned for more loans from this exciting new partner!

Jon Hiebert is a 3rd term Kiva fellow who has worked with Kiva in Mongolia, Uganda and now in Indonesia.  YSBS is the current organization he is assisting, where the staff is so friendly and passionate about what they do.  When he’s not working, you may see him on his quest to find the best Gado-Gado in town! (traditional Indonesian dish of steamed veggies and white bean hashbrowns smothered in peanut sauce.) 


Comments

Jon: I just read your Field Update on my KIVA Loan to Altantsetseg in Mongolia and enjoyed learning about the various insights you have experienced in that country. Over the past couple of years, I have made 20 KIVA loans---only one loan defaulted. My other KIVA loan in Mongolia was 100% repaid by Densmaa Jantsandorg. I try to diversify my loan locations, as I have loans in Nepal, Kenya, Peru, Tajikistan, Cambodia, Togo, Lebanon & Ecuador. I get great satisfaction in knowing I am assisting another person to obtain just some of the very basic "stuff" I take for granted every day---I'm sure you experieince the same feelings. Can I ask you a question/favor? I am semi-retired now (my Wife still works) and have been an avid stamp collector for many years. Is it possible that you might be able to gather and send me used stamps from the countries you visit as a KIVA Fellow? Any country would be great! I am not asking you to purchase any stamps, but just obtain used ones. You don't even need to remove the stamp from its letter/package/sheet, etc. Maybe, also, from the postage in your various offices; although, I do not collect metered stamps of any kind. I would not expect you to pay the mailing costs to me---you could send them collect to me, or I am very willing to advance you the cost of sending them to me. Maybe, collect a bunch over time and then put them in a small box or something and send to me. I realize this might be a burden to you and others, but it would be great if you could do it. Please let me know. Thanks in advance. Phillip Hester

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