On Wednesday this week I had a wonderful opportunity to meet youth and young mothers of the LP4Y. Werde is planning to partner with the youth supported by the Life Project 4 Youth in Jakarta and while this organisation is also working in the Philippines, if things go well in Jakarta, we might look into possibilities to extend our support back to the Philippines also in the future.
The LP4Y helps youth who have not finished school or are coming from very difficult life situations. For example before coming to the centre some of the youth I met had been living next to the railway track in temporary shelter. Many do not have relatives or family members and rely solely on earnings from street or small support they receive from the LP4Y. The youth are 16-24 years old and LP4Y is providing them a day centre where they come every day to learn life skills and entrepreneurship. All youth have identified their personal life projects and as a team are managing the daily activities like cleaning, cooking and caring their children in the centres.
The youth in Semper introduced me two initial proposals: first was to get support to do a field trip to Taman Mini, cultural park in Jakarta. They hope to have a fun day together and learn more about their culture and history at the same time. Second proposal of Semper was to purchase equipment to help the group in cake making, which is economic and social activity they usually do in the afternoons to earn income and learn new skills. We also talked about the possibility to reserve seed capital through the fund that they could initially get form Werde, so that after recovering the cost of their investment in new equipments from increased sales they could use the funds again to improve their business.
Proposal of young mothers in Senen was similar, they hoped to purchase materials to improve the jam making while many tools that they had were already worn out. I was able to taste the jams and they were truly delicious! I also discussed about the possibility to get support from Werde to purchase school uniforms and books for their school aged children.
I went to visit the youth with my friend Laurence and we got a very warm welcome. We enjoyed lunch in Semper, cooked by the youth themselves, and then went to Senen where we were also able to visit homes or shelters where some of the young mothers live. I was touched by their honesty and hospitality. Many had been able to learn English in less than a year spent in the day centre, and despite their difficult condition they seemed to love and care about their children very much.
It seemed to me that in Semper the youth have formed a close group and from the songs we heard I believe they do enjoy the opportunity to support each other in realising step by step their life project dreams that were documented on the walls of the centre. For example they dream of opening a cake shop, working as a secretary or waitress, working in a computer company, selling bread or becoming a designer.
One of their slogan was: Alone I can’t but together we can! I believe these pictures help you to get to know the youth a little better and we will soon tell you more how you could join us to support the ideas and proposals of these youth and young adults. Visit also our FB page and become a friend of Werde to learn more about our activities with LP4Y in the future.