Nadira Erawan: Helping over 200 orphans get an education and counting

Nadira Erawan: Helping over 200 orphans get an education and counting

Nadira Erawan, 28, Australia

 Halo, apa kabar? Nama saya Nadira. I am 28 years old and I live in Canberra, Australia. I have for almost a year now.

 I have a master’s degree in Human Resources Management and a bachelor’s in Psychology.

 I was born and raised in an Indonesian family who has always put education first. My parents believe that education makes you a better person, and that a better person will create a better life for others. And as you can imagine, of course I believe that too. That’s why it always breaks my heart to learn about people who cannot afford even a basic education for their children, because, where I come from, a good education is still something for which you have to fight.

 When I was an undergraduate student, I helped the psychological team at the local hospital to give youngsters who were mostly terminally ill a basic education like writing and reading, simple math or just coloring in a playful setting. It was like a playroom inside of a hospital. Despite them all being very advanced in the illness, I can still remember how passionate they were about learning even the simplest of things.

 As I grew older, my passion for education grew with me. Then I met a great guy who later became my mentor and was, around 2010, in the middle of developing his idea to start his own sociopreneurship initiative in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The main point of his idea was and still is the empowerment of orphans. Upon my interest in the idea, my mentor not only allowed but also encouraged me to implement his idea in my city, Jakarta, as well.

 I instantly agreed and started my own sociopreneurship initiative around 2012. What we actually do is give the orphans an English tutor because, after several considerations, we have come to realize that learning English is a crucial additional skill in anyone’s life, especially orphans because they feel they are lucky just to be alive.

Beside English tutoring, we sometimes help them out with any other soft skills we have. I, for instance, have over six years of experience in Human Resources, so I also help them prepare their résumés, rehearse for their job interview or find job opportunities.

 But it can be difficult sometimes. Doing the program on my own, with lots of obstacles, especially when my mentor has already helped hundreds of orphans and I am stuck at 200 tops. But I do believe in what Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” And of course, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, like now getting invited to the Youth Assembly.

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