Although rich in natural resources, Central Kalimantan still lags behind much of Indonesia in development. Some 62% of children have access to lower secondary education, while less than 37% have access to upper secondary education, well below the national average (UNESCO). This overall low level of education makes it difficult for school leavers to seek further education or training, which leads to a low level of skills in the general workforce. More than 50% of the current workforce has only a primary school education, while only 25% has a lower secondary education.
Recognizing the stark challenges to formal employment in the Central Kalimantan area, YUM established a Vocational Training Centre that focuses on education for entrepreneurship – teaching skills such as sewing, hairdressing, computer skills, English, food-processing, etc. that lend themselves mostly to small business development and self-employment. These courses attract vulnerable people of the population, the unemployed, out-of-school youth, and school dropouts. The beneficiaries of this project are youth and women.
The YUM training centre has obtained permits and certification from both the Provincial Office of the Ministry of Manpower and the Provincial Office of the Ministry of Education. A certificate is issued to participants after successful completion of the course and exams.
Since December 2013, an average of 100 participants have taken the Computer, English, Sewing, Hairdressing and Food Processing courses every month. There is a waiting list of people who cannot be accommodated due to lack of facilities. For this reason, it is essential that premises are built for this long term project. SD Canada is granting US$3,000 towards the construction of the VTC. Other Susila Dharma nationals and members are participating, while the bulk of the funding will be provided by Porticus (a Dutch NGO).
Susila Dharma Canada will also fund YUM for additional equipment to start a language lab, additional food processing equipment, printers for the computer classes, printing of educational material for English and computer courses, as well as to assure the transport of some of the participants.
In 2015, as in 2014, SD Canada has agreed to donate $7,250 to YUM’s vocational training project.
Read more about YUM at their SDIA project page.