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Carlos Ferrandiz of Harapan Sumbawa Project

Carlos Ferrandiz of Harapan Sumbawa Project

001-Carlos-Ferrandiz

Carlos Ferrandiz

Carlos Ferrandiz, a Spanish lawyer, set up the Harapan Project in Sumbawa, Indonesia, after a trip to the island changed his life forever. It aims to tackle the main socio – economic problems on the island such as basic needs, nutrition, health, education and infrastructure.

What Inspired you to Come to Indonesia and Set Up The Harapan Project?

In 2006 I made my first trip to Indonesia, it was just a holiday trip to visit a country that I always heard wonderful things about and that I wanted to visit for many years. I could never imagine how this trip was going to change my life.

One day, while I was travelling around the island of Sumbawa, I was approached by a child wanting to communicate with me, but speaking in Indonesian, a language I couldn’t speak at all. I asked him if he spoke English, and he said no, he only spoke a few words. This surprised me greatly because it is the only language they could communicate with the little tourism that exists in the island, and therefore take advantage of the economic resource that tourism could be.

So I told him the next day I was going to teach him English, and that he should tell his friends to also come to my classes. The next day I went to the meeting place I had agreed with that child, with a blackboard I had borrowed from one of the few hotels that exist in the area and my books to learn Indonesian from English (I was planning to use the books in the opposite direction). To my surprise I found the whole population of the closest village had turned up, about 150 people among whom were children, parents and even grandparents. Dazzled by these people’s desire to learn and seen their poor living conditions, I decided that my life should change to help them.

What moved you to choose Sumbawa?002-Carlos-Ferrandiz

In my first trip to Indonesia, I didn’t have a planned trip so at the beginning I just visited Bali. After some weeks in Bali and a little bit tired of the huge number of tourist I decided to visit Sumbawa, trying to find a more remote and quiet place. I felt absolutely amazed how undeveloped was the island, and how poor where the local population. It was amazing to see that no matters how poor there were, they were always showing a large smile in their face. The love that everyday these people and more the children gave to me was the most beautiful thing I ever felt.

Tell us about some of the work you do.

In Harapan project we teach every afternoon in the four different villages of the community of Hu´u. We teach the children to read and write, English, mathematics, history, geography, sciences… We also do many other educational activities as drawing, manual arts, educational games…but our educational work is not only destined to the children but also to the population in general. Furthermore we also cover sanity and environmental education.

003-Carlos-FerrandizThe economic situation of the project has been very difficult since the beginning. I started the project from zero and without any economical help. Little by little we have achieved every project aim that we could afford. So far we have achieved amazing things. We have saved many lives and taught many children to read and write, English and geography. We still have a long way to go, even further when we are talking about education.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Unfortunately, I often found sick children with critical medical cases and with difficult solution. These moments are very hard, trying to find a solution, which sometimes does not exist.

What are the plans for the Future of Harapan?

The Harapan Project consists of an eco sustainable social center with the aim to help the local population to improve their living conditions, but until today we still don´t have the enough funds to build it. So we decided some years ago to start achieving the activities of the project in the local facilities in collaboration with the local authorities (local schools, local hospitals…), until we had enough funds to build our own center and to maintain the activities that we are nowadays achieving. My dream for this 2015 is to build the Harapan Center.

How have your life changed personally since the beginning of this journey?

Before arriving to Indonesia I was a lawyer in Spain and I was working in a large law firm for seven years. My life has change a lot since then. I have renounced to a lot of things in my life, obviously a lot of material things, which at the end you realize how little importance they have. I also have left many important things in Spain including my family, my friends and my old life. But I don’t regret to have started this wonderful project in my life, where every day I learn very important things of life that many times people often forget.

You can follow the Harapan project on
https://www.facebook.com/HARAPANPROJECT
To make a donation please visit our website:
www.proyectoharapan.org

004-Carlos-Ferrandiz

 

 
 
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