4 - Bugbug & Sigerongan villages

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Bugbug and Sigerongan were our first and last villages of the day, late on a Friday and bright and early on a Saturday morning in 2009. Quite different from the other villages we visited, most families in Bugbug and Sigerongan were relatively well off and neither village were in need of a paud. Some of the fifteen children we met were orphans, while others came from families who didn’t own their own land

    

A quieter group of kids at Sigerongan (left) and (right) Brynna salam-ing an older student

 

Although most families could afford to send their children to primary school, a number of children were dropping out after grade six to help their families earn money. Annisa works with the support of these families to introduce children to alternative education programs that mean they can combine non-formal early secondary school education with the work they need to help the family survive.

    

Bugbug kids check out their new pencil cases while mum listens in

 

Bugbug & Sigerongan families

Most families in Bugbug and Sigerongan own their own rice paddy fields and are therefore relatively well off. The children we met were a mixture of orphans and those whose parents didn’t have any paddy fields of their own. Those parents without land mainly worked as farm hands in other people’s fields, earning up to Rp.25,000 (just over $3) a day.

    

Sigerongan mums listen in from the sides

 


Annisa programs in Bugbug & Sigerongan

As in all the villages we visited, some parents in Bugbug and Sigerongan are part of Annisa’s predominantly female microfinance cooperative. Annisa’s other major project in Bugbug and Sigerongan involves encouraging children to return to school. By offering what they call a ‘Paket B’, young children are able to continue their early secondary education by attending classes that are specifically designed to fit around the hours they spend working.

 

In this way children are able to continue contributing to their families’ income without missing out on crucial education. Although their income is clearly important to the wellbeing of the family, parents also highly value education and fully support Annisa in implementing their alternative schooling program.

 

Thumbs up all round from Bugbug!

 

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