Higher education for youth in Indonesia

Helping students in Indonesia earn degrees and improve their lives

Education & TrainingEducation & Training
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The Need

Education is key to breaking free from poverty—but for many Compassion-assisted students in Indonesia, hard work and aptitude just aren’t enough to move them closer to their dreams. Education fees are extremely high in Indonesia, and competition for scholarships is tight. Most families supported by Compassion in West Malang are subsisting on informal jobs and can barely cover their day-to-day needs. After graduating high school, students who have grown up in poverty often watch their dreams and goals come to a complete standstill.

Local Compassion staff in West Malang identified 13 incredibly bright students from six centres who desperately wanted to attend college or university. Each student has grown up in poverty and has a strong desire to rise above their circumstances. But they couldn’t afford higher education on their own. Without assistance, these students would have been likely to take on low-paying jobs just to survive, any hope of a better future slowly dissolving into nothing.

Our Response

This intervention has allowed 13 young men and women from six centres in West Malang, Indonesia, to attend higher education, so they can secure professional jobs in their field and exit poverty for good. We are thrilled to report that all 13 of the students have now completed their courses and graduated.

Though many of the students exited the Child Development Program due to age, they were able to continue their studies through to completion. The pandemic brought obstacles to completing their education, such as shifting to online learning, but each of the students worked hard to overcome them. Some graduation ceremonies had to be postponed or held online, but that didn’t take away from what these young men and women had accomplished. Throughout their studies, youth have also been mentored by Compassion staff, who encouraged and supported them throughout the academic process. The students have learned responsibility and accountability and they are so grateful for the opportunity to better their lives.

As pandemic restrictions ease across Indonesia, East Java province is quickly growing and employment opportunities are becoming increasingly competitive. But these students have been equipped with the skills and qualifications they will need to compete in the marketplace and get good jobs. Most important, they have been profoundly touched by God’s kindness and intervention in their lives, as they apply their natural skills and abilities to build a better future for themselves and those around them.


Higher education: All 13 students supported by this intervention have now graduated from their courses. Degrees include chemical and civil engineering, management, international relations, nursing, graphic design and accounting.

Better futures: Some students have already found jobs in their field, and others anticipate finding work very soon. Some students have pursued their studies in a university bachelor program, while others are working to save money to continue on to a master’s degree or to open their own businesses.

Your Gift Provides...

• Tuition assistance for 13 students to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in their field of choice
• Books and school supplies
• Housing and transportation, as needed
• Christian mentoring
• Leadership training, which will equip students to transform their communities

ReportA message from those your gift helped

Before, my situation was the same as other young people around me. We had goals and dreams but did not know how to achieve them. I am so grateful that my parents and the centre staff supported me to achieve my goals. I had been preparing my physical and cognitive skills since high school so that I could go to school, and God helped me pass a series of selection tests that were not easy and with many competitors. I was accepted to study at the Semarang Shipping Science Politeknik (majoring in nautical science).

My family and I were very grateful for getting education assistance through Compassion. This intervention was very helpful for me and my parents because the cost of my education was quite high every month, including the cost of accommodation (food and laundry) every month, as well as other educational support. When my parents and I found out that I could access the Complementary Interventions fund and was approved, we were very grateful and felt God’s help in lightening the burden of my parents with the helping hand of supporters from Compassion. I have finished my studies and graduated on September 16, 2021. Thanks be to God.

After completing my higher education, God entrusted me with the opportunity to be able to work in a place I never imagined before. I am currently working as an operational analyst and am based in Guinea, Africa. I praise God for all the blessings that He has given me since I was in college until now. My family and I are very grateful and praise God for all the grace that He has given us.

God’s Word is true, as stated in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him.” I believe that God has provided great things for our lives. I never thought I could get to this point. God is so good.

Thank you very much for all the love and care while I was in the centre, and for your prayers and financial support given to support me and my family specifically during college until the completion of my studies. Without the help of sponsors, the burden on my family would be very heavy. But God showed His mercy by using sponsors to help me and my family. Thank you very much, and my prayer is that the Lord Jesus will continue to bless you so you can keep blessing others.

Joseph, Compassion-assisted alumnus at IO0869

ReportThank you for your generosity

Thanks to you, 13 promising students in West Malang have finished their education and are on their way to securing a much brighter future for themselves and their families. This critical milestone would never have been reached without your support through prayer and giving—thank you!

Working with dedicated staff from our frontline church partners, Compassion has been supporting students by covering the costs of their tuition, school supplies, books and transportation. Students have been working closely with spiritual mentors and have received leadership training at their local churches. They have grown and matured in their faith and are eager to help and serve others.

Here are updates on the students you have supported through this initiative:

Nella studied taxation administration at University of Brawijaya, starting her degree in 2018 and graduating in 2022. Nella is preparing to take a selection test to become a tax officer for the government.

Vennia graduated with a degree in informatics engineering at STT Malang in September 2021. She enjoyed the practical experience she gained in the program and is actively looking for work in her field.

Lucky, who studied management at University of Widya Karya, exited the Compassion sponsorship program in 2020 and successfully supported himself for the final two years of his degree. Lucky has shown interest in music and the arts and has started writing songs with his band.

Febrian graduated in 2020 with a degree in management at the University of Kanjuruhan, holding a GPA of 3.69. Febrian is currently exploring the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree.

Ayu graduated from the chemical engineering program at Universitas Negeri Malang in November 2021. Her graduation ceremony was held online. Ayu is currently looking for work as a lab technician.

Sanie graduated in September 2019 with a degree in international relations from Universitas Brawijaya Malang. Her GPA was 3.60. She exited the Compassion program in April 2019. Sanie is interested in working for an non-government organization that supports children living in poverty.

Puspita finished her degree in medical record and health information at Politeknik Kesehatan Malang in July 2020 and graduated in September 2020. The graduation ceremony was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Puspita secured a job at a hospital in Malang managing their medical record system. With her earnings she supports her parents by covering her younger siblings’ education fees.

Dixi exited the sponsorship program in November 2020 and completed his studies in civil engineering at the University of Tribhuwana Tunggadewi. He graduated in October 2021; the ceremony was held online. Dixi intends to continue his education and get his master’s degree.

Joseph graduated from the nautical science program at Politeknik Ilmu Pelayaran Semarang in October 2021. Living away from home during his studies was a good experience for Joseph, who learned to be independent and self-disciplined. Joseph is currently working as an operational analyst and is based in Guinea, Africa.

Genta studied graphic design at STMIK Asia Malang and graduated in 2021 with a GPA of 3.21. His graduation ceremony was postponed until 2022.

Melisa graduated with a degree in accounting from the Institute of Technology & Business Asia Malang. Her graduation ceremony took place in October 2020. Melisa is now working at PT. Arta Boga Cemerlang Jember as a management trainee supervisor of operations.

Bayu studied nursing at Politeknik Kesehatan Malang and graduated in July 2021 with a diploma degree. Bayu decided to continue his education at university to get a bachelor’s degree, which he started in August 2021. He exited the Compassion sponsorship program in January 2022.

Damayanti completed her studies in economic management at STIE Asia Malang, graduating in October 2020. Damayanti is currently working to save up some money to start her own small business.

Your support means the world to these students and has completely changed the trajectory of their lives. Throughout this process they have recognized God’s intervention and presence. They have developed strong character skills and a sense of self-confidence as they persevered towards their goals, made new friendships and matured spiritually. As they enter the workforce and become financially secure, these young men and women will be able to support their families, bless others and serve their communities using their developed gifts and skills. Their success is a shining example to other youth of the faithfulness of God and the rewards of hard work and discipline. Thank you for providing this life-changing opportunity, which will impact many others in the years to come!

ReportA message from a centre director

Through this intervention, the church can become a bridge for beneficiaries to get help from supporters, so that youth participants can continue their studies to higher education according to their hopes and dreams. With the completion of this intervention, the church has the confidence to help and encourage other beneficiaries to keep pursuing their goals even though their family’s economic conditions are not sufficient. The second benefit is that the church is supported by Compassion in achieving the partnership outcomes, so that all registered children can finish well from the holistic Child and Youth Development Program.

Through this intervention, the church and centre staff are enabled to encourage and motivate beneficiaries who want to study in higher education to be able to access this intervention. We have learned to monitor Complementary Intervention education financing in a better and more accountable way. We have learned how to prepare quality reports that can show the impact on the beneficiaries who received the fund. This program encourages centre staff to be able to approach youth participants more personally and understand their desires to achieve their future. Previously, one of our participants did not have a clear plan after high school. However, after a more in-depth approach we learned about the child’s desire for his future, and his fighting spirit began to grow with good direction.

I would like to thank the sponsors and supporters who have helped the youth participants in achieving their goals. Without help from sponsors and supporters, the registered children’s dreams may just be unattainable dreams. But with God’s help, who has moved sponsors and donors to support our children, their dreams can be achieved. May the Lord Jesus bestow abundant blessings on you and bless your entire life and business.

Imelda, Compassion centre director at IO0865