Cilacap Mission, Java, Indonesia
The purpose of this memorandum is to outline to stakeholders and potential donators the background to the charitable foundation, the structure of the foundation, the projects to date initiated and managed by the foundation and lastly to outline how the student loan programme works.
In 1972 the Australian Oblates (“OMI”) established a mission in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia. Cilacap was and still is a poor town with little infrastructure and great poverty. Cilacap has a current population of 200,000 with a further 1.6 million people living in the greater surrounding area. Java is one of the most populated islands in the world and continues to this day to experience great poverty (see appendix one for Indonesia profile and map of Java / Cilicap).
While the initial focus of the OMI was to convert locals to Christianity it soon became clear post Vatican Council (1962-1965) that the church focus on building the kingdom of god rather than just a church, there missionaries were to be missionaries to all people of all faith. Initial projects initiated by the OMI centred on education and 26 new schools were built in the town with financial assistance from the OMI. The schools were/are multi denominational and welcomed children of all faith.
The catholic congregation grew all the time in Cilacap as people witnessed the work of the OMI, conversions to Christianity were carried out by people “witnessing” the work of the church rather than the church preaching to non christains. Today, there is one large church in Cilacap and a small church on the outskirts of the town which was built to cater for the growing congregation.
Fr Charlie Burrows (known locally as Romo Carolus) arrived in Cilacap in 1973. He helped with the building of the schools and a catholic hospital in the town. During this time, it became clear to Fr Charlie that in order to deliver on projects in a timely manner and within tight financial constraints (corruption was an issue at this time), the church would need to have its own fleet on trucks. Fr Charlie purchased trucks to help build roads to the surrounding villages which were only accessible by boat or dirt track (which was almost impassable in the wet season). Over time, he built up a fleet of 45 trucks and most of them are still in operation today (see picture attached in appendix two).
Fr Charlie soon realised that to get anything done, it would have to be done independently of local companies so as to avoid corruption and so Fr Charlie’s entrepreneurial spirit shone through leading to the foundation as it is today.
The OMI and Foundation have been successful in Cilacap through hard work, financial assistance from the OMI and other overseas donators and in more recent times through the inter faith dialogue with the local Muslim community. The relationship between both faiths is excellent and continues to grow.
The foundation also enjoys an excellent relationship with local and national government given their 40 years of commitment to Cilacap and Indonesia. The foundation has met with many ministers and politicians over the years.
Structure – Foundation Y.S.B.S
Given the number of projects undertaken by the mission in Cilacap, a charitable foundation was established to manage the projects centrally and ensure each project has a strong legal basis i.e is correctly structured according to Indonesian law and is owned by the foundation. The foundation was also a mechanism to receive aid from overseas.The foundation is called Yayasan Social Bina Sejahtera (Y.S.B.S.) which is English is “the Foundation for bringing about Prosperity and Goodwill”. The Foundation structure is attached in appendix three.
While Fr Charlie Burrows has been the catalyst for many projects over the years, he is now 68 years old and is starting to think about reducing his workload over the next few years. The foundation ensures that there is a lasting structure in place post Fr Charlie’s retirement and a number of key personnel have been hired to work for the foundation. The council, supervisors and trustees of the foundation comprise six priests from the Anglo Irish Oblate catholic community and one lay person.
Fr Charlie Burrows is chairman of the Foundation and is involved on a day to day basis. The foundation has a number of key staff including Ms Christina Widiantarti. Christina is from Cilacap and was one of the first students in the 1979 at Fr Charlie’s school. Christina was educated at Jeuderal Goedirman University in Purwokerto where she majored in Law, she also studied for a time in Boston. She worked as a Social Lawyer for many years in Jakarta and returned to Cilacap in 2009 to live permanently. Christina manages all legal aspects to the foundation including land ownership, memorandum of undertakings between all stakeholders and she also works on legal documentation with charities/donors.
Projects to date
A brief summary of the various projects undertaken by the OMI in Cilacap is attached;
Schools Programme – a total of 26 schools have been built over 40 years by the OMI in Cilacap
Hospital programme – a catholic hospital was built in the 1970’s and is still in operation today, owned and managed by the Daughters of Sacred Heart order of nuns.
Roads/infrastructure programme – one of the first projects undertaken was a road building programme to make villages in the surrounding area accessible. This programme continues to this day with a fleet of trucks owned by the Foundation based in Cilacap. Approximately 200 villages (out of 280 villages) are now linked to Cilacap by roads built through the foundation; this has had a positive impact on 300,000 people who live in the 200 villages.
Peoples Bank – In recent years the foundation co-founded a people’s bank. The purpose of the people’s bank is to lend money anybody who needed financial assistance and also to help students fund their third level education and to lend money to women’s groups / local businesses. The Peoples bank has the ability to lend to local businesses who need capital post a natural disaster, as
was the case following a recent earthquake. This bank is regulated by the Central Bank of Indonesia and audited on an annual basis, all directors have passed fitness to practice tests. Further detail on this bank is outlined below.
Women’s Group Co-Op – People’s Bank provides loans to local women’s groups which allow them to supplement the low family income.
Maritime Academy – the foundation took over running the Academy Maritime Nusantara (AMN) in 1991. The Academy educates and trains cadets for work as officers in the shipping industry worldwide. Further detail will be provided later in this memorandum.
Trucking Company – the foundation continues to run the trucking company with a fleet of older trucks (20) used for road building and a fleet of modern trucks (25) used for Haulage of materials, cement etc and the foundation charges a daily rate for the use of these trucks, all profits are used to subsidise the schools. There are a team of mechanics who maintain the trucks and all old trucks are used for spare parts on retirement.
Reforestation of land - the foundation is involved in reforesting land on the island of Nusakambangan which is off the coast of Cilacap. This 12,500 hectare island is being reforested under the direction of the foundation in a joint venture with the Department of Justice (the island is home to seven prisons)whereby the foundation manages the flora and fauna on the island through sustainable agriculture / reforestation.
Education Programmes – the foundation runs a number of education programmes at schools throughout the region in areas such as agriculture, sewing, horticulture and mechanics. These courses are run from five vocational schools built by the OMI and the AMN. For example, in 2009, a mechanics course was set up at Kawunganten Vocational School where the foundation built a new workshop with funding from the OMI Ireland. A dressmaking course was set up in 2011 in Majenang Vocational School again with financial assistance from the Mission Cura. As well as vocational training, the foundation also funds scholarships for 200 High School kids every three years.
Ad Hoc Programmes – disaster relief programmes have been established as required. Java has had numerous natural disasters such as two Tsumami’s (2004 and 2006), earthquakes, landslides. The foundation is able to distribute aid quickly as it is on the ground and has the transport means to do so and the local contacts in the villages.
All the above projects fall under “community based infrastructure development” and various NGO’s and universities are now following the foundation’s progress very closely, indeed, Fr Charlie has guest lectured to some universities on the programmes to date. The work of the foundation has been documented in international newspapers and the source of two documentaries in Ireland and Australia (to see one documentary entitled “The Nazarene”.
Student Loan Programme – Academy Maritime Nusantara (AMN)
In 1991, the foundation took over the running of the AMN. The AMN trains cadets for a career in the shipping industry. The Cadets are trained in a modern building with state of the art maritime equipment. The building is 9 storeys high and was built in the shape of a ship with a ships bridge on the roof (see appendix four for pictures of the building). The foundation sourced and installed all relevant parts of a ships engine and equipment. The facility is audited by the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) and has approval to train for Ship Engineers and Maritime Science. The ship bridge replicates a ship bridge on the largest ships in the world and allows cadets train in a “simulator” environment. The IMO were so impressed with the facility, they have arranged for their Director General to visit in 2011.
Cadets from the AMN graduate as 2nd Mate and 2nd Mate Engineer. Career progress is as follows;
Career progress for 2nd Mate Graduate is from 2nd Mate to 1st Mate to Master Mariner (Captain).
Career progress for 2nd Engineer is from 2nd Engineer to 1st Engineer to Chief Engineer.
Cadets on graduation earn approximately 5,000,000 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah / approx 400 euro) per month on Indonesia ships and they can earn as much as 21,250,000IDR ($1,750) per month on Ships Germany.
The training programme is for three years and encompasses all aspects of maritime training from safety through technical education through to English. Once cadets graduate, the AMN places them with reputable shipping companies in Jakarta, Surabaya and Batam (all in Indonesia), by managing the placement of cadets, the AMN ensures cadets are paid as all potential shipping companies are vetted by the AMN. The AMN is fully approved by the International Maritime Organisation (“IMO”).
Children from well off families are not interested in a life of sea-faring because of the obvious sacrifices and dangers involved. The AMN cadet intake is from lower income families throughout Indonesia, not just from the island of Java. Given that Indonesia consists of a nation of islands, the government is placing great emphasis on the building up of a modern fleet manned by trained officers of international standards.
There is a shortage of maritime graduates worldwide. Given most potential cadets are from poor families, the foundation has instigated a “Student Loan Programme” which allows students to train as a 2nd mate or 2nd engineer at the AMN.
The People’s Bank
A key aspect to the foundations work and in particular the student loan programme at the AMN is the People’s Bank, called B.P.R. The Foundation owns 45% of the Bank with 55% owned by a company owned by the Catholic Relief Services USA.
Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org) was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. As the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is governed by a Board of Directors made up of clergy, most of them bishops, religious and Catholic lay men and women.CRS maintains strict standards of efficiency, accountability and transparency. CRS is one of the most efficient organizations in the world. In fiscal year 2010, 95 percent of the money they spent went directly to programs that benefit the poor overseas. CRS meets all 20 of the strict Charity Standards set by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance and has an "A" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy. 2010 annual report (downloadable from www.crs.org) shows;
Assets of $481m comprised of cash on balance sheet of $92m, investments of $252m, commodities of $53m, land/buildings of $50m and accounts receivables of $34m
Liabilities of $295m comprised accounts payable of $129m, advances for programs $46m, deferred revenue $53m, annuities payable $36m and long term debt of $31m.
CRS are a strong joint venture partner for the People’s Bank. The Bank is located on the ground floor of the Maritime Academy. The Bank is fully regulated by the Central Bank of Indonesia and is audited by a highly reputable firm of accountants. Full financial statements are available for review if required. Each director of the Bank has passed “fitness to practice” tests completed by the Central Bank of Indonesia (again this information is available for review if required).
The Bank is a social bank, it assists less well off people with an aim of “poverty reduction” through the provision of Micro Credit. Most loans are very small (less than 400 eur) and are directed at small businesses in Cilacap, women’s group co-ops and the student loan programme. The bank is audited four times a year by the Central Bank of Indonesia; furthermore, it is audited by the 55% shareholder, the Catholic Relief Services USA. We also have our own external auditor as mentioned above.
Foundation Funding and Assistance
The foundation has received funding over the years from many sources and has to date received donations totalling
Donators include the following:
- Catholic Relief Services USA
- Misereor (Germany)
- OMI / Oblates Ireland
- OMI / Oblates Australia
- Mission Cura (Irish Government)
- Cafod (UK)
- CBEMO (Holland)
- Canadian Embassy, Indonesia
Cilacap is slowing modernising as a city with improvements in all aspects of daily life. Poverty is still an issue for Indonesia and the People’s Bank will play an important role in ensuring the availability of microfinance in the future for both individuals, groups, companies and students.
Recognising the changing needs of the local community, the foundation is now focusing on the Peoples Bank and education programmes for the young. The foundation is particularly interested in sustainable farming principles and continues to fund scholarships for students to attend vocational training programmes in agriculture.
This report was written following a stay in Cilacap in conjunction with Fr Charlie Burrows by
Padraic Gilligan, B.B.S (2000), M.A (2010), Trinity College Dublin