Firdaus (ex-street kid, 44), Founder
Impressive though RMD is, it is not as impressive as MFirdaus, the driving force behind “Remaja Masa Depan Foundation”. From the same background, as an ex-street kid himself, he understands of the grinding poverty, the deprivation of meaningful choice faced by his students and their parents, to be a role model of what can be achieved through hard work and education. This is the story of a man born into a family of abject poverty and very few educational prospects has the determination and drive to succeed and make a difference.- no matter how insurmountable the challenge ahead appears. MFirdaus is 40 years old and grew up in Manggarai,South Jakarta, in a very poor family. His father was a school guard in Muhammadiyah School,Tebet and his mother took in laundry for extra money. He is the oldest son and has 7 younger siblings, which most were dropouts at school. They lived in a 2 x 3 meter room made out of bamboo on the riverbank which would flood during heavy rain. Sometimes they couldn’t afford to eat. When they did, breakfast consisted of spoiled rice fried with salt. If there was no food at all, they would scavenge through the remaining foods in the trash cans at the Supermarket. Despite this poverty, he worked hard to ensure he received a good education. He would peddle cakes from one village to another to help pay his elementary school tuition fees and peddled newspapers to help fund his Junior and Senior high school tuition fees. He borrowed books from senior students and with the little money he made from peddling newspapers he would buy used books. After following lectures in FIB-UI (Faculty of Cultural Knowledge – University of Indonesia) and from the help of his class mates and teachers he was able to obtain a college degree with the scholarships of Super Semar & PT. Bogasari. From 1994 – 1999 he worked for Pelita Ilmu Foundation, an institution supported by the Ford Foundation dedicated to empowering poor children. During this time, Moch Firdaus met Hussein Habsy and Helmi Wardyono, and the three friends began to collect information on children who, due to a lack of funds, dropped out of school. From this information they saw a vision for a free of charge school and ‘orphanage’ for orphans and street children coalescing into “RMD Foundation” which opened its doors in 1999 with 40 SMP students in Tebet It pays tribute to the charisma of MFirdaus that the strong objection of the affluent residents in the neighbourhood to the presence of many street children has been overcome to the extent that now there is strong positive support through donations and volunteers from these same people. All this would be enough for one lifetime, but MFirdaus is currently studying on a Ford Foundation scholarship for a Masters Degree in Social Welfare, Social Work and Social Development with specialisation in child issues (International Child Welfare) at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Great Britain, won through a national competition. After completion of the Masters Programme it will enable him to have a role in developing Indonesian Child Welfare in accordance with the United Nations Conventions of Children’s rights. This is his first time on a plane and abroad, leaving behind his wife and children. After obtaining master degree, MFirdaus will not take back an operational role in RMD. His vision is to widen and extend Remaja Masa Depan Foundation’s activities and programmes towards research of social welfare of poor children in Indonesia, and enhance its networks with NGOs, nationally.
Hussein Habsy (43), Founder
He was born on April 3, 1970, lives in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta and has 3 daughters. His wife is a civil servant, working for Department of Education. He studied at public health faculty, University of Indonesia and graduated in 1993. In 2003 he got a master degree from Curtin University, Australia. He works as program manager for Pelita Ilmu Foundation. He’s very busy. He sometimes asked by some international organizations to be a consultant and at the moment is active in National AIDS Commission. His hobbies are sport, reading, and travelling.
Widiyatna (42), Controller of Foundation
He lives in Rawa Mangun, East Jakarta. He finished his undergrad at State University of Malang in 1998 and got a master degree in National Defense Study from University of Indonesia. He, at the moment, is working for DKT Indonesia, an NGO working in the field of Family Planning and HIV/AIDS Prevention and he's very active in some national organizations, such as National Defense Forum. His hobbies are playing with children, listening to Dangdut Music (he's crazy about Rhoma Irama, Meggy Z, and Mansyur S), and doing social activities.
Yuliastuti (23), Board Members of Foundation
Her nickname is Yuli. She was born on September 21, 1990. Her father died when she was only a little kid and her mother died in 2011. She has been living in RMD Orphanage for 8 years. Before settles at Tebet Orphanage she used to be a street singer to earn money. After graduation from senior high school in 2010, RMD sends her to continue study at Unindra University-Jakarta. She takes Indonesia Literature as her major. Her hobbies are dancing and singing and she wants to be a teacher. At the moment, she is very busy, because she is not only a University student, but also a team member of Tebet Orphanage.
Lulu Kholidah (20), Board member of Foundation
Lulu Kholidah, called Lulu, came from low income family. Her father was only a Bajaj Driver and when she was only 17 years old her father died. After her father died, as a single parent, her mother tried to work as a housemaid to support her family. But the pay was low for a secure and decent life. Lulu felt pity for what her mom did, she decided to also work but her mom disagreed with Lulu. Eventually, her mom sent Lulu to settle at Tebet Orphanage. After completion at SMA, Now Lulu is studying at Azzahra University in which she majors in accounting. While she is studying as a university student, she also helps Remaja Masa Depan Foundation by being a treasurer of Remaja Masa Depan Foundation. Her aspiration is so simple, she wants some day be a good accountant and earns money to help her mom.
Maryamah (39), Board Members of Foundation
She likes taking care of socially disadvantaged children and gives most of her attention, time, and energy to child labors, street kids, orphans, and dropouts. When she was only a little kid she has no mother and father. Both of her parents died when her age was only five years old. Most of her childhood spent in the orphanage (Bekasi-West Java). She used to be a kinder garden teacher and now has been active as a board of RMD Foundation since 2003. She graduated from University of Attahiriyah in 1998. She has two sons, 6 years old and 10 years old, and lives in Tebet, South Jakarta, near to RMD Foundation.
Fitri (36) Controller of Foundation
He is the one who never feel boring working for RMD. When RMD was established in 1999, he is the first staff employed. He’s Betawinesse and lives in Bukit Duri-Tebet, South Jakarta. His daily activities in RMD are teaching electronic lesson and fixing broken computers. He is also the one who designs this website.
OTHER STAFF AND VOLUNTEERSAt the moment, RMD Foundation has 10 part time staff and 10 full time staff. Besides that, some volunteers are getting involved in our programs.