I HAVE to share this letter with you which really touched me, and I feel goosebumps each time I read it. It's written by an 18-year old girl named Erin who lived in the Cipanas YUM Village for the past 6 years, and recently she got accepted to a top Indonesian university free of charge. Unfortunately, her monthly costs of living (accommodations, food, clothing, etc) were not free of charge so at YUM we tried to find her some funding via GlobalGiving. We successfully, in a matter of 2 weeks, with the help of many friends, found funding for her first year of living costs. And here is a letter I received from her, that she wrote to all the people who donated *snif snif* :)

Erin at university

Dear Donors,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I am Erin and in this opportunity, I would like to thank you and everybody who help me through “Help Erin Get a University Education in Bandung” project, so I can continue my education at University. I wish God will bless you with lots of happiness and fortune.

I was born in Pemalang, Central Java on March 3rd, 1994.  I remember that when I was a little kid and studied at elementary school, my father did not have a fixed job.  He only worked when someone asked him for helps, so it was my mother who had to work hard to support our life.   I am very proud of her and I have a dream to change my family life condition and make my parents proud of me.  I am the fifth child with four sisters and two brothers.  Due to our financial condition all of my older siblings were only able to finish their education until Junior High School level.   

In this opportunity, I also would like to share with you about how I decided to move to Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) in Cipanas, West Java. It was in 2006 when I just graduated from elementary school, my mother came to me and asked me if I would like to move to Cipanas to continue my study.  It is hard for me to decide but she convinced me that it would be the best way for me and my family.  She had great expectation that I could continue my education as high as possible.  So, I decided to leave my family and promised to myself that I would not disappoint my mother.  At the beginning, it was hard for me to live in Cipanas; I often missed my family back home.  I wanted to return to my family but I reconsidered again and thought that I had to do this for my family.  Here in Cipanas I was offered better education and facilities and one day I can improve my family life. 

In cipanas, YUM gave me an oppurtunity to go to study at the best Junior High School in that area called SMPNi 1 Sukaresmi.  Everyday I tried to adjust myself to local culture, language and new people. My grade for Sundanesse subject in first semester was not really good, since my hometown is in Pemalang, Central Java and YUM is in Cipanas, West Java, these two locations have different language. However, fortunately I got the first rank in my class! I was very happy with the result J.  At second class of junior high scholl, I was selected to represent my school in math competition among Junior High School students in District level and I got the third place. I graduated from Junior High School in 2009 and continue to Senior High School at my favorite school, SMAN 1 Sukaresmi.  At that time, like other students, I never thought that I would study at university since it would cost a lot and my family didn’t have a lot of money.  Finishing my high school was already a fortune for me and my family. However, I didn’t want to be hopeless and pry for a miracle.

Although, I didn’t know who would pay my expenses in university, when I graduated from Senior High School, I tried to enter university thru an invitation. But i failed, so I tried again thru national selection.   I was accepted in Animal Science Faculty of Padjdjaran University.   I  think it will be easier for me to get a  job after I graduate.  I learn that there are many people graduated from animal science faculty become a success person.  Sometimes I feel upset when people don’t understand about this faculty.  They think that after graduation, I only can work as an animal shepherd.  It encourages me to prove it that what they say is not true and I will be success. 

After graduate from university, I want to work in a company to earn money, so when I have a lot of money, I will use it to establish a restaurant providing all animal products.  The money will also give me an opportunity to continue my study to master degree so I can become a lecturer in university.  However, my first goal is to run a restaurant business.

Since I study at university, I gain a lot of benefits and my parents are very proud of myself.  I also can motivate my younger brother and sister to keep stay at school and study as high as possible.  

That is all I can tell about myself and all I can do now is to thank you and your friends for your help. 

Thank you!!!

I'm so happy for Erin and so proud of her achievements. Not only that, but she is showing all those who know her back home that if you work hard, no dream is too big! :)