Category Archive: Making a difference

What travel and volunteer taught me about life and money

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post on leaving the corporate world to volunteer and the experiences it gave me. It was a lot of jumping points for re-thinking one’s life… Continue reading

Why I left the non-profit world

The class was silent as they looked at the orphanage director and myself sitting in front of the classroom. “Kak Bel is leaving the orphanage,” Martin, the orphanage director announced. The kids cried… Continue reading

Orphans are the new donors

Ani, 46, was raised in an orphanage, and now she is back, to send her own son there. “I have no choice,” Ani explained, “My husband passed away and I simply can’t afford… Continue reading

The different flavors of life

“What do you do?” “I volunteer at an orphanage.” My answer usually invites curiosity, slight disbelief or no response. But for the first time today, someone stared at me as if I told… Continue reading

Putting an end to traumatizingly bad education

“I’m so traumatized by English lessons.” The statement came from 16 year old Cekly on the ride to my home from Yayasan Prima Unggul. I have only recently started teaching English on top… Continue reading

The hard truth about giving

I like simplicity. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like material comforts. Of course I do. I like the smell of magazines and books. I like a nice comfortable home, cool air on… Continue reading

Photopost: A day measured in Smiles

Children giggling and laughing. Following the camera everywhere and trying to outdo the rest in face time. These are some of the faces of Kampung Asem (literally: Sour village – due to the… Continue reading

The future of Southeast Asia

“We’re sorry. The service is not yet available in your country.” It is not uncommon to find many Southeast Asian countries not listed within the services areas of large western corporations. Growing up,… Continue reading

A place called home

A little panic sets in. I’ve just returned from the Philippines, straight after Thailand and Singapore, which means I’ve been away for two months. I haven’t stopped thinking about how to make a… Continue reading

In My Life

The sad and nostalgic thing about growing older is that you will meet more and more people you care about, some of whom you may not have a chance to encounter again. As one… Continue reading