By Adinda, Adis, Echa, and Manda
Photography by Adinda, Adis, Echa, and Manda
“This is the field where not everyone is willing to commit and serve wholeheartedly. Many people come and go. Not necessarily because they don’t want to stay, simply because they can’t take the pressure, to prepare an enormous amount of sincerity and willingness. I chose to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to nurture these kids. I feel this is my call to contribute to society, with my way.”
His workspace was walled with red bricks, his office desk was placed next to a pile of documents stacked in a three-meter-long closet. The room was relatively neat and modest; books were placed orderly as the stationary was nicely packed in its place. It was quite a hot day, but the atmosphere around us remained calming. It was at around 11 AM and all the kids of RAM Karim were having classes. Then, word by word, Mr Fauzan began to tell a life-changing story longing to be told.
It started in 2011; from a slight thought to a lifetime of inspirations. To become the principal of a successful inclusive school had never crossed his mind. Taking it from his perspective, he did not choose this path instantly. For over decades, he had dedicated his time, work, and passion in another field — as he was equipped with an academic background that came from medical. Six years were enough for him — having worked in OMNI Medical Center, which was then followed by an extra few years in Lazuardi school and Cikal school.
Then why did he change his path, you may wonder?
It was indeed a safe path to stick with — the success that most people had been craving to achieve. The answer is, as I quote directly from the middle-aged man that spoke deeply from his heart, “ I want to help more.”
In the middle of giving lessons to stubborn teenagers who were probably not paying attention to a single word he said, it hit him. He wanted to help people more and he realized that he actually could.
He decided, an inclusive school with an aim of helping and mentoring special needs children to reach their full potential was created, with the name Rumah Anak Mandiri Karim.
Him and a bunch of his colleagues first chose Ciganjur as a place to build such a school but as time goes on, they found a better place in Depok — aiming to build a bigger and better building.
Around 23 students are currently studying at RAM Karim — 13 of them are boarding students, which means they actually live in the school, and 10 of them stay only until the afternoons. Just like any other principals, Mr Fauzan wants nothing but the best for his kids.
He saw great potential beyond the ordinary lies within them. If these special need kids could be described in a metaphorical sense, they would come as broken computer processors. They sure have some setbacks, but those setbacks do not determine what they are capable of.
With a little bit of touch, love, and care, they will be capable of doing big things; which might be even bigger than you can imagine. As Mr Fauzan full-heartedly said,
“ Special needs children are not a failure, it is a blessing in a form of children, waiting to be cherished.”
Fauzan Safari — Mr Fauzan — is the owner of an inclusion school based in Jakarta, Indonesia Rumah Anak Mandiri Karim (RAM Karim). He aims to provide better education and care towards children with special needs within the country, hoping to create a better future for them and unleash their full potential.
To show your support, please check out their website.