We’re moving the blog to an awesome new place!

“We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…

…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

-Walt Disney-

It’s been a long journey for this little blog.

This space was created in early 2009, with the first post being published on January 25, 2009 (with an apt post title, “January 25, 2009”). For the next year or so, the blog was updated with personal writings of our organization’s founder Dan Roberts, who shared his Red Nose stories for the world to read.

Then, as Red Nose grew, so did this little blog. International volunteers who spent a few months at Red Nose Foundation began following Dan’s path by sharing their own Red Nose tales and experiences in the blog. After the foundation established a dedicated Communication team, this little blog got bigger and the writings become more varied — not only about personal experiences but also announcements and reports about Red Nose’s various field activities and fundraising events.

Right now, we are glad to inform you that the blog will be moving to a new place. As of today, the Red Nose blog will be integrated with Red Nose’s official website, and can be visited at www.rednosefoundation.org/blog.

You can still find old articles, published before February 2013, here in this blog. Meanwhile, for newer articles as well as the latest updates from Red Nose Foundation, please visit our new blog, where we will continue sharing wonderful Red Nose stories from our two fields in Jakarta.

Terima kasih.

Thank you.




Time flies during my project at the Red Nose Foundation!

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My name is Judy Middelburg, I’m from The Netherlands and I worked for the Red Nose Foundation for six weeks. I had a great time with a lot of surprising experiences. I came to Jakarta with the goal to have a different experience than the other journeys I made before. I wanted to know what it was like to work at a foundation which works in poor areas, because I never did something like that before. I hoped to experience what it was like to work in a developing area, to help the people over there and to develop myself, my English and to meet a lot of new people. I also wanted to learn more about the Indonesian way of living. When I look back, I think I succeeded in all of this!

Before I started working for the Red Nose Foundation, Dan and Renny already prepared me about the areas and circumstances they worked in. They told me about the dirty areas they work: the poor houses people live in, the flies all over the place, the smell of rotten fish, the heat, but on the other hand also the motivating and enthusiastic kids. I thought I had a good view about the circumstances I had to work in when I had to go there on my first day. When we arrived in Cilincing I was really surprised by the circumstances the people really live in. You can’t imagine what it is like to live there until you go there yourself. Same story for Bintaro, again I was surprised to see how the people can live there.

I really liked it to see what the Red Nose Foundation is doing for all the kids in Cilincing and Bintaro. My colleagues (Dan, Renny, Nino, Dedi, Anggi and Mila) are really involved in the work they are doing. They put a lot of effort in teaching, circus, helping the kids and arranging scholarships for them and a lot of other extra things and events. Before I came here I already knew it was a very busy and professional foundation, but I was really surprised by how well everything was organized. The organization was bigger than I expected beforehand. I was surprised by all the extra things the RNF arranges for the kids besides the lessons they give and the arrangements of the scholarships.

On the one hand it was amazing to see the enthusiastic and motivating kids. They love to learn a lot of new things and they are really enthusiastic and disciplined to learn. When the RNF arrived at the locations, the kids were really enthusiastic and helped us with preparing the materials and lessons. On the other hand it was a challenge to motivate some of the older kids and to improve their English, because some of them were not yet that good in English as some younger kids. It was a challenge to involve them in the lessons and it was great to notice that they actually really appreciate everything the red nose foundation is doing for them, even if they don’t always show it. The differences in the English level of the kids are big, also among the kids in the same class. The RNF teaches English in a practical way and that makes the level accessible and good for all of the kids.
The kids were a little shy in the beginning because I’m a ‘Bule’, but after a while it felt like I was working for the RNF for a long time already. The kids tried to teach me the circus skills and they succeeded a little bit in that, but that can be blamed on me because I was not really talented and it is really harder than it seems.

Another big advantage of the Red Nose Foundation is the great team you work with. They showed me around during my first days in the neighborhoods they work in and they also showed me the way of teaching. They also told me a lot of things about the foundation and Indonesia. I’ve had a lot of fun with my colleagues; there is always time for a lot of joking, also with the kids. When we are teaching it is serious off course (with some little jokes in the mean time). They are involved in the life of the kids and they want all the best for all of them. The working days are long and you have to put a lot of effort in all the activities, but it also gives you new energy while working. The combination of all these things makes it great and inspiring to work for the RNF. My advice to students who want to have an unforgettable experience and really want to do something good, want to develop themselves and help others, should really try to arrange an internship at the RNF.

School Renovation

This post was written by Julia, a Red Nose intern from Germany. This is Julia’s sixth post; to read more by Julia follow the links below.

My sixth week in Red Nose started again on a Sunday morning, I meet up the Red
Nose crew in Jakarta International School. This is my sixth week but I am still not
able to juggle and to be honest I am not sure if I will ever learn how to juggle before
I have to leave Jakarta

After spending time at Jakarta International School, I spent the rest of the afternoon
in BSD, where my host family is living. I was busy every weekend busy and had no
time to explore the area I am living in, so this is a good chance to do so. It was good
to walk a bit around the park and the area. One thing I am really missing in Jakarta
is walking. In Germany I walk daily over long distances, but Jakarta is not built for
walking… no pedestrian ways and the heat makes you sweat after the first 500

Red Nose is searching for new employees, so we were joined from one of the
applicants in Cilincing. He hold an English lesson for the kids and afterwards Dedi
and I left for Bintaro. In Bintaro the situation is still quite similar to the situation last
week. More houses demolished, more families moved, but a big group of people is
still staying in the area.

On Friday I helped Nino taking pictures at a school in Cilincing, which will be
renovated with financial support from Red Nose Foundation and other donors.
We arrived at the school very early in the morning and the workers were already
collecting the rubbish from the playground of the school. The whole building is
in bad condition. Around 2 hours later the first trucks with cement arrived at the
school and the renovation of the playground started. It was interesting to see how
work like ground renovation is done in Indonesia compared with Germany. At the
end the result of the renovation was great and the whole school looks much more as
a school should look. On Sunday there will be an opening ceremony of the new and
improved school.

Read more posts by Julia:
Part 1: Arriving at Red Nose
Part 2: Birthday and Getting a Routine
Part 3: Television and Radio
Part 4: A Rainy Week
Part 5: Rolling Stone Cafe and Moving…
Part 6: School Renovation

Rolling Stone Cafe and Moving…

This post was written by Julia, a Red Nose intern from Germany. This is Julia’s fifth post; to read more by Julia follow the links below.

Red Nose Foundation will have a huge fundraising event on May 11th at the Rolling Stone Café in Jakarta. The whole team went to Rolling Stones café on Friday to make seating layouts preparation. We were moving tables and chairs around to find the best way to place the seats and furnitures for the event. I felt a bit out of place and awkward to be in a place like Rolling Stone Café after working the whole week in Cilincing. After pushing, lifting and a lot of sweating, we finally made a decision to where to put the seats and tables. Exhausted but happy, we finished the day watching a reportage of Red Nose Foundation on a local tv station. The reportage is a result of having Trans 7 ( The tv station ), following us around Cilincing and Bintaro for several days last week. It was great to see the end result of their work but also strange to see myself on the screen and to take up an outside perspective on our daily work in Cilincing.

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After the meeting at Rolling Stone Café Nino, a Red Nose hunk who is living in Bogor gave me a ride to Bogor. I spent my weekend there at a frieend’s house. On Saturday we went to a National park to see the beautiful countryside and the waterfalls nearby. On Sunday morning I had the unique chance to visit an Indonesian wedding. It was very nice to see the traditional costumes and dances. After the wedding my friend brought me to the botanical garden in Bogor and on the evening I went back to Jakarta. In Jakarta I went directly to the place of another friend and he brought me on my free Monday to the seaside in North of Jakarta. It was so relaxing to sit next to the sea and do nothing. A nice change from looking at the sea from Cilincing.

At Tuesday the week started with going to Cilincing, where the children were already waiting for us. My fifth week is at the same time as Alex’s last week the other volunteer working in Red Nose. It is remarkable how fast these 5 weeks were passing bye. I’m quite sad by Alex finishing his volunteer work, because he was a person I can share my thoughts and experiences, who was in the same situation as me and were quite often sharing the same opinion about various topics.

In Bintaro the situation on Wednesday were mostly influenced from the ongoing changes there. The owner of the land, where the children and their families are living, wants to build new apartments there. As a consequence the families have to move to a area nearby and their homes will be demolished. When Dedi and I arrived in Bintaro the families there were already on the move. Some homes were already empty and partly demolished, other families were still organizing their stuff. The whole atmosphere in Bintaro was different. The classroom where Red Nose teaches was half full with “valuable” items, which the families want to keep. The already normally limited space in the classroom became smaller. Also outside, in front of the classroom several objects constrained the kids to move freely. We will see when the moving will be done and maybe Red Nose will teach in a house of one of the children’s.

On Friday after the English lessons in the morning the children are invited to “Disney on Ice” from Permata Bank. The show will hopefully entertain them and allow them to break out off their normally environment in Cilincing and Bintaro.

Read more posts by Julia:
Part 1: Arriving at Red Nose
Part 2: Birthday and Getting a Routine
Part 3: Television and Radio
Part 4: A Rainy Week
Part 5: Rolling Stone Cafe and Moving…
Part 6: School Renovation

The Clowns have Arrived!

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Red Nose Relief in collaboration with Clowns without Borders

Gabi and I arrived in Jakarta yesterday afternoon, and were introduced to the Red Nose Foundation team and to Jakarta’s formidable traffic.  Gabi and I had never met before, so we got to know one another while attempting to stay awake to combat jetlag. We made it to 8:30 pm.

This morning we drove with our host Dan (Red Nose founder/director) and his team to the village of Cilincing, 45 minutes from downtown Jakarta, where Red Nose runs a small school to teach circus and english.  Dan showed us around the sea-front fishing village, which is a very rough and crowded bario literally built on trash, discarded shells, and cement.  It was a little intimidating but Dan seems to know everybody in town, including his many circus students.

We walked to an elementary school nearby where Red Nose is sponsoring a new renovation.  There was a ceremony and also a chance to help lay down a new brick courtyard.  Gabi and I helped level and set bricks for half an hour, before retiring to a classroom to work on show ideas.

Over lunch we pulled together a plan for a short show with Darmadi and Dedi, two members of Red Nose who will be sharing the stage with us this trip.  Then, less than 24 hours after landing in Indonesia, we mounted our first show for over 250 children from the neighborhood.  We did some club juggling, diabolo, tug of war, and some improvisation, with Dedi contributing a sing-along song.  Over-all the show was judged a success; with many smiles from the local kids, school teachers, and others.  It also gave Gabi, Dedi, Darmadi and I a chance to get to know each-other as performers, having just met we thought we acquitted ourselves well.

Tonight Kolleen, our third CWB clown compatriot, arrives; and tomorrow we will have time for proper rehearsal.  Tuesday we leave for the remote island of Mentawai, off the coast of Sumatra, with Dedi, Darmadi, and a Jakarta reporter and photographer.  After a twelve hour boat ride, we’ll stay there for eleven days of shows and workshops.  Here in Jakarta we have easy access to the internet, but Mentawai has little electricity, so we do not expect to be able to send regular updates during that week.

So if you don’t hear much from us, at least know the trip is off to a promising start!
Jan Damm

A Rainy Week

This post was written by Julia, a Red Nose intern from Germany. This is Julia’s fourth post; to read more by Julia follow the links below.

My fourth week started on a Sunday. I joined Red Nose and the children in Jakarta International School, where they practice circus and acrobatic. It was a nice experience to see the children out of their usual environment in Cilincing and Bintaro. Compared to the facilities where the children train their circus skills normally, JIS offers a lot of different opportunities and facilities. The building is quite big thus the children are able to move freely and practice also acrobatics, which is not imaginable in Cilincing or Bintaro. The children, in short time, created small circus shows from which I was quite impressed. Also there I am still not able to juggle with three balls (Am I making progress?…;)).

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Aside from my activities in Red Nose, I had a great weekend, my first weekend in Jakarta;) I met a friend and he showed me the old city center and I got a different view on Jakarta than only moving between Pondok Indah, BSD, Bintaro and Cilincing. I met new people and collected different impressions of the city. Next to that I bought a new camera, after I had to figure out that the cost of repairing the old one are nearly as high as buying a new one and after 5 months of daily usage it is maybe the time to accept that the old camera did a good job;) But as result I can also provide new pictures for you from my fourth week at Red Nose Foundation.

The beginning of the week was characterized by the heavy rainfalls in Jakarta. On one hand I am not used to heavy rain in Germany or any other places I have lived in.  While we were leaving Bintaro on Monday evening after the lessons with the children, the streets were already flooded and the rain was heavy. First I was only impressed by so much water, later I had to realize the consequences of the floodings… It took me three hours on Monday and four hours on Tuesday to come home, which is normally supposed to take me only one hour.  The long journeys by bus with the freezing air conditioner are exhausting and I only wish that the rain will stop soon, but until now the weather does not seem to change.

My experiences to teach the children English are going well. Also if I meet my limits if I have to explain a child in Cilincing expressions like: locations where people from the upper class are living. Sometimes it is quite hard to see how the educational books from school are missing the reality of these children. Of course the books are written for the whole Indonesia, independently from the social class the children are from, but still makes it the effort to translate and teach the vocabulary not easier and somehow ridiculous.

At the long weekend I will visit a friend in Bogor and as I was describing before I am looking forward to see some nature and a different environment the crowded and busy Jakarta.

Read more posts by Julia:

Part 1: Arriving at Red Nose
Part 2: Birthday and Getting a Routine
Part 3: Television and Radio
Part 4: A Rainy Week
Part 5: Rolling Stone Cafe and Moving…
Part 6: School Renovation

Television and Radio

This post was written by Julia, a Red Nose intern from Germany. This is Julia’s third post; to read more by Julia follow the links below.

The third week was mainly conditioned from the press. Three out of five days journalists from television and radio was accompanying us to Bintaro and Cilincing. On the one hand the children seemed to be somehow used to the attention from outside. On the other hand cameras and unkown people taking attention. The large part of the time the children were presenting their artistic skills, but still we tried also to teach English.

Next to this I came down with a bad cold with fever and cough, which makes every single movement more exhausting. So in total I am looking forward for the weekend and to have a rest.

The weekend in Sumatra was great but unfortunately my camera broke on Thursday evening, so I had no possibility to make pictures. My mission for the next weekend will be to buy a new one, so I can also present new pictures to emphasize my impressions.

On Monday I changed the hostfamily and I am living now in BSD, so I am able to come to Pondok Indah by myself by bus. The way is long, but I am still happy that I am able to move freely. The new family is very friendly and helpful. Until know I did not have the time to share lot of experiences with them, but I hope we will find time after Hannas exams.

Read more posts by Julia:
Part 1: Arrived at Red Nose
Part 2: Birthday and Getting a Routine
Part 3: Television and Radio
Part 4: A Rainy Week
Part 5: Rolling Stone Cafe and Moving…
Part 6: School Renovation