Education Warrior From Koa

Her name is Natersia Da Silva, commonly called Nata, born on March 24, 1987, in Babulo Village, Same District, Manufahi Regency, East Timor. Currently, Nata lives in Koa village, West Molo District, South Central Timor Regency, NTT. He is one of the administrators of Rumah Wadah Daerah Kupang Koa and also assists the community through Early Childhood Education (PAUD), Joint Savings and Loans Business (UBSP), Solar Electricity Committee, and is active as a church administrator.

Starting from her high social spirit, Nata initiated PAUD in Fafioban, Koa village for children around her residence. Before that, children aged 4-6 years in Fafioban could not study in PAUD because there was only 1 PAUD in the village center with a very long distance and sometimes had to cross the river.

In May 2015 Nata and 5 friends formed a PAUD called Permata Bunda and began to organize teaching and learning with 16 children in a multipurpose room of the Solar Power Workshop (LTS). The PAUD location can be reached by every child in Fafioban by walking for about 5 to 10 minutes. But other challenges arise.

The parents of the early childhood children who were initially enthusiastic about sending their children to study, suddenly changed their minds, refusing to take their children to school because they doubted the ability of Nata and 5 other teachers in aspects of children’s education. Moreover, the appearance of Nata and her fellow teachers is not what people know so far, that is, wearing uniforms and holding certain titles. As a result, the school was stopped.  Although sad, Nata did not despair. For two weeks she went in and out of the house explaining to parents the importance of early childhood education.  Nata, with sincere service intentions, continues to strive to gain the trust of the community.

“If for instance you don’t believe in my friends, believe me, you know I used to be an elementary school teacher, I must have experience. They do not have diplomas, but they have the will to serve, instead of letting these children playing around unattended, it is better to take them to PAUD, there we can learn to count while playing,” Nata assured parents to allow their children to PAUD Permata Bunda.

Nata and her 5 fellow teachers did not give up hope. They went back and forth until the parents slowly understood the position of the teachers and the importance of education for their children. Finally, parents allow their children to continue their education at PAUD Permata Bunda.

The good practices shown by Nata in mentoring in PAUD gradually attracted more and more parents in Fafioban who volunteered to bring their children, nieces, and nephews to be educated at Permata Bunda. From 2015 until today PAUD Permata Bunda has graduated 111 people, and 27 people are in the process of learning.

For the tireless struggle of Nata and the teachers, in 2018 PAUD Permata Bunda received the support of a new building with adequate facilities built in collaboration between Wadah Foundation and BRI Peduli.

When asked why Nata and her fellow teachers did not give up in fighting for and maintaining their service there, she replied that Yayasan Wadah was the motivator that kept her doing service to this day.   Nata is an example of a woman who works and is empowered. He has been able to lead himself, able to manage his emotions, and determined his heart to continue to do impactful service for others. Nata’s inspirational story as a female education warrior shows that in service it takes will, intention, and patience to be able to turn hope into reality. Nata has shown exemplary through actions and behaviors that have a positive impact on others with a strong commitment and consistent practice to this day. 

Author: Wahyuning Dwi Ndraha

Editor: Ghewa Yohanes


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