Global Reach: Grantee Partners

Red Nose Foundation


Despite a decline, 19% of Indonesian young people 15-24 were unemployed (2013). Young people have been able to access formal employment, but ~33% of youth are in vulnerable employment (low productivity, non-wage labour) and 50% in informal work situations (2013). Young people of slum areas in Cilincing and Jurangmangu Timor are most likely to have lower levels of education and thus more informal employment. They have few chances to participate in vocational training as Indonesia has few government subsidized post-secondary vocational schools and private vocational institutions are too expensive, and thus have limited opportunity to gain marketable skills to get a job or to start a business that responds to the market demand. Girls and young women have even less access to vocational training as families generally prioritize boys’ education and livelihoods opportunities, and are more excluded from the growing economy.


The RNF, based in Jakarta, is a non-profit education outreach organization established in 2008. To attract young people, it uses arts and Social Circus, the latter being a unique way to help at-risk children and youth develop and learn determination, self-discipline, communication, self-reliance, and confidence in own strengths and capacities. RNF runs three major programs for at-risk children and communities: 1) An Arts and Education Outreach Program using visual arts and music to teach science and math in line with the national curriculum, as well as classes in English, basic literacy, tutoring, equivalency exam preparation, etc. 2) The Formal Education Support System Program offers full and partial scholarships for children in grades 2-12; and. 3) The Performance Troupe, a Social Circus program. The uniqueness of RNF is using circus arts to help children and youth develop the confidence to accomplish their future dreams, as well as essential life skills. RNF is a founding member of the Asian Social Circus Association, and believes in social circus as a powerful tool to empower at-risk children. The Performance Circus Troupe offers a place for advanced students to hone their athletic ability and perform in front of crowds and see the world outside of their slum communities. RNF operates a learning centre in Cilincing, a poor fishermen community in North Jakarta, but runs activities in Cilincing and Jurang Mangu Bintaro, a trash scavengers’ slum in South Tangerang (part of the Jabodetabek Greater Jakarta metropolitan area).

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 3rd grant to the Red Nose Foundation (RNF) will build the English language, public speaking, job readiness and career preparation skills of 300 youth in Jakarta. A group of 50 out-of-school youth will participate in vocational training in hospitality and web design linked to fair-paid internships with the possibility for gainful employment and increased income. RNF will offer all youth regular circus classes which are, like sports-for-development programs, an effective (and unique) tool to develop capacities and strengthen self-esteem. With this new grant, RNF will be able to diversify its vocational training offer and lead a community assessment to better understand barriers to program access of girls/young women.

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