Category Archives: Charity projects

Cheer, love and security at Seeds of Hope Children’s home

In today’s post, we are sharing some experiences from Study Advisory’s charity projects. Previously we have told about our regular charity campaign for UNESCO, but occasionally we also participate in other projects. Last week we visited the Balinese Seeds of Hope Children’s home together with our sister organisation Asia Exchange.

Bali, the most popular tourist destination of Indonesia is famous of its beautiful beaches and rich Balinese culture. The tropical and sunny island is a lovely place for a holiday or a study semester! However, among all the beauty of Bali there’s a population living on the island facing different kinds of social problems. At the side of the happy complete families there are also broken families. There are kids having brothers and sisters and kids living without mother or father – or both. Some parents can’t afford a sustainable life for the kids, and the kids end up to be abandoned. Tommy and Sandra at Seeds of Hope are replacing the important parent’s role in many children’s lives. This couple runs a Balinese orphanage and provides love and security for almost 60 children without family.

Seeds of Hope

A large family unit

The Seeds of Hope (SoH) was founded in March 2001 and is located in north-west of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Kids who are living there are aged from 3 to 21 years old. They are going to school and doing the daily tasks like cooking and cleaning by themselves. They don’t have staff working for the children’s home. Therefore, the place is more like a large family unit and all the daily tasks are done together. Everyone respects each other, which is something you will observe really quickly when visiting the place.

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Sandra (speaking on the microphone) as the oma (grandmother in Javanese language) and Tommy (on left) as the opa (grandfather in Javanese) for all the kids.

Sandra and Tommy want to teach the children the importance of education and useful skills for independent life for the future.  In July 2016, there were 67 children living in the Seeds of Hope. By September the same year, 12 of them have graduated and found a good job. It means they are able to live an independent life now.  This is something that Sandra and Tommy are extremely proud of!

Study Advisory is supporting the meaningful work of Seeds of Hope

Study Advisory’s sister company Asia Exchange organises student exchanges in Bali at Udayana University. Each semester, Asia Exchange visits the children’s house with the students, and this year Study Advisory had the honour to be represented as well. As the students are enjoying the study semester in the paradise, Asia Exchange is trying to encourage the students to visit the Seeds of Hope and give a while of their time for the kids. This is a great opportunity for the students to give back for all the unforgettable experiences and adventures the island has provided for them. This semester, in total one hundred students visited and played with the kids!  Seeing how many students were interested in visiting the place, meeting the kids and spending time with them warmed our hearts!

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In the beginning of the visit, the visitors were touched by the kids of the orphanage singing “You raise me up” and another song they had been practising. The beautiful performance was followed by a nice sing-along and the boys were playing guitar.  Afterwards, the little girls liked to play musical chairs while the boys were more excited of basketball and other sports – and by the way, they were super good at sports!  They were also happy to show their rooms and living areas. The kids loved to be in photos and to see the pictures of themselves. The cheerful afternoon at the orphanage was full of love and laugh.

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This time one hundred Asia Exchange students visited the Seeds of Hope and had a great time with the kids.

The Seeds of Hope doesn’t receive any support from the government. Thus, the possibility to send the kids to school and give them food every day depends fully on donations. Study Advisory and Asia Exchange really appreciate the work that Sandra and Tommy are doing for the kids. As an expression of this, the companies made a donation of a 4 million rupiahs (270 euros) to the Seeds of Hope.

Would you like to visit the kids?

If you are visiting Bali and want to go play with the kids and support the Seeds of Hope, you can read more about them at their website. Everyone is warmly welcome to visit the children’s home. However, we recommend you to contact Sandra in advance (contact details on their website) to make sure the time is suitable for them.

Study Advisory wishes all the best for the Seeds of Hope!

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Let it rain! It doesn’t bother us, we´re always happy!

Study Advisory’s Charity Project – What is it and why we do it?

Study Advisory is a modern start-up from Finland, genuinely interested in helping and caring of others. Once a wise man said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (N. Mandela). We believe in the same idea, which was also one inspiration for our mission: Connect students with tertiary level educational institutions worldwide and provide them with the necessary information to find the most suitable study option for everyone.

Education is a rapidly growing field, and enrolment in higher education is expected to double up to 262 million by 2025. More and more students are moving across borders seeking education outside their home countries. Nevertheless, we have to remember that at the same time there are still more than 72 million children who should be in primary school according to their age, but who don’t have access to basic education. There are several reasons for that, for example wars, poverty and some related on cultural old traditions etc. There has been even a discussion about “a lost generation”, which means that there is a risk that, in certain areas in the world, an entire generation will remain without basic education including skills in reading and writing.

This is something we want to help stop happening with Study Advisory. Right from the beginning we knew that we wanted to regularly donate to charity, and more specifically for children’s education. That’s why we decided to target our donation to UNESCO’s programme for the Education of Children in Need. The program has been existing since 1992 and over the years it has raised over $40 million dollars and shared them to over 400 projects in almost 100 countries.

Study Advisory's charity project
Our managing director Sami, excited to make the first yearly donation to UNESCO.

We make a donation to UNESCO based on the number of student reviews in our online service – 25 euro cents for each review. With the help of the students, we participate in building a better tomorrow for those children who are vulnerable in the society and are lacking access to basic education. Study Advisory’s online service was launched in September 2015 and during our first year we managed to gather about 3 200 reviews. Next year we want to triple that!

Help us reach that goal & rate to donate!

Volunteering at school – how can I benefit? 

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Volunteering at university can benefit and enrich your life in many ways.  By volunteering we mean an altruistic activity done for the good of the society. It can be help to disabled people, caring about homeless animals, organising social events etc.

Students are offered plenty of possibilities for voluntary activities. However, some students ignore them because of lack of time or because they underestimate the perks such type of work can bring them.

Gain new competencies

Volunteering is doing new things in a fresh working environment. You learn general skills such as goal setting, planning, organising and team work, but also gain specific competencies, e.g how to encounter challenges and take responsibility. Your communication and social skills will be enhanced greatly. And who knows what kind of  hidden talents could be discovering then! You might even become so skilled that you will get some money compensation for your work.

Enhance your career

While volunteering, you build networks and communicate with people from different working environments and backgrounds. You get precious insights into a specific career. Volunteering at university stage benefits your life track and makes a good contribution also to your personal development. It enormously raises the chances of your employability: hiring managers prefer job applicants with a volunteer experience over those without it.

Expand new horizons

Volunteering opens new horizons as you might socialise with people from other cultures and explore new places and even get the possibility to travel. For international students it is a good possibility to fit in a local life style or learn a new language etc. Benefit from the deep immersion into new cultures!

Make difference

While working for your student union  you can make impact and  change something you feel unsatisfied with. It is your chance to take decisions and improve study environment around you!

Feel good

Those who do unpaid work gain a sense of satisfaction from their involvement. By helping others, you will get recharged by positive energy and maybe discover a new perspective of life. Make the best of your study time!

Where to find information about volunteering

Be open and active! There are multiple sources of information to get involved. The information about volunteering can be found on the webpages of universities and student unions. The higher education institutions might have special events for students interested in volunteering. E.g University of Eastern Finland (UEF) participated  in various campaigns and events with a goal to promote the integration of asylum seekers into Finnish society. (1)

Moreover, you can check the webpages of different  volunteering organizations. There are also internet platforms that connect people interested in volunteering worldwide . E.g Volunteer World  is the first independent platform that connects volunteers and social projects globally. This platform provides a community marketplace to present, discover, and apply to international volunteer options.  Volunteer World aims to provide cost and service transparency of volunteer programs as well as significantly facilitates the search and application process. The portal has more than 1000 registered users and offers about 600 programs in more than  70 countries.  You can easily compare the options based on cost, price and purpose.  In addition to valuable peers feedback, the website contains a lot of useful information you might need if you going work as a volunteer.

1) https://www.uef.fi/en/-/ita-suomen-yliopisto-mukana-tukemassa-turvapaikanhakijoiden-avustustyota

By Anna Korobova

Why should you rate your university?

So, we are building the best place for students and universities to find each other. We have an enormous database consisting of almost 12 000 higher education institutions. But that’s not enough. We want you, your friends and everybody else also to rate your university. But why do we want that in the first place?

In our previous blog post I wrote that 9 out of 10 young people think that their peers provide important information when it comes to deciding about their future university. So first of all, we really want to make the voice of the young people heard. Those people who have studied in a certain institution have first-hand knowledge that universities’ promotional material usually can’t provide.

We have come up with six different categories – you can give your feedback by just clicking the scale. We wanted to emphasize things that are not measured by the traditional rankings: quality of teaching, the atmosphere on the campus, student services, international buzz, value for money and security.

We also have a spot for comments. You might be wondering: “So what is there to write about?” Our recommendation is: anything you please. What would you have wanted to hear about your future university when you were applying? Maybe there were some unique courses that you wouldn’t have had in your own country. It might be that the sport facilities were off the hook. How was the student life? Do you have any practical tips: where to live, what to eat or what to do on your free time? So just write about anything!

And hey. It doesn’t matter whether you are already an alumnus or alumna from then years back or a freshman – everyone’s opinion matters. So just search for your university and let your voice be heard.

Oh, and we also want to do our share: that’s why we are donating 25 cents per each review to UNESCO’s Programme for the Education of Children in Need – so your review also does some good!

So what are you waiting for? Rate your university and spread the word. Let’s work together to revolutionize education!

Students on a campus