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Chopard together with Happy Hearts Indonesia is dedicated to developing education in Sumba

Audrey Simon
Audrey Simon • 8 min read
Chopard together with Happy Hearts Indonesia is dedicated to developing education in Sumba
Chopard together with Happy Hearts Indonesia are dedicated to developing education in Sumba
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Chopard recently visited Sumba, Indonesia, to support two schools built in collaboration with Happy Hearts Indonesia. This solidifies the brand’s dedication to creating a positive impact on education and community development

Chopard’s dedication to education and sustainability through their collaboration with Happy Hearts Indonesia

Students at SD Wali Ate welcomed us through the captivating rhythms of the traditional Kataga dance

As a child, Siti (not her real name) studied at SD Wali Ate in Sumba, Indonesia. Now, years later, she has accomplished a remarkable feat by earning herself a scholarship to pursue higher education at a university in Jakarta.
The principal of Siti’s former school shared this heartwarming story when we visited the school to look at their extension programme. We also attended the inauguration ceremony at another school called PAUD Tunas Daud. This was made possible by Chopard’s dedication to education and sustainability through their collaboration with Happy Hearts Indonesia.
As part of their support for the SD Wali Ate extension, Chopard constructed a classroom, two toilets, and a library. The addition of a library holds special significance, as it is a rare feature among schools in the Southwest Sumba region. The library now serves as an inviting sanctuary for students, fostering the development of their literacy skills and allowing them to explore the world around them.
This is aligned with Chopard’s motto, The Artisan of Emotions. The brand preserves the rich heritage of traditional expertise and ancient craftsmanship while embracing modernity and ethical values. Driven by an unyielding dedication to boundless creativity, Chopard continuously pushes the boundaries of craftsmanship, reaching unprecedented levels of excellence through the devoted efforts of talented and passionate artisans. Moreover, since July 2018, Chopard has taken pride in pioneering the use of 100% ethical gold in producing their exquisite timepieces and jewellery, setting a remarkable standard in the watch and jewellery industry.
The partnership with Happy Hearts Indonesia is perfect as the foundation was started in 2005 by supermodel Petra Nemcova, Happy Hearts Indonesia is a non-profit organisation committed to enhancing the lives of underprivileged children in Indonesia. Happy Hearts Indonesia strives to bring about enduring and positive transformations in communities nationwide through its focus on education, health, and sustainable development.
With their efforts, Happy Hearts Indonesia has successfully constructed over 300 schools, offering education and assistance to more than 81,600 children and benefiting 408,200 communities. HHI is officially registered with Indonesia’s Ministry of Law and Human Rights as the Indonesian Happy Hearts Foundation.

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The SD Wali Ate extension featured the construction of essential facilities, including a library. The introduction of a library serves as a welcoming sanctuary for students, nurturing their literacy skills and letting them explore the world through words

See also: The local experience

The SD Wali Ate school extension project has allowed the school to accommodate more teachers, ensuring an ideal teacher- to-student ratio of 1:20

Visiting SD Wali Ate
In the scorching heat of June, we arrived at the remote area of Sumba after a one-hour flight from Bali. Our purpose was to visit the SD Wali Ate extension, and when we arrived, we were greeted by a mesmerising troupe of dancers. These talented performers were none other than the 11-year-old students of the school. They warmly welcomed us through the captivating rhythms of the traditional Kataga dance.
The Kataga dance holds a unique place in the culture of the Sumbanese people, blending elements of art and martial prowess. Each movement within the dance carries its profound philosophy and significance. Observing how every district in Sumba boasts its distinctive dance style is fascinating.
Before embarking on this trip, I had to go to Google to research a place called Sumba. It turns out that Sumba is an island spanning approximately 11,153 sq km, with a population of around 750,000 people. For comparison, Bali, another well-known Indonesian island, covers an area of only 5,780 square kilometres and houses a population of 4.4 million people.
Situated in the eastern part of Indonesia, specifically in the province of East Nusa Tenggara, Sumba finds its place within the Lesser Sunda Islands, nestled between Flores to the east and Sumbawa to the west. This island is celebrated for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and distinct traditions.
Sumba’s topography boasts rolling hills, vast savannahs, and captivating coastlines that paint a picturesque backdrop. The island is renowned for its traditional villages, where one can encounter unique architectural styles like the impressive rumah adat houses, characterised by their tall peaked thatched roofs.
It is in one of the remote villages that offered us the opportunity to visit the SD Wali Ate school extension project. Since its reconstruction efforts began in March 2020, 376 children have benefited from the improved facilities and enriched learning environment provided by the newly extended building. The additional space has allowed the school to accommodate more teachers, ensuring an ideal teacher-to-student ratio of 1:20. This remarkable outcome underscores the positive and transformative impact of Chopard’s support on the local community.
Chopard’s commitment to the SD Wali Ate extension included the construction of essential facilities, including a classroom, two toilets, and a library. The introduction of a library serves as a welcoming sanctuary for students, nurturing their literacy skills and letting them explore the world through words.
The school in SD Wali Ate stands as a pilot institution, originating from a community-led initiative that involved participation from residents in the construction of temporary structures. With the invaluable support from Chopard, these temporary buildings have now been replaced, providing a more conducive learning environment for the students.

Chopard, in collaboration with Happy Hearts Indonesia, has constructed PAUD Tunas Daud entirely using recycled plastic waste

These classrooms at PAUD Tunas Daud lie in the construction materials utilised, which effectively remove 1–2 tons of plastic waste from the environment

PAUD Tunas Daud
Following a challenging hour-long journey along rugged and unpaved roads, where Wi-Fi connectivity came and went, we finally arrived at PAUD Tunas Daud. This school is situated in Watulabara Village, within the Wewewa Barat District of Southwest Sumba. The weariness from the drive disappeared instantly as the kindergarten children welcomed us with a captivating dance performance. They were adorned in attire with intricate designs, vibrant colours, and cultural motifs characteristic of Sumba’s rich textile heritage.
In this area, PAUD Tunas Daud stands as the only kindergarten, and it is remarkable to learn that the children walk at least five kilometres daily to access education. Recognising the importance of providing a conducive learning environment, Chopard, in collaboration with Happy Hearts Indonesia, has constructed a school made entirely of recycled plastic waste. The generous contributions and donations for this initiative totalled US$61,000 ($82,216), significantly impacting the lives of these young learners.
Thanks to the allocated funds, PAUD Tunas Daud, a kindergarten, transformed remarkably into an eco-friendly educational institution. The reconstruction involved using blocks from recycled plastic waste, resulting in two comfortable classrooms built with eco-bricks. In addition to the classrooms, the school now boasts a toilet, educational toys, and a playground, creating a sustainable learning environment.
These classrooms lie in the construction materials utilised, effectively removing one to two tons of plastic waste from the environment. This not only contributes to tackling the issue of plastic waste but also sets a compelling example of how eco-friendly building materials can positively impact education and the environment.
The upgraded facilities not only directly benefit the children by providing them with a safe and comfortable learning environment but also contribute to the overall improvement of the educational institution. These improvements will enhance the school’s chances of receiving accreditation, further establishing its commitment to quality education.
PAUD Tunas Daud now plays a crucial role in providing essential early education opportunities for the local community. With elementary and senior high schools located within 1.5km, graduates from PAUD Tunas Daud will have improved access and a smoother transition to pursue higher education, expanding their future opportunities.

This journey has truly opened my eyes, and instead of solely imparting the importance of education to the children, I have found myself being taught a thing or two by them. This experience has reminded me to appreciate and count my blessings each day. It has made me realise not to take for granted things like access to clean water, a comfortable lifestyle, and the privilege of receiving a quality education while growing up in Singapore.

The words of Nelson Mandela echoed in my mind: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Feeling inspired, I plan to connect with the educators of SD Wali Ate and PAUD Tunas Daud to learn how these students have become change agents, positively impacting the world around them.

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