Sumba’s children and youth, its generation of hope, are ill-prepared and ill-positioned to deal with the inherent challenges and opportunities of this new economic stimulus on their own. Few of the Sumbanese who live in rural villages (where poverty is at its most marked) speak English. Yet a basic command of the English language is an important stepping stone to tapping into job opportunities presenting themselves through the burgeoning tourism sector and other related sectors. There is a real need to provide Sumba’s village youth with resources to learn English.
In 2015, an independent initiative, English Goes to the Kampung (EGK), was begun to meet this need. Roswita Asti Kulla, a young teacher and a local Sumbanese herself, with few resources beyond her own limited ones and a big heart, began going to villages (kampungs) to teach the rudiments of English and life skills to the children in the coastal and rural areas around her home. These were children who often were not able to get to school because of distance or because of the demands of daily survival which would not permit them the time or the latitude to attend school.