Struggle of an Education Fighter in Papua Successfully Educate His Son for Studying at Harvard University, United States of America – A happy smile shone on the face of Isaschar Mambrasar (76 years old), when he attended every graduation procession at Harvard University, United States of America. His son succeeded to get a Master’s degree in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard University and became the first Papuan child and the only one who ever studied at the World’s Top Campus in Uncle Sam’s country.

Isaschar Mambrasar shared that he had maintained his son’s dream of being able to study at the world’s top campus from an early age. Even if you live under the poverty line with insufficient income to meet your family’s needs, education should still be a priority.  Isaschar indeed laid down the principle for his children not to truant school at all, even though they didn’t know what to eat that day.

“We don’t even have electricity at home, with my income of only 100 thousand per month, my wife is forced to work hard to fulfill the family’s needs, by selling snacks at the market, and my children assits while learning,” he said.

Isaschar Mambrasar teaches as a non-permanent teacher at the Christian Education Foundation School, teaching Religion, English and Citizenship subjects. Not having a fixed income, for Isaschar education is a service and the main task of humanizing humans is the noble task he carries out. At the beginning of his career as an honorary teacher, Isaschar was only paid 100 thousand rupiah per month which was sufficient to meet the needs of his family.

Isaschar Mambrasar was born in Serui, Papua, on February 10, 1947, and received his education in the Dutch era. His elementary school was spent at the People’s School which was continued at the West New Guinea Training School, Doyo Baru, Jayapura – Papua. He then continued his education at the Jogjakarta Art Institute, but did not accomplish his education due to lack of funds.

“My parents live in the village, in Wapoga, on the border between Nabire and Waropen, and with an occupation as farmers and fishermen, they do not have the financial capacity to support my education. So I did various jobs in Java, in order to survive, from being a driver, a book seller, to a security guard or SATPAM. I was forced to drop out of college because I didn’t have enough money,” said Isaschar Mambrasar

Isaschar then decided to come back to Papua and serve as an educator. His dream is to establish an educational institution that can provide free education for Papuan children, considering the difficulties he faced when he was studying in the past and wanting more Papuan children to go to school. Isaschar became an honorary teacher, after attending compulsory teaching training by the Department of Education and Culture at the time, until he obtained a teaching certificate. Having no formal education, Isaschar was never a civil servant.

Starting to teach at the Christian Education Foundation School, Isaschar also opened a non-formal education center to teach English and character development, which eventually became the forerunner of the Kitong Bisa Foundation. Until now, the Kitong Bisa Foundation has educated thousands of Papuan children who have successfully worked and took part in various sectors.

Since childhood, Isaschar’s children are motivated to pursue higher education. Even if it was only with a lamp and a candle, the children were motivated to keep learning and reading books diligently. They are motivated from an early age to study at the world’s top universities. Isaschar believes that for those from underdeveloped and economically weak areas, there will be an open way for their children to pursue the highest possible education. With a collection of books that he kept from his old occupation as a bookseller, Isaschar introduced Education abroad to his children, such as the Universities of Oxford and Harvard.

With the motivation to study hard, despite in the obstructions, all of Isaschar Mambrasar’s children managed to study abroad, even to the best universities in the world, with scholarships. There are schools in China, the Netherlands, England, and the United States. On May 26, 2022, one of his children, Billy Mambrasar, successfully accomplished his education at Harvard, the campus that generated the most presidents of the United States, Nobel laureates, and even the founder of Microsoft and the creator of Facebook. Even, this son is the first and only Papuan son to study at this world-renowned campus.

Isaschar’s story is an inspiration to all that the obstructions will never be an obstacle for anyone who wants to progress and succeed. Isaschar also gave a message that education is a way that can change a person’s life to be better.

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