Veronica Colondam

YCAB Foundation
Year founded: 

Through programs that provide counselling, vocational training, micro-loan access, and healthy lifestyle promotion, YCAB empowers young people to take on leadership roles among peers and move into sustainable employment opportunities.

Focus: Youth development, health, education
Geographic Area of Impact: Indonesia
Model: Hybrid Non-Profit
Annual Budget: US$ 1.1 million (2011)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 81%
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 380,000 (2011)
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2012

Indonesia is now world's sixteenth largest economy with a GDP of US$700 billion. However, according to World Bank data, there are still more than 103 million (43.3%) people living below the poverty line with an additional 38.5% whose income is between $2 and $4 dollar per day. This means that more than 81% of the population are poor or at the border of poverty. Indonesia has a young population, with more than half of its people under 29 years of age. Despite the government’s compulsory “free” education program up to ninth grade, schools in Indonesia remain expensive and inaccessible for most people due to extra fees and transportation costs.

Innovation and Activities
YCAB was founded in 1999 to educate inner-city youth about drugs and HIV/AIDS prevention. On its own, this approach proved to be insufficient since the target population had far-reaching needs. YCAB revised its strategy to include broader educational services, and support for families. Today the YCAB strategy has three areas of focus: healthy lifestyle promotion, learning and development centers, and entrepreneurship training. The Healthy Lifestyle Promotion program, known as HeLP focuses on drug abuse and HIV prevention education in schools. Since 1999, the program has grown to incorporate life skills training, life counseling, training of trainers, and a peer-to-peer outreach approach known as the Ripple Campaign. HeLP works with more than 6,000 partner schools and has reached over 2 million youth.

YCAB’s second area of focus is House of Learning and Development, or HoLD. HoLD is a network of community education centers for underprivileged children and school dropouts. These centers offer affordable education (US$ .5-1/month) for low-income families in urban areas. Today there are 23 learning centers that have graduated more than 15,000 students. The third YCAB program is HOpE, which stands for Hands-on Operation for Entrepreneurship. HOpE offers a “conditional micro loan” where the attainment of education (for a child) becomes the condition of access to funds (for a parent). The micro loan is given to mothers of YCAB students to create a stable income for families so students can focus on their studies. YCAB has distributed 5,649 micro-loans and the loan repayment rate is above 99%.

The Entrepreneur
Veronica Colondam is the founder of Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB, which translates as the "Loving the Nation's Children Foundation"). It was founded out of deep concern for the increasing drug abuse problem among youth in Indonesia. Appointed as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum (2006) and the Fellow of Asia Society 21 Young Leaders (class 2007), Veronica studied mass communication and public relations as an undergraduate and earned an MSc. in Drug Policy and Intervention from the Imperial College, University of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines. At 29, she was the youngest recipient of the United Nations - Vienna Civil Society Award (2001).