Sharing with Others: The Easiest Way to Get – and – Stay Happy

Article by Jessica Orwig and Erin Brodwin (This article was published on 24 July 2015 on Business Insider)

When was the last time you felt a light-hearted awareness where you had a skip in your step, care-free grin on your face, and overwhelming sense that despite what happened, everything was going to work out?In other words, when was the last time you were truly happy?

In other words, when was the last time you were truly happy? It’s an amazing, but often fleeting, feeling. And many of us don’t get enough of it.

What’s more, there’s a common belief that if we seek out things like a better career, more money, and meaningful companionship, we’ll be happier as a result. But that may be a harmful misconception. Science journalist Wendy Zukerman explained the idea on a recent episode of the podcast series “Science VS.”

To measure the level of happiness in people around the world, scientists use large surveys like the Mappiness app and the World Happiness Report where thousands of volunteers answer questions about how satisfied they are with their quality of life, overall well-being, and happiness. While the results can’t conclusively say what exactly makes all humans happy and what doesn’t, the growing literature on this topic has found several key themes in how people can go about finding more, long-lasting joy in life.

 

How much of our happiness can we actually control?

Many of us try to achieve happiness by accumulating more things in life that we think will make us happy, like higher income or a stable family life. But as it turns out, there’s a scientific reason this strategy won’t do us much good. A pretty large chunk of our happiness is genetic.

Several studies done over the past decade estimate that anywhere between 30% and 80% of our happiness is dictated by our genes. One large recent study of 20,000 pairs of fraternal and identical twins (widely recognized as the easiest way to separate the differences caused by nature and nurture) found that roughly 33% of the variation in life satisfaction is explained by genetic differences. Other studies suggest that anywhere from 10% to 60% of our happiness comes from our attitude and overall outlook on life.

If you do the math, that means that just a fraction — about 10% of our happiness — comes from external things that happen to us, including changes in our career, relationships, or income. So while going after that promotion might seem like it’ll make you happy, all that stuff only chips away at the tip of the iceberg.

Hedonic Cycle

A psychological phenomenon called the “hedonic adaptation” — first coined in the 1970s — states that we all have a base level of happiness that’s basically unchangeable — regardless of what happens in our lives. If we get a job promotion, for example, we’ll celebrate and feel good, but those emotions are only temporary, the theory goes.

In the early ’90s, British psychologist Michael Eysenck likened this constant starvation for more — and more and more — to a treadmill. Consequently, the “hedonic adaptation” is more commonly known today as the “hedonic treadmill.” “You’re running but you’re on that treadmill and you’re not getting anywhere in terms of happiness,” Zukerman says.

Eventually, that boost in happiness you get from a job promotion or marriage proposal will abate, and you’ll be back to the same baseline level of happiness you were before the exciting change.

How to make a change for the better

There are lots of science-backed ways we can improve our overall well-being and grow happier in the long-run. Here are just a few:

  1. Meditate: Multiple studies suggest that meditating — focusing intently and quietly on the present for set periods of time — can help lessen feelings of depression and anxiety.
  2. Go outside: One study found that a group of students sent into the trees for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent the same two nights in a city.
  3. Get involved in cultural activities: A study that examined the anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction of over 50,000 adults in Norway offered an interesting link: People who participated in more cultural activities, like attending a play or joining a club, reported lower levels of anxiety and depression as well as a higher satisfaction with their overall quality of life.
  4. Spend money on othersA 2008 study gave 46 volunteers an envelope with money in it wherein half were instructed to spend the money on themselves and the other half put the money towards a charitable donation or gift for someone they knew. The volunteers recorded their happiness level before receiving the envelope and after spending the money by the end of that same day. Sure enough, the researchers discovered that those who spent their money on others had a higher level of happiness than those who spent the money on themselves.
  5. Volunteer: In a recent review of 40 studies done over the last 20 years, researchers foundthat one activity was far more important than the rest for boosting psychological health: volunteering. This activity, the researchers reported, had been found in many volunteers to be linked with a reduced risk of depression, a higher amount of overall satisfaction, and even a reduced risk of death from of a physical illness as a consequence of mental distress.

Conclusion: If you’re looking to get a mood boost that’ll last you in the long-term, focus on your state of mind in the present, be grateful for what you have, and stop to enjoy it! You’ll thank yourself a few minutes — or a few years — down the road.

 

Project Child is Hiring new Class Manager

Project Child Indonesia is a local NGO fighting to bring healthy living, environmentalism and quality education to the vulnerable communities in Pacitan.

The Project Child Indonesia Pacitan office invites applications from happy passionate and driven Bahasa speaking candidates for the following position:

CLASS MANAGER

Required Qualifications:

  • Fresh Graduate (preferred) from Any Major
  • Excellent written and spoken English and Bahasa Indonesia
  • Happy and Passionate in Working with Volunteers (local and international) and the Community
  • Excellent documentation and reporting skills
  • Good communication, interpersonal and facilitation skills
  • Self-Confidence in matters of teaching in front of children and adults
  • Reliability regarding scheduled meetings, appointments and responding to emails and mobile phone messages as well as working/finishing tasks independently
  • Fair computer skills (Microsoft office, email, internet research)

 

Field of Work:

  • Managing and coordinating volunteer activities and presence
  • Teaching children and adults according to PCI content and methods
    • Includes the capability of teaching in the classroom but also with practical outdoor exercises and activities (for instance gardening, field trips to the beach, sports, etc.)
  • Planning, executing, and evaluating current and future programs of PCI together with the team of staff, interns, and volunteers

This is your chance to enrich your personal and work experience by joining an international influenced social organization which intends to create a real and sustainable impact on children’s lives in the region. Most of our programs are the first of their kind in Pacitan and include unique teaching methods same as a creative and fun working environment.

This position is paid (part-time) and will be based in Pacitan, Indonesia.

All candidates need to submit the application with recent CV with photograph and motivation letter to our email contact@projctchild.ngo (Subject: CM Application) no later than 18 July 2017

Contact Person & Inquiries:

Ningrum at 0877-5891-5245 (Whatsapp or text only) or ningrum@projectchild.ngo

Internet Literacy Program Kick-off

Project Child Indonesia has completed a wonderful milestone this month. After months of preparation, the new Internet Literacy Program has begun successfully. Internet access in Indonesia has grown astronomically but children remain one of the most vulnerable to understanding the positive and negative aspects of the internet. We strongly believe that equipping children with proper internet literacy education would enormously benefit the workforce of Indonesia.

To reach our goal, we collaborated with three primary schools in Yogyakarta. SD Bumijo 1, SD Bangunrejo 1 and SD Vidya Qasana were chosen to be our pilot schools. We were pleasantly surprised with the reception from the children! Although they are already familiar with the internet, they were curious about what can they can do with the internet. We created a unique syllabus to enhance the usage of the internet as well as educated them on computer hardware. We delivered the knowledge using engaging methodologies and lots of games which created 70 enthusiastic children. By extension, our 14 new volunteers were amazing and taught with enthusiasm and pride. We are so thankful that they joined our mission!

In addition, the schools’ response also humbled us. Our program and methods may be unfamiliar with what they usually do in class, but they were encouraging and were on-board to help us make an impact. “We know that our kids are still unaware with the bad side of the internet. And since we do not have capacity with our limited budget to give them education about it, we really support this program” said Mrs. Puji Lestari M.Pd, the headmaster of SD Bumijo 1. We recognize that commitment from the teachers will ensure that this program will remain sustainable and create a grass-root solution to the educational problem.

Finally, we would like to show our gratitude to our partner, Gameloft, who helped us turn our idea into reality. Gameloft has benevolently donated computers to underprivileged schools, making us able to conduct the internet literacy program. In the next-coming months, we would like to enhance our syllabus to create a new perspective that internet could be child-friendly and that we can use it in a positive and useful way. We are always open to everyone who also desires to help the future generation in any possible way. For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our program manager at program@projectchild.ngo.

Here’s to making another impact to benefit Indonesian communities!

 

Written by Septian Fajar, Kelly McEtchin

The Launching of Internet Literacy Program

During the week of National Education Day which occurs in May, Project Child Indonesia (PCI) launched an exciting new program about Internet Literacy. The Internet Literacy Program aims to educate Indonesian primary school children about the benefits of the internet, introduce them to coding, and how to use the internet safely and responsibly. At the initial stage, the program will be implemented in 3 primary schools in Yogyakarta, namely SD Negeri Bumijo, SD Negeri Bangunrejo I and SD Negeri Vidya Qasana.

The demographics of internet users in Indonesia is dominated by the younger generation, where as many as 35.6 million (26.9%) of total 132.7 million internet users in Indonesia are youth, ranged from 10-24 years old (APJII, 2016). However, there is a gap between the digital literacy education in Indonesia with the ease of accessing the internet, where internet usage is a 75% penetration between 10-24 year old demographics. In addition, there has been no structured digital literacy education in Indonesia. In Yogyakarta, most schools cannot afford to have a computer for a teacher due to strict budgets, let alone establish a computer lab.

Through this program, students will be given digital literacy education about from a basic introduction to computers and the internet, how to use the internet safely and responsibly, introduction to coding and programming as well as how to utilize the internet for their self-development. This education program will provid the students from grade 4 and 5 with a fun method by using computer labs provided by our partner, Gameloft Indonesia. The program is aimed to fill the gap between the high internet usage penetration with low digital literacy in Indonesia and to encourage the younger generation in Indonesia to be able to boost the growth of digital and creative industries in Indonesia.

The program has gone through a series of research on digital literacy in Indonesia. The program has  curriculum tailored to the conditions of the digital literacy among elementary school students in Indonesia. Volunteers play the vital role to make sure the program is running well. In the early stages of this program, Project Child Indonesia interviewed and recruited 14 volunteers who have gone through training before they can teach in the program. In later stages, Project Child Indonesia hopes to expand this program to more schools in Yogyakarta and Indonesia.

Project Child Indonesia also calls for an active public participation in providing internet literacy education in Indonesia. Anyone can participate actively as volunteers or donate computers to build a computer lab in the elementary schools which cannot afford to finance the construction and development of one. To actively participate, visit the Project Child web page and if you have any questions on how to help this program please contact us via email: program@projectchild.ngo. [Abie Zaidannas]

Project Child is Hiring!

Project Child Indonesia, Yogyakarta office invites application from happy, passionate and driven Bahasa Speaking candidate for Program Manager position.

Qualifications:

  • Fresh Graduate (preferred) from Any Major
  • Excellent written and spoken English and Bahasa Indonesia
  • Happy and Passionate in Working with Volunteers and Community
  • Excellent documentation and reporting skills
  • Good communication, interpersonal and facilitation skills
  • Capable of managing a basic accounting sheet and able to create financial reports

This position is paid position and will be based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. All candidates need to submit the application with recent CV with photograph and motivation letter to our email contact@projectchild.ngo (Subject: PM application) no later than 7 April 2017

Contact Person & Inquiries:
Awan at 085366721122 (WhatsApp or text only ) or hastanto@projectchild.ngo

Pasar Mandiri: Giving to Empower the Community to be Actively Involved in Education

The idea of Pasar Mandiri (Sustainable Market) is to involve the community in improving the education of children in the area where we worked. Project Child received a lot of second-hand clothes donation every year, and giving the second-hand clothes to our community is not a good idea because most of the times it is very hard to make sure the donation goes to someone in needs. People would take everything they want since it was free goods, even though they don’t need it. Instead of giving it directly to the community, we sell it at an affordable price so the people only take the only things they needed.

Project Child comes up with an idea to sell the second-hand clothes to our community with very affordable price, ranging from IDR 1.000 (USSD 0.01) to IDR 5.000. So our community member would be able to buy all the things that they need. All of the money goes to the educational field-trip, decided by our student themselves. Project Child started this event on 2014 with help from Young Leaders Indonesia and Indorelawan.

Within March 2017 Project Child Indonesia held 2 Pasar Mandiri event in our Sekolah Sungai in Winongo and Code, Yogyakarta. Almost 100 people were being involved in Pasar Mandiri. We would like to thank all of our kind donors and volunteers for making this program possible.

If you wanted to donate your secondhand clothes, please contact us at donate@projectchild.ngo.

Call for Volunteer: Internet Literacy Program

 

Calling all new volunteers!

Do you like technology? Do you like teaching to children? If so, we need your help and your expertise! Project Child is looking for new volunteers for our internet literacy program!

Volunteer duties are as follows:

  1. Teach internet literacy curriculum to children in Jogja.
  2. Help with the translation from English to Bahasa Indonesia for teaching materials.
  3. Make new friends and new professional contacts.
  4. Become a new leader in the new and emerging world of digital literacy!

Requirements:

  1. Must be able to dedicate 2 hours a week. One hour to help with translation (can be done from home) and 1 hour teaching the curriculum.
  2. Must have a good level of English.
  3. Must have good interpersonal skills and willing to learn!
  4. Contract will be for 4 months but can be extended.

What Project Child provides:

  1. All curriculum and teaching materials.
  2. Training.
  3. In every class that you teach, you will be paired with another volunteer and a PCI staff member. You will never have to teach alone.
  4. A new group of friends!
  5. You may use your experience on a CV if contract completed successfully.

Hope to see you on April 10th! Any questions, please contact Kelly at program@projectchild.ngo.

Things that We Need to Know before Becoming a Volunteer

Let’s assume that you have read our article about the benefits of volunteering. You close your browser tab, rise from your comfy bed, and finally promise to yourself that you want to be a volunteer. So, what’s next? While having a good intention is an important start, it is also important to adjust yourself into the right mindset. Through an interview, our founder, Aya, shares some essential points that we need to understand before deciding to be a volunteer.

   1.  We need to learn before helping

Emptying our glass is a key to every good deed. At this point, all prospective volunteers need to be mindful that volunteering is more like a chance to learn instead to give. In Project Child Indonesia, we provide our personnels with key learnings about voluntarism and some important teaching skills in order to make them become better volunteers in the future.

   2.  Become a part of the solution

We know that everyone wants to be an impactful person, but we have to admit that some impactful things take a long time to achieve. Social problems are so complex that it is naïve to think that our volunteering will eventually solve every single problem. Therefore, we have to humbly acknowledge ourselves as a mere part of the solution instead of being trapped in a superhero syndrome. Always try to immerse yourself with the social system by listening to the people, because not every good intention is relevant with the real needs of the people.

   3.  Random act of kindness is not enough

Not to say that random act of kindness is useless, not at all. However, we just cannot alleviate poverty by giving coins to beggars, or by giving free meals to the homeless on a specific day. As volunteers, we need to turn our simple efforts into a collective social movement. Creating a sustainable social cause is what we do at Project Child Indonesia, and by joining us, you can have a first-hand experience of it.

 

Ario B. Utomo – Media Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Sexual Violence against Children

Sexual violence is an issue which is not exclusively happen to adults, as children can also be the victims. Probably we can still remember the tragic incidence in Bengkulu, where Yuyun, a middle schooler, was killed by sexual offenders in 2016. Besides that, there was also an event where a toddler in Bogor died as the result of sexual violence perpetrated by her own neighbor.

According to a report by the Indonesian Commission on Child Protection (KPAI), the trend of sexual violence in Indonesia is gradually rising year by year. For instance, KPAI indicates that during 2013-2014, the rate of sexual violence against children rose as high as 100%. Another report by the Indonesian House of Representative (2016) says that from 2,898 reports of violence against children, 62 percent of them are sexual violence. However dreadful the report was, there is also a possibility that many sexual violence occurrences remain unreported.

Another thing that we have to understand, many of those violations were done by the victim’s own relatives. This indicates that it has been not enough for the parents to be protective toward their children. The kids are also expected to learn about the basic education to protect themselves against sexual violence.

For Project Child, sexual violence against children is another important issue which needs addressing as soon as possible. The proof of our commitment toward this issue is by integrating a basic sexual education for children in our program. One example is by conducting a class on human anatomy in one of our Sekolah Sungai (river school), just like in Code that has been successfully conducted on Wednesday (11/1). The class about human anatomy was aimed to give the children awareness regarding their own body functions. More importantly, by understanding their own anatomy, the children will be more able to protect their private parts against sexual harassments.

 

Ario B. Utomo – Media Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Project Child Indonesia Conducted a Training for New Volunteers

On Tuesday (7/2), Project Child Indonesia conducted a general training for the batch 24 volunteers. Located at the Parsley Bakery and Cake Shop, the training was intended to prepare the new volunteers before moving directly into the projects.

There are generally four main contents of this training. The first is an introduction to the social world, where the volunteer candidates were given a foundation regarding contemporary societal problems and how to overcome them. Second, the participants were also provided with the information regarding Project Child Indonesia to make them even more familiar with their new working environment. Third, there was also an introduction to voluntarism, enlightening the new volunteers with insights about volunteering and what makes it so important. Last but not least, the training also introduced the participants about their responsibilities as Project Child Indonesia volunteers.

Aya, the Founder of Project Child Indonesia, stated that the training is a compulsory program for every intake of volunteers which intend to join the organization. “We need to make sure that the new volunteers are aligned with our core values,” said her. Aya also added that all volunteers need to sign the contract of Children Protection Policy as the part of their compliance. “The policy aligns with the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child. For instance, one of its points states that volunteers are forbidden from touching the private parts of the children.”

After this general training, a more specific pedagogical training will be provided for the teaching volunteers of Sekolah Sungai and Sekolah Pantai programs. “Handling a class full of children can be challenging, and this training will provide our volunteers with some teaching skills,” as Aya concluded.

 

Ario B. Utomo – Media Intern at Project Child Indonesia