I Have the right to do good

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Maya Miranda Ambarsari, Founder of Miranda Learning House. (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta – For Maya Miranda Ambarsari, being engaged in business does not imply she can ignore the difficulties of the less fortunate. For her, in life, we should care about people with economic disadvantages. Thus, through the Miranda Learning House which she founded, Maya wants more Indonesian children to be able to benefit from a proper education.

One afternoon the Independent Observer visited Maya’s home in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta. She welcomed us warmly. “Please sit down; you can ask me about anything,” she said with a smile.

In 2015 Miranda Learning House was established. Everything originated from the activities of her mother, who set up a religious study circle gathering in her luxurious home, situated at the Sawo perimeter, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta; this religious gathering was called “Ummul Choir” and it was set up to increase the human resource quality of middle- and lower-class mothers.

However, since moving to Pondok Indah, she wanted her house to serve for more social activities.

“I think of it not only for religious study. Moreover, seeing many small children wandering around aimlessly, I asked my husband ‘How about building a school for children instead of seeing them waste their time?’ He agreed to this,” said the woman who likes sports, yoga and Zumba.

Furthermore, her three-storey house was being revamped, eliminating the private pool, and likewise for the fence, so anyone can easily enter to study.

Since then, the Miranda Learning House has become a place where people can develop a wide range of educational materials, such as Ummul Choir Association, Ummul Choir Al Qur’an Education Park, math courses, English class, reading facilities, media library and Ar Radhia Kindergarten.

“I was thinking earlier that if we could spare space for 50 people at first, it would be quite good. Now, after running three years, we are able to accommodate 800 enthusiastic learners, assisted by 27 teachers,” said the woman who was born in Jakarta, July 9, 1973.

Various activities at Miranda Learning House are financed personally by Maya and her husband, Reza. “Teachers are paid professionals: they’re bachelor and magister graduates. I instruct the teachers to teach with love,” said Maya, who completed her bachelor degree at the Faculty of Law, Pancasila University, Jakarta.

“I look for teachers who have good qualifications. A hostel is also provided for unmarried teachers,” she continued.

Caring for others is a value her parents taught her. “Since the beginning, I was consistently taught by my family to have a sharing mindset, because my childhood I’ve been taught to live and share with others. Thus, in our house, it’s not just our main family but also nephews, cousins and others. We also share the rooms. My caring trait emerged because I’m not used to enjoying this myself. For example, at this house, the food I eat is the same as the housemaid’s,” said the woman who completed her master’s degree in International Business from the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

“To children, I teach sharing, to avoid arrogance. We have to be good people, as well as other of God’s creatures,” she continued.

Maya Miranda herself, busy with her business, always finds a way to make time to visit this Miranda Learning House, either to attend regular monthly Islamic study or simply to greet the children and their mothers.

Maya says that being at the Miranda Learning House gives her deep inner satisfaction and makes her always grateful for the favour that God has given to her.

At the age of 45, Maya feels God has given everything. She’s happy with her life. She says happiness is created and then shared with people you care about. Then happiness is shared with other people. “My life is complete. If I’m given a fortune, it’s not an obligation, but I have the right to do good,” she says.

For her, a great woman is not judged from her career alone but how she behaves in her life. As a wife and mother she still fulfills her duties, so in addition to success in her career, her social activities and caring for her family are happily pursued by Maya.

Currently, Maya has a dream she wants to realize. “We want to build a mosque with children gathering inside, intensively learning about religious affairs,” she said with a smiling face. (dessy)