Our history

Education as a powerful weapon

Poverty, unrest and a lack of perspective combined with a failed education system in the highlands of Papua. This touched Netty Baan, the founder of Karunia foundation, and prompted her to take action. Her background as a teacher and psychologist enabled her to set up a training program for local teachers. This developed into a teacher training college as well as a kindergarten, primary and secondary school. The college campus is widely recognized for its quality and the positive impact it has on its students.

What is Teach the Teacher?


The start of the teacher training courses

In 2002, Netty Baan started her teacher training in Pass Valley, located sixty kilometers from Wamena, deep in the Papuan inlands.  During a two-year period she taught a two-monthly course to a group of 25 primary school teachers. She aimed to teach them new skills that would make teaching more fun and effective. In the mornings she taught new theory which the teachers put into practice in the local elementary school in the afternoons. It was successful to a degree, but Netty was not satisfied. It is hard to change ingrained habits overnight.



That is why Netty approached Oikonomos foundation, the foundation she used to work for as an education consultant, to set up a teacher training program. She wanted to create a more sustainable solution by anchoring knowledge and motivation in the teachers themselves. Netty also approached the central government office of Wamena with her idea to launch a university. After a long preliminary phase and many setbacks, Yayasan Kristen Wamena (YKW) was established in 2005. In 2006 the teacher training college opened its doors, six kilometers outside of Wamena. It offered two study programs: English and Mathematics. This college is known as STKIP Kristen Wamena. In the meantime, a kindergarten had been set up and the growing team continued the training program. The various initiatives were finally brought under one roof in 2009: the elementary school Koinonia: a kindergarten, primary and secondary school under the umbrella of YKW in the city of Wamena.


New funds

The establishment of these schools and their programs were supported by Oikonomos foundation until 2015. This foundation, which received its funds from the Baan family’s IT company, was involved in economic and educational projects in nine countries. In 2015, Oikonomos closed its doors, and YKW had to become self-supporting. Intensive lobbying for funds from the Indonesian regional and national governments, and support from the West, has enabled YKW to continue its vital work. However, the necessary developments required to guarantee sustainability and quality have been hampered by financial constraints.


Life-changing education

The management and team of STKIP largely consist of former students. They are at the heart of the college. They are the standard bearers representing integrity and quality and form an intrinsically- motivated team that does not shy away from swimming against the current and has the potential and drive to make the Teach the Teacher program more widely known.

In addition to the existing teacher training programs in mathematics and English a new study program for Elementary Education is to be added in 2021. The dream of a university has come one step closer; A center where young professionals are formed into valuable members of society; A campus offering top-quality and life-changing education for this underdeveloped and destitute part of the world. There is still much to do and we need money and people to do that.

Teach the Teacher

Teach the Teacher was developed by Karunia as an educational philosophy in response to the immense challenges facing the education system in Papua.

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