Indonesian students complete educational internship

Collibri Foundation invites Indonesian students to an internship at Colruyt Group every year. Our enthusiastic co-workers welcomed four students into their family between 2 and 27 October: Laeli, Odi, Wardatul and Zulfa. On the programme; a good dose of English lessons and workshops about empowerment, digital marketing and personal coaching. What was their experience? They want to tell you here.

Stage Indonesische studenten Colruyt Group, Collibri Foundation

Improved labour market opportunities for young people

Once again, young people from the YKAI project in Indonesia were invited to do an internship at Colruyt Group. We have been supporting the project with the Collibri Foundation since 2003. Thanks to the project, young disadvantaged people are given a scholarship to pursue higher studies. 

The young people interning at Colruyt Group receive a significant boost to their chances on the labour market. The Collibri Foundation wants the experience to have an impact on their careers and global citizenship. The programme also focuses heavily on skills development to inspire their environment.

The twelfth edition of the initiative once again had a rich programme. Some highlights… 


De eerste week telde bijna 15 u. Engelse les.

A good basis in English

Upon arrival, the students were introduced to their host family, volunteering co-workers from Colruyt Group. They then followed an intensive series of English lessons. At the end of the week they started their personal project, which is presented in week 4. There was extra space to take a closer look at Belgium with the host family during the weekends.

Zulfa: “During the first week I had a lot of English grammar lessons, so it was nice to get away from the books at the weekend. My host parents and I went to buy chocolate in Bruges, and we also took a boat trip.

Inspiring workshops & coaching

The second week of the internship was full of workshops and coaching: the digital marketing workshop was much appreciated. But the empowerment coaching in Kortrijk was also a success. This was clearly a highlight according to the student testimonials. The results from this week? Tonnes of inspiration to continue working on their personal project.


De studenten tijdens de empowerment coaching in Kortrijk


Leuk extraatje: de studenten en de gastouders ontmoeten CEO Stefan Goethaert.


Wardatul: “I learned a lot from the digital marketing and empowerment coaching workshops. Digital marketing is very useful for my business insight: personal branding or how to optimise Instagram. Empowerment is very interesting for me because it increased my awareness of the keys to success and what I can do to achieve my dreams.

Job coaching, presentation skills and Tomorrow’s Voices

The young people could count on enthusiastic coaching from Colruyt Group co-workers throughout the entire internship. They supported them with the project, but also helped develop their personal and professional skills. The students were given plenty of practical tips for giving presentations or finding a job during the third week of their internship.

They also participated in the Tomorrow’s Voices event and met young people and leaders from other Collibri Foundation projects. And Zulfa thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Collibri’s Got Talent’ open stage.


Open stage Tomorrow’s Voices

Zulfa: “I loved meeting people from different countries during Tomorrow’s Voices. And our representative brought a typical Indonesian dance to the song “Gemu Fa Mi Re” from East Nusa Tenggara.

The crowning glory

During the final activity the students presented their project to their host family and the Collibri Foundation leaders. They also shared their impressions of the past month. A cooking session and farewell party were the icing on the cake of a unique adventure.


Studenten op de trampoline

Beautiful moments with the host families

The four Indonesian students look back on an enriching internship, but also on a month of wonderful moments with their host families. Exchanging kitchen secrets, going on fun trips, and asking and answering thousands of questions made this experience enriching for everyone.

Our volunteering co-workers who helped the students over the four weeks deserve a big thank you. Thank you also to all the co-workers who assisted the Indonesian students and who shared their expertise to help them work on their skills. In short: thanks to everyone who contributed.

Wardatul: “This experience will stay with me forever. My host family was so kind, and I loved playing with their two cute children. We always ate together, and I sometimes cooked Indonesian food for them. But I did enjoy their cooking as well: especially the soup and pudding! And oh yes, thanks for supporting my fruit addiction.

Sarah and I cycled together to and from Colruyt every day; the 6 kilometres took some getting used to. We visited Bruges, and I was amazed by the countless beautiful buildings. Besides that, the Huizingen park with its wonderful flowers also made a deep impression on me.”


Sarah (hostess of Wardatul): “The last month has been a real eye-opener for us: when I picked Warda up from the airport, it quickly became apparent that it was not easy for her to see a woman driving in her own car alone. She saw a microwave oven and a dishwasher for the first time when we got home. And her face was a picture when she saw the children using their electric toothbrushes...

We came to realise that what is obvious to us may not be so obvious to someone else. In addition, there was a contrast between the pace at which we live: the multitude of hobbies we engage in, our social obligations, and the way we live with and against the clock. She has a much more relaxed approach to life and has specific moments to relax and pray five times per day. We can definitely learn something from her.

We cycled through all kinds of weather to Halle every day. This was something she wasn’t used to at all, but it all went very smoothly in the end. And then, after a month, it was all over. Much faster than expected, and such a shame it couldn’t go on a little longer. Warda has (hopefully) returned home with a pleasant experience and plenty of chocolate. We are still in touch via WhatsApp, and hopefully we can visit her at her home one day.


Wardatul en Sarah op de fiets


Zulfa speelt met de kindjes van Lauriane.

Zulfa plays with Lauriane’s children.


Zulfa: “My time with my Belgian family was unforgettable. Lauriane, her husband and two children Matteo and Paul immediately took care of everything to ensure I had a warm welcome. I tried to play with Matteo and Paul every day, even though we could only understand each other through gestures. In the morning we dropped the children off at daycare before travelling to Colruyt, and in the evening we picked them up together. On Sunday mornings we usually cycled to the playground or the park. They took me to Bruges on the first weekend to view the old buildings, buy chocolate and take a boat trip. We also went to the circus, which was the first time for me.

Lauriane (host mother of Zulfa): “We were more than happy to welcome Zulfa to our home. Her dream is to work in her “Big 4”, and my husband has worked at Deloitte and EY, so that was a nice match. Zulfa also became attached to our children very quickly. We went to Bruges, Brussels and Leuven together, where she took thousands of photos of every building she saw. (laughs) It was an intense month in terms of organisation, but I think it was quite an enriching experience while also being fun for the children; they were able to learn at an early age about other cultures, customs, and religions, and to look at where Indonesia is located on a world map.

Zulfa also had a lot of questions about the costs of things: how much our house cost, how much I earn, or how much a kilo of chicken costs. She studied accounting, so numbers are clearly her thing. She lives in a house with three families, and her entire family sleeps in one room. So, the month certainly put my everyday worries into perspective. Everything has to happen quickly here: we walk quickly, we eat quickly and we try to waste as little time as possible. At first I thought she was doing everything so slowly, but I soon realised that this was something I could learn from her.

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