In 2001 Paul Richardson received a vision from God to create an Indonesian Christian school that would raise up leaders for the future of Indonesia and serve as a training center for many other Christian schools to come. Paul’s dream was to launch a school that would set the pace and standard for discipleship oriented Christian education in Indonesia. Paul worked together with several members of the Wesley International School board to form an Indonesian yayasan that would oversee the creation of Charis National Academy.
The first act of Yayasan Charis was to interview and hire Amy Iwani as the first SD principal. Under the leadership of Paul Richardson and Amy Iwani, Charis National Academy embarked on it’s first academic year in 2002 – 2003 offering classes for grades 1 – 4 . The original teachers were Twentry Haryuning, Cindy Diah, Rede Bendon, Praptisiwi, Maria Santoso, and teacher assistants Veby Toenlioe and Enil Gloria.
The front half of the Charis campus is located on the former campus of Wesley International School and was purchased from WIS largely by funds given through Mustard Seed International, a US/Canadian non-profit foundation.
Charis celebrated it’s first SD graduation in June 2005. In 2006 Charis doubled its size when it purchased land adjacent to the Charis campus. The same year Charis built a gymnasium and started construction on the future high school. The iconic high school building was designed by Ibu Dahlia, one of our Charis parents. All Charis expansions were made possible by the generosity of American and Canadian donors through Mustard Seed International with the understanding that Charis reserves at least 25 percent of its seats for underprivileged students and that Charis is a training school for Indonesian teachers.
The SMP was opened in 2006 under the leadership of Principal Cindy Freer and Vice Principal Megawati Rusli. In June 2008 Charis opened it’s SMA led by Principal Tri Setyarini and Vice Principals Dore Yulia and Danang Ardiyanto. The SMA science laboratories were added in 2010 and the breezy canteen in 2011. In time, God has watched over this ministry, and opened doors for growth. Today, the campus has nearly tripled from its orginal size, and Charis provides a Christian education for over 600 students from preschool through grade 12.
Over the years, some expat families have enrolled their children at Charis mainly for the purposes of learning the Indonesian language, fostering an appreciation for the Indonesian culture and gaining meaningful friendships with Indonesian children. Currently, 20 adult members of the Malang Expatriate community receive visas from Yayasan Charis.
In 2012-13 a three-story building was constructed on land owned by TransformNation/Yayasan Charis. Kidsland officially became a part of Yayasan Charis and was moved to the new building. Kidsland serves as the laboratory kindergarten for TransformNation.
Yayasan Charis concentrates on multiplying what we are learning at Charis National Academy to serve Indonesian Christian schools and generate creative ministry ventures into the world of Indonesian education. These include helping or supporting orphanages, youth ministries, innovative learning centers and rural village schools. In 2011, TransformNation, a sub-division of Yayasan Charis, was launched. The program is led by Paul Richardson and its purpose is to recruit teachers from underprivileged areas of Indonesia, provide them with four years of training and send them to create schools in places that need better education. Paul Richardson is the Director of Yayasan Charis.