Marlis Knoppien and Peter Knoppien
I was born and raised in Germany. After finishing High School I went for a commercial industrial apprenticeship in a big international company to Frankfurt. After that I wanted to go abroad and live in foreign countries.
Since I met my husband, we’ve been doing exactly that. We’ve lived in many different countries over the past 30 years.
My husband, Peter Knoppien, is Dutch. He worked as an executive director in several marketing and international sales positions in different countries around the world. In 2004, after retirement in Singapore we moved to Bali.
We now live in a rural area outside Ubud. We thought we’d come to Bali for retirement, but some children of our neighbourhood decided otherwise. When they asked me if I could help them with mathematics because they didn’t understand what their teachers were tellling them, I accepted the challenge. I taught myself mathematics from 2nd to 7th grade. I organized swimming lessons, English lessons and for the past two years computer lessons.
I set up a library with books in Indonesian, and later also English books the children can borrow. We have about 300 books now and the demand is huge.
Our house has become like a 2nd home for some children – they spend most of their free time here. The older ones volunteer in teaching and assisting the little ones and we have lots of fun.
The school reports of most of the children have improved considerably, and now some rank from first to third place in their respective classes.