Pasar Mandiri: The Volunteer’s Hard Work

Written by Dyah Prajnandhari, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Behind every successful event, there are always hard working people. Although they are assigned with different parts, all of them become the backbone of the events. The real example is Pasar Mandiri, a project which Sekolah Sungai held on 7-8th of March. Pasar Mandiri is a project that introduces the idea of the importance of thrift shopping which also reduces textile waste to the children. Held in respectively 3 places which are at Sungai Code, Winongo and Gajahwong, this event is successful because of the volunteers and coordinators’ efforts. For the volunteers, it must be a fun journey.

Enrico Ardhana Putra or Rico from Sekolah Sungai Winongo expressed that they had several steps to prepare the event. “For the first step, we have to gather the unused clothes from people.” Following their publication through Project Child social media, they gathered a quite amount of clothes. The same thing is also expressed by Melisa Tanady, a volunteer from Sekolah Sungai Code. “We (the committee for Pasar Mandiri Code) sorted the clothes a week before the event.” The volunteers didn’t work alone. The children also helped them to run this event through roleplaying. They became cashiers, securities, sellers, which is also an exercise for them to learn about the concept of responsibility. Ideas are also exchanged between the volunteers and the children, therefore it is not only mainly from the volunteers’ opinions.

While this event is considered success, the obstacles are still there. A volunteer from Sekolah Sungai Gajahwong, Wani Utami, or Tami, revealed, “It was raining at the morning of the event (03/08).” She added that the volunteers also had difficulty in carrying back the unsold clothes. The same thing happened in Winongo as it was heavily raining in the morning, forcing them to delay their departure to Winongo. “We are supposed to go at 6 AM, but it got delayed to 8.” said Rico. This annual event also benefits both the children and the volunteers. Melisa said she got the priceless experience and the importance of being grateful. “I think personally the children would get the exposure and knowledge on how selling things to customer. They wouldn’t get this kind of education in the school.”

Lastly, all of them wished that the next Pasar Mandiri would also be successful. Tami said that she hoped for more attention in the preparation of the event. Rico said he would expect nicer decoration next year, and Melisa wished that it will always be a useful event for everyone. Despite all the difficulties they faced, we always try to improve ourselves to do good things.

PCI as An Organized Act of Kindness

Written by Dyah Prajnandhari, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

There is a common belief that to succeed, you have to grab whatever chance you have, or else it would be someone else’s. This belief makes us unaware that each individual has a competitive relationship and slowly gets too caught up with our stuff. We may forget that we live as human beings and we’re not living alone. As you may be competitive with everything, you can take a step back to look around you and do a considerate act for someone. Check up on your friend, pay your friend a meal, or tell your mom that you love her.

Kindness is one of the crucial habits that is encouraged in Project Child. People may do kindness in spontaneous ways, such as smiling to strangers, holding a door to strangers behind them, or saying thank you to a barista after they make you a coffee. We don’t always plan for kindness, and we do it because we want to do it. However, in Project Child, we try to do an organized act of kindness. This means we always do kindness to society in an organized way so that we can have an impact on them.

Doing kindness in an organized way means we have to prepare the agents of the event. Interns and volunteers are one of the essential aspects of it. Therefore on Friday, 21 February 2020, we have Kak Surayah Ryha, the Executive Director of Project Child Indonesia, to present the importance of doing kindness in an arranged way.

In this rare chance with Kak Aya, she motivated the interns to be the significant agents to always be helpful for the people around us while not forgetting that we have the capability to do it in a well-organized way, not just doing it without good planning. One inspiring story she told the interns, “A few years ago, we had clothes that were given by exchange students. We think we can distribute to the people who need them. We were giving them freely, but it turned out so bad. We didn’t use our capability to think that we have a more organized way to help them. She then recalled that it was a success after she and her team changed the plan. “We ended up selling them at a very low price, and we included the children in this event. They learned how to bear responsibility, the parents could get what they wanted, and we succeeded in giving kindness that we want.”

Even though it is not always easy to do kindness in an organized way, PCI believes that at least everyone can do good. It also becomes a reminder for us to step back from whatever we are doing right now and look for around you.

How to End Poverty?

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Have you ever been extremely hungry? Have you ever been living in a condition where you cannot just open the fridge and find various kinds of food and beverages to satisfy your hunger or even just a mere craving? Have you ever been worried about there being no food for the day to come? No? Then, congratulations! You are privileged.

Are you attending a good school, receiving quality education, and having friends at school? Have you ever been worried about eventually being dropped out because your parents can’t pay for your tuition? Have you ever been bullied because you look ragged and cannot afford to spend money in the school’s cafeteria? If you haven’t experienced any of that, once again: congratulations! You’re living a nice life without basic things to worry about.

In 2020 Indonesia, over 25 million people is still living under the poverty line. That means, they don’t have access to basic nutrition, basic healthcare, and quality education. This issue is not something that can be solved using the same solution for every part of Indonesia. The cause of poverty varies from one province to another because poverty is not only an economic problem. It is influenced by the social-cultural values in that certain area which prove it to be challenging to create changes in the society.

Money or government social aid cannot alleviate these people out of poverty. The problem is complex and it requires complex solutions too. Instead of giving free things which will instill the mindset of ‘it’s okay, the government will help’, the government needs to create a programme to educate these people in skills that can generate money and in the long run, will help them to get out of the poverty line.

However, as a government is a big body and there is a lot of bureaucracy that needs to be done before an actual action can take place, citizens need to participate too. For the sake of Indonesia’s economic growth, everyone must take part in getting people out of poverty. An NGO for example, can create a programme to teach any kind of skills to those who live under poverty. An individual can organize a movement to do the same thing. There are lots of things that we can do to help. It’s just a matter of whether or not the impact will become a long-run impact or just a short-term help such as monetary aid.

What You Can Do to Prevent Loss Caused by Natural Disasters

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Indonesia’s location in the midst of the ring of fire appears to be both a blessing and a curse. As there are many volcanoes scattered all over Indonesia, the lands surrounding the volcanoes are incredibly fertile. In turn, this condition benefits Indonesia in agricultural produce for it is easier for plants to grow and prosper. On the other hand, this condition is a curse for the citizens of Indonesia because volcanoes can easily cause many natural disasters such as eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, and wildfires among many others. 

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reports that there are more than 1500 disasters that happened in the first half of 2020. Even though the number is lower compared to the 2200+ disasters in the same period last year, the disaster had injured more than 270 people, displaced 2.3 million residents, and ended 206 lives. Between January to June 2020, BNPB notes that there are 620 floods,  425 tornadoes, 330 landslides, and 139 wildfires. Not only these disasters devastate people, it can cause harm to Indonesia’s social-economic condition. The disasters can cause so much economic loss due to the damage inflicted upon buildings, roads, and many others.

As humans, there is nothing much we can do to prevent a natural disaster from happening. After all, it’s out of our hands. As citizens, we cannot do much either due to the scale of a natural disaster that is too big for us to handle. The government has to step up and create a coherent disaster mitigation plan that can ensure our safety. However, there are still things that we can do to mitigate the damage of natural disasters:

  1. To save lives, we can pay attention to our location. If you are living under the foot of a mountain, there are more risks of volcano eruptions, landslides, earthquakes, and wildfires. If you live near a river or a beach, the risks of floods, drought, and tsunamis are things that you need to pay attention to. If your living place is prone to disasters, find out your area’s local mitigation plan such as where is the nearest shelter and what are the possible escape routes to safety. Furthermore, ensure that you and your family have access to health and life insurance just in case there will be injuries or death that are caused by these disasters.
  2. To mitigate the economic loss, make sure that your building: house, office, etc. is disaster proof or at least safer than the usual buildings. A strong building will be more beneficial, especially if you are living in places that are prone to massive earthquakes. If possible, place an insurance on your buildings and pay attention to the policies inside and make sure it covers damage due to a natural disaster.

When it comes to natural disasters, we, humans, are in the mercy of nature. No matter how hard we plan around the mitigation plan, we cannot escape it and the damage it will cause. Natural disasters might happen due to natural causes, but there are disasters that are caused by our neglect such as floods and wildfires. However, it shouldn’t hinder us from planning the mitigation strategy and taking care of our environment. Let’s plan well to overcome the damage of natural disasters while continuously taking care of our nature as well. We only have one planet, one place to live in this vast universe. There is no second Earth.

Dearest students and teachers all over the world,

Hi, hello, how are you? Are you healthy and safe? We sure hope you do.

How’s online classes? Is everything going smoothly? Are you bored and tired of the situation?

We know things are different right now during the pandemic. Social and physical distancing are a must, after all. However, don’t lose hope just yet!

School might be different, because it has to be online. You might not be able to meet your friends and peers face-to-face, but the fact that you can still meet each other online is a blessing in itself. So, do your best in class!

For students: please respect your teachers! Online classes have not been easy for them as well. At least, pay attention to their explanation and respond to them. Put on proper clothes and sit properly. Turn on your camera if you can, so that the teachers know who’s behind the screen listening to their explanation.

For teachers: please do your best in teaching! We know that it might be difficult to have restrictions when you’re teaching. It must be difficult to be confined into a screen while having to convey difficult materials to your students. However, it is not right if you just give students a ton of homeworks instead of actually explaining the materials to them. Find ways in which you can actually teach your students effectively. Remember, these childrens are the future of our nation.

At last, we hope everyone will continue to take education seriously. Don’t forget that, sometimes, education is a privilege, but also put your health first and foremost before anything else. If learning online has become overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek help.

Please stay happy, healthy, and safe! 

With concern,

Team Project Child Indonesia

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia