On April 21, Indonesian women will celebrate Hari Kartini. This day commemorates the birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini (1879-1904), Indonesia’s first feminist who elevated the status of women and is today a symbol of women’s rights in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, women’s rights can be learned through education and earned through actions. For women living in poverty, it can be difficult but not impossible. This is the story of Supena, who lives at the Cirendeu open garbage dump in Jakarta who is earning her rights by her actions.
The third child of a trash picker couple, she was born and has lived her entire life at a Jakarta open garbage dump. She left school after the Third Grade and was married by age 17. In 2004, the owner of the garbage dump, where her family lived, was cleared to build an apartment building and all the families moved to the Cirendeu open dump, where XSProject provides services and educational opportunities.
Soon after their move to Cirendeu, Supena’s husband was sent to prison and she was left to raise her five children, with only the help of her sister, Wati. Today, three of her children attend school through the XSEducation Scholarship program. Her youngest will start pre-school at the XSVillage School this July.
As Hari Kartini approaches, Supena has many reasons to celebrate. Her husband, released from prison four years ago, has found good employment as a trash picker at a Jakarta municipal complex. Even though his salary is not enough to house, feed and clothe the family, they are all once again together. Along with her sisters, Supena sorts and washes trash that she sells to XSProject to make extra money. At XSProject, she is enrolled in the XSVocational Training Program, learning to make jewelry and accessories that XSProject helps her sell. With her sister, Wati, she also earns extra income helping with day to day chores at XSProject while her children are in school.
Supena is finding her self-confidence and dignity. Her path is long, but straight and she knows what she wants for herself and especially for her daughters. She has a bright smile and is a shining example of achievement to her family and her community.
P.S. If you want to know more about Raden Ajeng Kartini, her book ,Letters of a Javanese Princess is available at Amazon.com.
Someone once said “One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything”.
Given the opportunity to learn basic business and vocational skills a woman’s newly acquired earning power reshapes her family and community. From this platform of empowerment, women learn to manage their health, build support networks and serve as examples for other women.
It is from this principle that XSProject launched our first program to offer business and vocational training to six young women and mothers from Jakarta’s trash picker community. By being able to generate income from their skills, they will no longer need to join their husbands as scavengers and trash pickers. The goal is to create sustainable change for them, their children and their community.
The group will be meeting on Thursdays for three months of training. Instructors,Yanti and Asep are teaching them to make jewelry and decorative hair ornaments. They also learn basic business skills such as managing raw materials costs, determining reasonable labor costs, and how to establish the selling price of the products they make. After this training is completed, XSProject will assist these new entrepreneurs by helping them sell their products.
XSProject plans to start a second group who will learn different vocational skills but who can collaborate with the first group, invest in business together, and help each other grow and learn.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. XSProject invites you to make a contribution to XSProject to honor these women and to aid in helping them launch their very first business.
As we wrap up another year, it is hard to believe that XSProject has been partnering with GlobalGiving for 5 years. It was November 2009 when we posted our first project report.
In January, we met our original funding goal of $35,000. XSProject set another goal of $50,000 and, because of generous donors; we are well on our way to funding that amount.
The needs of the trash pickers in Jakarta continue to grow as more families have difficulty finding work and become part of this community.
XSProject has expanded the services and support to the community to include medical attention and workshops for young women and mothers who live there. The fact that Retno and her team have been able to gain the trust of these often skeptical trash pickers to participate in these programs is a huge step forward.
Most of the men who pick through the trash remain fearful of any medical treatment. Yet they are the ones who most need it. Only by educating the entire family can we encourage the men. This is our challenge for 2015.
XSProject is so grateful for your donations. We wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. We hope you will continue to support us in 2015. Please contact us if you have any questions or if you are planning a trip to Jakarta and would like to visit us.
In September, XSProject had the pleasure of hosting two members of the US GlobalGiving team.
Angela and Marissa spent two days in Jakarta with the team sharing how to create compelling stories about XSProject’s work and teaching photographic and video graphic techniques.
On the first day, Angela and Marissa conducted a workshop on techniques to produce high quality photos and videos. XSProject’s new photographer, Narjas, was happy to receive hands-on training from Angela. It was her first photography workshop ever!
Later, everyone had an opportunity to use the cameras. With GlobalGiving’s coaching and support, they learned how to tell a story through the lens of a camera.
Retno Hapsari, General Manager took the group to the “heart” of XSProject; Jakarta’s Cirendeu open garbage dump. A few of the pictures taken are included in this report.
To be able to tell a compelling story through photos and videos is a gift. That is the gift Angela and Marissa left XSProject. To be able to tell a story through pictures, a photographer must reach into the soul of the subject, reveal its essence through the lens and deliver it to the heart of the viewer. That is the best kind of story.
On July 3, XSProject held its first Family Planning and Counseling Workshop for 20 women from the trash picker community at XSVillage in Cirendeu, Jakarta.
Two nurses from Mother and Child Lestari Hospital led the workshop. Family Planning, known as Keluarga Berencana (KB) has been conducted for women in Indonesia since 1970. For these young women and mothers, however, this was their very first opportunity to learn about caring for themselves and their family.
The workshop topics ranged from explaining the different types of birth control available, to women’s health issues and pre and post-natal care.
At the conclusion of the workshop, each woman received a pink outpatient card from the hospital. Now, when they need to see a doctor, they just show their card to receive treatment. Through an agreement between XSProject and The Mother and Child Lestari Hospital, XSProject pays the doctor bills for the women at a reduced rate.
The health of the people in this community is fragile. Most have never been to a doctor, dentist or even received a vaccination. It is common in communities like this for people to be afraid of doctors. Sadly, adults and children can die from an illness that could have easily been treated by a doctor.
XSProject has been slowly introducing proper hygiene, nutrition and healthy habits into the community over the past few months. The women in particular have begun to embrace the programs and have asked for more information. It has been exciting and encouraging to watch as they share what they have learned with other women in the community. With each workshop, the attendance grows a little bigger.
Thank you to our GlobalGiving donors for helping XSProject make these programs possible.
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