Dear XSProject Donors, Before everyone gets too busy with the upcoming holiday season, XSProject and the boys and girls at XSVillageare sending this Thank You note and video to all our GlobalGiving donors. Please click the link below to see the video.
The children would like you to know that you are all appreciated, not only because of your donations but because you care enough about educating children that you have done something about it by choosing to make a donation to XSProject.
2013 has been a breakthrough year for the children of XSProject. There are now 48 children from trash picker families getting an education. We started the onsite preschool with volunteer teachers. This allowed more children to enter the first grade this semester. Four students just entered Junior High School and one student is now in vocational school.
Your donations have made this possible and the students know that. They take their studies seriously because they don’t want to let you down. The fact that they live in extreme poverty with hazardous waste around them only makes them more determined. Through your donation, they have a glimpse of a better kind of life and a dream of reaching that life. Thank you.
XSProject is fortunate to be connected with a special group of volunteers in Jakarta. This monthly report is about those volunteers and the role they play helping the children of the Jakarta trash picking community. On September 10, XSProject was invited to a gathering hosted by JIS Peduli. A group of expat moms, whose children are attending the Jakarta International School (JIS), wanted to do volunteer work so they formed this group. The September gathering was to introduce the new expat moms to the programs that JIS Peduli supports and to encourage them to get involved.
XSProject General Manager, Retno Hapsari explained to the group how JIS Peduli volunteers work with the students who live at XSVillage, the garbage dump in Jakarta. She explained that, in order for Indonesian children to enter First Grade, they must be able to count and know their “ABC’s”. The volunteers from JIS Peduli prepare thechildren for school and create confidence and excitement about attending. When the older boys and girls, who already attend school, work with the volunteers, they have an incentive to stay in school and do well in their studies.
The moms who were interested in joining JIS Peduli were then invited to attend the pre-school class at XSVillage that day. When they arrived the children were doing writing lessons, learning games and some crafts. Later in the morning the First and Second Grade students arrived from school and joined in the activities. All together there were about 30 children.
Without these classes, the children would not be prepared to enter school because their parents cannot pay to send them to pre-school. Bringing the “pre-school” to XSVillage, and with the support of the volunteers, the children are well prepared to enter First Grade.
The volunteers who work with XSproject prepare and pay for all the materials for the students. The classes are held, twice a week for two hours.
Through donations (such as yours through GlobalGiving), the XSEducation Scholarship Fund pays to send thechildren from XSVillage to school each year. As the little ones enter school, the number of students grows. The goalof XSProject is to give every child of a trash picker family a complete education and an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. The volunteers at JIS Peduli make sure the pre-schooler's get off to a great start.
The XSProject team appreciates and thanks all our GlobalGiving donors. There is a child at XSVillage todaywhose life is changed by the programs XSProject funds with your donations and by the of the volunteers of JIS Peduli.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadhan ended with the celebration of Idul Fitri, also known as Lebaran. The trash picker families that XSProject supports prepared to return to their villages in time to celebrate this holiday with grandparents, parents and other relatives on August 8 and 9. Many of Jakarta’s trash pickers came to Jakarta looking for better sources of income. They are not residents of Jakarta and as such, are without Jakarta ID cards and receive little if any health or social welfare benefits. Without help from XSProject, these families would not be able to make this journey “home”.
On August 1, all 48 students under the XSProject Education Fund received a travel bag with juice and snacks and some small money (which is customary during Lebaran celebration) to take with them on the bus back to their villages. All the mothers of the students, plus 15 additional women-in-need received gift bags of snacks as wellas coffee, tea and sugar to take to their families in the villages.
The children travel to their villages by bus, but their parents go by motorcycle, which costs less. All this temporary migration requires a large amount of transportation for the travelers until they depart. Then thebustling, busy city of Jakarta becomes quite quiet for a few days.
By the time you read this, our trash picker community will have returned from their villages and resumed their lives. Our students are back in school and next month, XSProject will report on the activities of the students.
Again, thank you to our many donors who make our work possible. We hope you enjoy our reports and are able to share them with your friends and family.
Retno Hapsari, General ManagerKaren McDaniels, Project Leader
XSProject would like to share this short story with you about the community of trash pickers in Jakarta. This story was written by Ms. Karina Husodo a student who is doing an intership this summer at XSProject.
The Reality Beyond the Bin By Karina Husodo. Jakarta, 29 July 2013
Beyond the tall skyscrapers of Jakarta lay mountains of trash piling in dumpsters. Indonesia produces 22.5 million tons of trash every year; 2.2 million of which is generated by Jakarta alone. We tend to act nonchalantly towards thefate of the waste we throw out.
In reality, much more energy is put into the process of clearing our waste than we realize. An estimated 450,000 men work as trash pickers in Jakarta by dragging a cart around neighborhoods. How much they earn everyday depends on the amount of trash they collect. Abdulkarim, who left his hometown forJakarta when he was only 12 years old, says he leaves for work at 8AM and arrives home by sundown. “I can’t guarantee how much trash I collect. Some days I can get 50kg other days I get only 30kg”, he explains, “With this kind of earning, eveneating is a blessing”.
Due to such great loads of trash produced each day, it is no surprise that trash picking has become a business. Just as in the office, trash picking has its career positions. Abdulkarim sits at the bottom of the pyramid as a door-to-door trash collector; while Wardi, 52, his boss sorts out reusable and recyclable trash to be sold to manufacturers. In addition to selling to corporations, Wardi also sells the sorted trash to XSProject, a nonprofit organization who reuses excess waste to make goods such as bags and wallets. Wardi also provides housing for his subordinates in exchange for buying the trash they collected at a cheap price. Plastic refill pouches are bought at the price of Rp 8,000 (US$ 0.78) per kilogram by XSProject.
Besides buying reusable materials from trash pickers, XSProject also funds their children’s education through XSEducation Scholarship Funds. “They are extremely happy in school,” Bibin, 29, a trash picker, claims, although his wife, Sutiyah, 31 admits that their daughter, Risma, 9, could use some help with her mathematics. She adds that her son “wants to be a doctor,” and that she wants her children to go to college. “My hope is for my children to do better than me… to go far in their education,” Bibin concludes.
Neglecting basic sanitation or even any boundaries with waste, trash pickers live gratefully with their families for what they have and continue to have high hopes for the future.
July was the start of the new school year for the children who live at Jakarta’s landfills. The week before school starts is an exciting time for the students, their parents and our XSProject volunteers. Backpacks needed to be filled with books, paper and pencils. Small feet were measured for new shoes and every child was set to receive a new outfit for the first day of school. Once all these items were packed up, XSProject loaded up the car and drove to the Bantar Gebang landfill to deliver a package to each and every very excited child! Between our generous donors and the proceeds from the sale of XSProject products, 48 children are now attending the 2013-14 school year. Forty of the children are in elementary school and 8 students are just starting middle school.
A few days before the first day of school, something quite extraordinary happened. One of Indonesia’s leading sports equipment manufacturers approached XSProject and offered to donate new sports equipment to the Wismilak School, the school that the landfill children attend. With the help of Retno, XSProject’s General Manager, Wismilak School received all new footballs and badminton sets.The students could hardly wait for recess!
Sometimes generosity comes from unexpected places and in unforgettable ways. We know these students will not soon forget their first day of this school year!
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