Most of the schools are now on summer vacation, but XSProject has still been quite busy for the last 3 – 4 weeks helping individuals and groups of students finalizing their school projects. These projects are mainly related to social and environmental awareness and the involvement of the students has created greater awareness and new funds for the school needs of the trash picker’s children . Through their fund raising activities, the students were able to provide new shoes, school supplies and school bags for the children of the trash pickers for the upcoming school year .
In the new 2013 - 2014 school year, XSProject will be funding 3 new students in Grade 1. Five students, whose education has been funded by XSProject, will be graduating from primary school and going to middle school. This is a big accomplishment for XSProject Scholarship Funds. We are so pleased that we are able to keep these kids in school. We are now getting more middle school students than we have ever.
Thank you again to all our donors for your generous donations. We are looking forward to growing our donor community so more children can continue their education and graduate. Putting the children of the landfill workers through school until they are able to have a better future is still our ultimate goal.
School Partnerships Strengthen Trash picker Communities – Continue
XSProject and its connection with International Schools continue since the beginning of this year.
Some of the activities including donation of food, clothes and emergency supply to the 41 families of the children that are under XSProject Scholarship due to the heavy floods all over Jakarta in the this year rainy season. The school has also donated 2 new water tanks for 2 groups of trash pickers in the community of about 30 families and the coming project is from the school rugby team to build another bathroom and toilet. Last year the Boy Scout built the bathroom and the toilet in one of the group in the community and it was a success,
Last month, the school organizes a health screening for about 120 children and their parents. The event was very successful that the school has decided to have a follow up health screening in the next 3 months
The school second semester started with new school supplies and new set of books for the children delivered at the beginning of the year. 5 children in grade 6 are preparing for their exams and going to the middle school following 4 other children who are already in their first year of middle school. The middle school children are doing very well. Having more children going to the Middle School is one of the biggest accomplishments for XSProject this year as we are continue the commitment to make sure that the children have the opportunity to be in school until they graduated from Vocational School.
A group of volunteer have been spending their morning – twice a week with the smaller children and their moms, playing and introducing alphabets and numbers to prepare them for their first school year. A significant impact is shown by the enthusiasm of the moms, the important of education for their children.
Thank you to all donors for the generous donations. As more children going to higher level, the cost will be double. XSProject will not be able to change the life of those who lives in the trash picker’s community but putting the children through school until they are able to find better job and better future might change their life.
Retno Hapsari, the General Manager of XSProject had theopportunity to attend World Fair Trade (WFTO) Asia Conference that was held inGoa, India from 8th to 14th October 2012 along with oneother Fair Trade member from Indonesia and the Secretariat General of FairTrade Indonesia. Fair Trade members, donors, and buyers from 22 countriesattended the Conference, which was titled ‘Launching the Sustainability Chainand Building Consumer Confidence in Fair Trade’. The event took place in a beautiful resortbeach hotel of Bogmallo Beach Resort, Goa. .
Since this was the first time that XSProject had the opportunityto participate in a conference of this type, Retno was quite excited. She was able to share her experiences andlearn about accomplishments and best practices from other Fair Trade members..The most pressing challenge that many faced has been the global recession,because this has been making it harder for members to generate sustainable income for their producers andartisans. Other issues discussed duringthe conference included branding, product visibility, and the need for livingwages among the producers.
As a result of the conference, the President and Board of theWorld Fair Trade Organization will focus more intently on creating a standardbrand, increasing the visibility of Fair Trade members, simplifying the membership process, and expandingdistribution by creating an outlet for WFTO members.
XSProject was honored to be at this conference, and looks forward to future opportunities to benefit from its WFTO membership.
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Indonesia:
On July 20, I was able to visit XS Project, an organization turning trash into quality products, creating jobs, and providing educational scholarships.
I arrived to the office and met staff doing everything from sorting and cleaning loads of trash, unused car seat covers, and old marketing banners, to working on product development, and sewing the products. I sat down with one of the sewers, and he explained he had been with XS since 2005. What brought him here? He said a friend was working at XS. He used to make seat covers for airplanes, but now he can make products from recycled products. At the time, the team was putting together very cool laptop cases created from a combination of seat covers and discarded marketing banners.
I then met the head of product design and the head of finance. The head of finance explained, XS is “not just cleaning the environment, but it is creating jobs for those who need it. XS is also providing education scholarships – it’s like 3-in-1.” The head of product design explained that he was first introduced to XS in college and thought it would be a great challenge to create products out of recycled material.
After meeting the staff and watching the process of turning recycled material into new goods, Retno and I went to visit the community where it all starts – the trash pickers. When we arrived the kids were so excited and everyone came out to say hi and play. Retno brought a box of pencils and crayons gathered from other schools, and the children all dove in to grab their handfuls. We stopped to speak with every family and to hear their current needs and issues. The families live on this land and work for a “lampak” which is the boss of that trash picker community.
I asked the kids what they studied and they all shouted out, "math, Bahasa (Indonesian), Ingrish (English), and Quran reading!" I then asked a few what they wanted to be when they grow up – and 2 young girls said a chef and teacher. Another young girl said a doctor. XS provides funding for the children’s schooling directly to the school and follows up with the school and teachers to see how their progress is. Retno encouraged the moms to tell their kids to go to class. In this community, the parents’ generation mostly did not attend school so this is a new opportunity for their children.
XSProject has always prided itself on its connection to local schools. First and foremost, are the relationships that we use to ensure that the trashpicker children we support are getting an education. But we also have links to international schools in Indonesia and Singapore that bring even more value to the poor communities with which we work.
This year, our relationship with the Jakarta International School (JIS) moved to a new level. The school ordered almost 1,500 laptop sleeves, for their “One Child, One Computer” program. The idea was so great that the Singapore American School decided to order iPad sleeves and specially designed laptop sleeves for their school.
When the students at these schools receive their XS products, they learn about the trash-picker communities that supply some of the waste material. Often they want to help. One way the international students have provided assistance is through their Boy Scout troop. In the past, a small team of scouts paid for the materials and built new carts for five trash pickers. This year, the Boy Scouts built a much needed bathroom and toilet for the community.
The engagement with schools builds a virtuous circle. XS benefits through increased sales. The trash picker communities benefit from both XS’ support as well as that from the international students. And the international students learn more about their community and the benefits of giving.
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