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Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage

by XSProject
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage
He
He's Been Sorting Plastic Since 4:00 AM

Earlier this month, Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry hosted ten countries for the International E-Waste Management Network (IEMN) in Jakarta. Ministers and environmental experts from countries such as Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, and the US gathered to share and explore successful models and approaches to managing electronic waste in their respective countries.

While electronic waste was first and foremost on their agenda, photographer Verena Radulovic from the US took time from her schedule to visit XSProject’s workshop, General Manager, Retno Hapsari and some families and students living in the trash picker community.

After a tour of the workshop where our employees make upcycled products from consumer waste, they went to the Cirendeu open dump. Retno explained that the trash pickers are an informal sector, doing what Jakarta’s consumers don’t do; sort their trash into what can be recycled and what gets taken to the garbage dump. Retno explained that, many Indonesians doesn’t want non-biodegradable/non-recyclable products in their country, but they feel helpless to work with companies that provide consumer product packaging which can neither be returned or recycled.

As they were walking through the community in the early afternoon, they came upon a trash picker who had been manually sorting mounds of plastic bottles since 4:00 AM. Retno shared that, if homeowners just separated their plastics, the hours he spent sorting could be reduced and he could use the time to sort other waste (even e-waste), increase his productivity and care for his family. 

Our guest learned that trash pickers, like all of us, lead complicated lives. Because of their lack of education and their poverty, their struggles are often defined by decisions like should they take a sick child to the doctor or pick trash to feed the family that day?  As Verena Radulovic said, ”They have a million odds stacked against them. We think we understand that they have a tough life. In fact, a trash picker’s life is really, really hard on so many levels.”

At XSProject, we continue to advocate for Jakarta’s half a million trash pickers with the government and conglomerates that continue to add to Jakarta’s pollution problems. Trash pickers cannot possibly keep up with the amount of waste Jakarta's consumers throw away each day. At XSProject, we are encouraged by the Indonesian government’s efforts to clean up the environment, waterways and air quality. Giving recycling jobs to trash pickers would help close the loop of poverty and reduce the amount of waste being deposited in Jakarta’s open garbage dumps. 

Please share our story with your friends and family. By creating awareness about he lives of all trash pickers, we can be their voice and the voice that changes this system.

*Photography by Verena Radulovic.

XSProject Educates Trash Picker Children
XSProject Educates Trash Picker Children
She Sorts Plastic Cups
She Sorts Plastic Cups
Bags of Plastic Ready to Be Sold
Bags of Plastic Ready to Be Sold
Retno from XSProject Comforts Sumiyati at Home
Retno from XSProject Comforts Sumiyati at Home

Usually, daily lives of Jakarta’s trash pickers are the same every day. More than half a million people make their living picking through trash cans and dumpsters, sorting out anything they can sell just to feed their families. That is, until something goes wrong.

It’s only a matter of time before someone becomes sick. Living at a garbage dump, on top of the waste, breathing the methane and smoke-filled air and eating a diet of mostly rice, noodles and fried food, even a small cut or mosquito bite can turn into a trip to the doctor.

When someone in a trash pickers family becomes sick, the entire family is impacted.  This is what happened to Maran last month when his wife, Sumiyati was diagnosed with acute leukemia.

When she was finally too weak to care for her children, Sumiyati went to the doctor.  She was immediately transferred to the large Fatmawati Hospital in Jakarta and given 3 blood transfusions – a total of 27 pints. She stayed in the hospital for two weeks and only Maran could visit her. Her sons waited outside the hospital room too young to understand why their mother could not come home and take care of them.

Because Sumiyati and Maran’s two boys, Rahmat, who is in the 5th grade and Deden, in the 3rd grade attend school under XSProject, we soon heard about her condition.  The baby, Eva, had been sent to live with Sumiyati’s parents in another part of the city because no one could care for her.

Maran does not understand what is happening to his wife. Because he is poor, uneducated and the hospital bills are mounting, the doctors do not share much information with him. The hospital released Sumiyati last week, with some medication to take daily and instructions to eat better to keep up her strength.

XSProject is making visits to their home to monitor Sumiyati’s condition. Aminah, a neighbor, has been preparing healthy meals until she can get her strength back. The boys continue to attend school but are confused and worried that their mother might die.

XSProject supports more than 100 trash picker families.  The progress we have made delivering vaccinations, visits to the dentist, eye doctor and educating the children to break the poverty cycle is largely the result of GlobalGiving’s incredibly generous donors.

Saving Sumiyati may be the single most important mission XSProject has undertaken. Your contribution to XSProject to help Maran, Sumiyati and their family is a gift well given. Thank you.

Maran and Sumiyati During Her hospital Stay
Maran and Sumiyati During Her hospital Stay
Maran and Sumiyati with Rahmat and Deden
Maran and Sumiyati with Rahmat and Deden
Happier Days- Sumiyati and Eva with Friends
Happier Days- Sumiyati and Eva with Friends
A Student Photographer and a Trash Picker
A Student Photographer and a Trash Picker's Child

Several times a year, XSProject conducts consumer education programs about Jakarta’s trash picker community. During these programs, we introduce visitors, schools and tour groups to what life is like living as a trash picker. The program includes a tour through the garbage dump, seeing the homes that are built on and from trash and learning how trash picker families coax a meager living out of sorting through people’s trash to survive. The tour has a profound impact on visitors.

Students from schools across Indonesia and Southeast Asia experience life at Jakarta’s Cirendeu garbage dump followed by a trip to XSProject’s workshop where they can help prepare non-biodegradable plastic trash brought to us by trash pickers. They learn how we wash and sort it and are encouraged to assist our employees in this process. Then, they get to see first-hand how the sewers create fun and functional new products that are sold to consumers to help support the Cirendeu community.

University and post-graduate students visit us as part of a school project or a journalism assignment. What they experience during their trip is expressed in their beautiful and compassionate stories, photos, artwork and videos which they share with their friends and community when they return home.  

No one speaks better about how trash affects people of poverty than the young mothers in our vocational training program, Cirendeu Handicrafts. These moms never pass up an invitation to sell their jewelry and fabric crafts at school bazaars and international clubs. They look forward to chatting with the public, explaining how they make their handicrafts and share, with pride,  stories about their children, who attend school through XSProject’s XSEducation program.

Educating consumers to be mindful of what they purchase as well as what they throw away builds more environmentally conscious communities. If you have an opportunity to visit Jakarta, we hope you will make time to visit us at XSProject.  Until then, we encourage everyone to make recycling a habit in your home and community. Your donation to XProject helps us continue to support Jakarta’s trash picker families, to share their stories and give them the tools to improve their lives.

Student Volunteers Help in the Gardens
Student Volunteers Help in the Gardens
Students Learn How to Wash Trash
Students Learn How to Wash Trash
XSProject GM, Retno Talks to a Tour Group
XSProject GM, Retno Talks to a Tour Group
Learning About Jewelry at Cirendeu Handicrafts.
Learning About Jewelry at Cirendeu Handicrafts.
XSProject Products Made From Consumer Waste
XSProject Products Made From Consumer Waste
Pak Heri and His Mie Ayam Food Cart
Pak Heri and His Mie Ayam Food Cart

Sometimes you just know you can have a better life, a better job and be a better example to your children and community.

That’s how it was with Pak Heri. Heri lives with his wife, 2 children and a big extended family of trash pickers in Jakarta. Years ago, before the family moved to the garbage dump and Heri became a trash collector, he had a small food card and sold Mie Ayam (noodles and chicken) street food to earn a living. He always wanted to have his own food cart again - someday.

When XSProject and the Business Club at the Jakarta Intercultural School offered Pak Heri a micro-loan to build a food cart, he didn’t hesitate to accept. This was that opportunity to change his life that he had been hoping for.

In no time, Heri had his own food cart built.

Today, Heri is still rising very early and collecting trash from a small number of homes. While he is out, his wife, Sani, cooks the Mie Ayam and stocks the cart with food. He’s home by 11:00AM to pick up the food cart and is on his way back out by 1:00 PM. He returns home around 9:00PM.

Heri is not yet making enough money just from food cart sales to support his family, so he still collects trash to make ends meet. He wants to find a permanent spot to park his cart so he can get regular customers and start to build and then expand his business.

At XSProject, we think Heri is on to something BIG That is why we invite you to help us with something LITTLE: GlobalGiving's  Little by Little Campaign that is running from April 3-7.

GlobalGiving is matching your donations up to $50 at 50%. Our goal is to raise $3,000 towards helping Heri and other trash pickers build carts and subsidize their food cart business for the rest of this year.  

One person, one moment and your donation is the gift of a lifetime. So please don't wait, make your donation now.

Heri and Wife, Sani Prepare the Food
Heri and Wife, Sani Prepare the Food
Hear Going Out to Sell His Street Food
Hear Going Out to Sell His Street Food
Husband and Wife Partnership
Husband and Wife Partnership
Your Donation Affects the Whole Family - Thank You
Your Donation Affects the Whole Family - Thank You
Aryuni at Her Sewing Machine
Aryuni at Her Sewing Machine

Her name is Aryuni but she is called Yuni at the Cirendeu garbage dump in Jakarta where she lives.

When she was in middle school in her village far from Jakarta, she dreamed of a career in nursing, but her family did not have enough money to send her. Instead, her grandfather paid her tuition to attend a sewing school.

After graduation, Yuni worked at many garment factories in and around Jakarta. But, low wages, long hours and poor working conditions forced her to return to her village.

Several years later, Yuni married. With her husband, she returned to Jakarta to once more look for employment. She went back to work at a garment factory where she earned about $100 a month. With both Yuni and her husband working, it almost seemed they could make it…

Yuni is now 35 years old and has two children, both getting their education through the XSProject Education Program. Daughter Ariska is in the 8th Grade and son, Toufan is in kindergarten. Her husband is a trash picker.

As the children got older, working the long hours at the garment factory far from their home was not good for the family. So Yuni left and went to work for a European designer. She spent her days sewing sequins on brocade gowns but her salary was only half of what she had made in the garment factory, about $50 a month.

She heard about XSProject’s Cirendeu Handicrafts program from other mothers at the Cirendeu dump community who were making jewelry and sewing small handicrafts for sale. Yuni joined the group in 2016 and is now making children’s dresses from batik fabric which XSProject sells on our US website. She makes alterations and household items such as curtains for local and expat customers.

Still, the work is not steady enough to have a regular income. Being the resourceful person she is, Yuni has tried to supplement her income by making and selling simple rice and noodle dishes at the schools in the morning and then sewing in the afternoon.

All of the young women and mothers working at Cirendeu Handicrafts would like to have a steady and better income. Sometimes they have a booth at the market to sell their own products.

If you would like to help Yuni purchase more batik fabric for her sewing projects or supplies for any of the other mothers in our program, making a donation to GlobalGiving will have a profound impact on them. Cirendeu Handicrafts is their business and is the hand up they need toward self-sufficiency and a sustainable income.   

Working in the Cirendeu Handicrafts Workshop
Working in the Cirendeu Handicrafts Workshop
Making Curtains
Making Curtains
 

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Organization Information

XSProject

Location: Cilandak Barat, Jakarta - Indonesia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @xsproject
Project Leader:
Retno Hapsari
General Manager
Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
$101,767 raised of $120,000 goal
 
1,001 donations
$18,233 to go
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