I Am Jupri
People call me Jupri. My real name is Juju Juheri and I am 32 years old. I work at XSProject in Jakarta, Indonesia. I only have a middle school education. When my mother died, I had to quit school to make money for the family.
I started by directing cars where to park at a shopping center. I made money from tips doing that. I really love music so then I began playing guitar and singing on Jakarta’s streets. After that I became a construction worker, building houses in Jakarta. But things got bad and I had to find other work again.
One of my friends worked at XSProject as a sewer, making products from plastic trash. XSProject sells the products and with the money, helps the trash pickers. In 2005 I went there and Ibu (Mrs) Uni said I could have a job washing the trash. I made very little money but I liked the idea of helping the trash picker community in my small way.
I was a trash washer for two years. Then Ibu Uni said if I could also be a courier for XSProject, I could make more money. So I did.
Every day when my work was finished, I watched the sewers making the products. I watched for one whole year. One day, while the sewers were taking a break, I sat at one of the machines and taught myself how to make a plastic tote bag.
After the sewers were finished each day, I would sew some bags and earn extra money for each bag I made. After one year I stopped being a washer and became a full time sewer. This was good for me because the sewers got to live at the XSProject workshop for free. We only went home once a month. I was a sewer for six years.
In 2010 I married Erlina. Today we have a 4 year old daughter. But for now they live too far away for me to be with them, so I send money home instead.
There never was enough money and I was always looking for a way to make more. I watched other people working at XSProject using computers. I wanted to learn because I knew it was a way to a better life. So I watched…and soon I learned… I taught myself how to use Excel. It took a long time but I was patient. In 2014, Ibu Retno, XSProject’s General Manager asked me to be in charge of procurement, manage the raw materials and also the products the sewers made. I did not know how to do this, but I learned.
I like working for XSProject and seeing how we help the trash pickers and send their children to school. I feel good about my work but I miss my family a lot. When my daughter is old enough, XSProject will pay for her to go to school for 12 years. She will have a better life than me.
Some day I would like to have my own company that helps the poor, like XSProject does. I also dream of a balanced life. Right now I have to sacrifice for my future. I want to find a way to balance my family, work and my music. By the time I am 40, I want to have my life in balance and my family with me.
So that is about me. About Jupri. Thank you.
Thank you for supporting XSProject, our employees and the tash picker community. Your donations improve the quality of all their lives and give them hope for the future.
Where Jupri Became a Sewer
Following in Jupri's Footsteps - a New Sewer
XSProject Jakarta Employees