Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage

by XSProject
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Thank You From the XSProject Family!
Thank You From the XSProject Family!

All of us at XSProject Indonesia want to thank you, our partners and the amazing staff at GlobalGiving for your support of our work in Jakarta’s Trash Picker communities in 2016.

We are enormously grateful for your all contributions and your donations during the GlobalGiving Match-A-Million drive on #Giving Tuesday. Without YOU, it would not be possible for us to improve the lives of our families living at the Cirendeu open garbage dump.

Because of you, XSProject has added new programs at the Cirendeu community this year:

  • Revamped our health checkup program for more than 100 families from the trash picker community. Vaccinations, vitamins, dental and hearing checks are now regularly scheduled for adults and children.
  • Established a semi-annual program to provide exams, prescriptions and “reading” glasses for all adults who cannot see well and mandatory for children who cannot pass the simple “eye chart” exam.
  • Installed nine new water tank towers at Cirendeu in preparation for providing clean drinking and cooking water for the community.
  • Provided clean drinking and cooking water with water filtration pots to 70 families that were distributed by the Jakarta Cilandak Rotary Club.
  • Provided 20 middle and high school students in the XSEducation program with portable solar lamps to use for studying and safety. Recent donations have allowed us to purchase 40 more lamps that are on their way to us as of this writing.
  • With funding from The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), we built a community building at Jakarta’s garbage dump to house a new kindergarten, a library and a workshop/giftshop for Cirendeu Handicrafts.  
  • Launched Cirendeu Handicrafts – A division of XSProject that offers vocational and business training to young women and mothers who live at the garbage dump, making it possible for them to earn their own money. They learn to start a business, purchase their materials, make and sell their products, manage their finances, and receive micro-loans to expand their product lines.

From XSProject’s family to yours, we wish you a very happy holiday season. In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, and never in want.

Deden helps his mom keep the water filter clean
Deden helps his mom keep the water filter clean
Mother and daughter both get eye exams
Mother and daughter both get eye exams
Ariska can study at night using her solar lamp
Ariska can study at night using her solar lamp
The women of Cirendeu Handicrafts
The women of Cirendeu Handicrafts
Giving Out Instructions
Giving Out Instructions

In August, XSProject distributed more than 70 water filtration pots to Jakarta's trash picker community.

 Just as important as providing access to clean water for drinking and cooking has been the monitoring of the families use and care of the pots so far.

 We wanted to get some feedback from the families on what they thought. While XSProject is doing our own monitoring to track the reduced need for medical treatment we also wanted to hear the comments from the adults and children.

 So, with notebook and camera in hand, the XSProject staff went out to interview a few of the families. Everyone they interviewed said they were happy about not having to spend money on bottled water. Before this program, the purchase of “Aqua” had been a large expense that the families could not always afford on the $5.00 a day trash picker income.

 As we had hoped, of the five families we interviewed, we learned that every family member is now drinking the filtered water and moms are cooking with it as well. Using the water filter pot and caring for the filter is easy for everyone to do. Suwartono and his wife Aminah added that they actually even feel healthier.

 The lack of clean water in Indonesia, and especially in Jakarta has recently been in the news. More than 37 million Indonesians lack access to clean water (water.org). Even the families that can afford to purchase bottled water through a supplier are seeing price increases.

 XSProject can directly link the lack of clean water in the trash picker communities to the more than $9,000 we spend annually on their medical needs. In the 4 months since receiving the water filter pots, the medical bills have dropped significantly, with 2 months of no medical bills at all.

 We want to expand this program in 2017. These simple but effective water filter pots cost $35 each. We hope our GlobalGiving donor community will help us with funding to purchase an additional 20 water filter pots.

Mukhtar is a trash picker
Mukhtar is a trash picker
Deden helps mom clean the water filter
Deden helps mom clean the water filter
Aminah and her family enjoy their water filter pot
Aminah and her family enjoy their water filter pot
Muniroh enjoys a drink on a hot day
Muniroh enjoys a drink on a hot day
A nurse checks  for tonsillitis.
A nurse checks for tonsillitis.

On September 4, XSProject once again partnered with Lestari Women and Children’s Hospital in Jakarta to conduct our annual Health Checkup for the trash picker families.

Seventy-four children and 35 adults received  complete checkups from the hospital nursing staff. For less than $5.00 each, which XSProject paid, every person received complete eye, ears, nose and throat exams. Despite urging from their wives, the men trash pickers are still fearful of doctors and medical clinics. Only one man came for the checkup.

Twenty-one adults and children received prescription glasses. We also treated one case of tonsillitis, many cases of chronic ear inflammation severe enough to cause deafness and several cases of cataracts.

These families make their homes at the open garbage dumps in Jakarta. Trash is typically burned which emits a constant flow of smoke. Methane from the rotting garbage hangs in the air they breathe daily and chemicals released from burning plastic, cause breathing problems.

Concern about the health of Jakarta’s trash picker community weighs on XSProject. In addition to the conditions the trash pickers live under, their diet has very little nutritional value and as a result, their health is fragile.

Until Jakarta’s “invisible” trash pickers can become “visible”, productive members of Indonesian society, their health and that of their children will continue to be tenuous and out of balance.

They rely on XSProject and we continue to offer vaccinations, treat chronic illnesses, pay for emergency treatment including surgery and provide eyeglasses and dental work.  The donations you make to GlobalGiving that XSProject receives, sometimes go to save a life, but more often pays for medicine to keep them healthy. Please help us continue our work with your donation to XSProject through GlobalGiving .

Hearing infections are common
Hearing infections are common
Some of the women are afraid, but brave
Some of the women are afraid, but brave
Getting fitted for her first pair of eyeglasses
Getting fitted for her first pair of eyeglasses
Ibu Salim, the oldest woman in the community.
Ibu Salim, the oldest woman in the community.

Over the years, as the size of the Cirendeu open garbage dump in Jakarta grew, the 7 wells, used by more than 100 trash picker families living there have become contaminated. For years the rotting garbage, with help from torrential rains and flooding, has been polluting their water supply.

These families wash, cook and drink the water from these wells. A simple skinned knee on a child becomes so infected medical treatment is required. Both adults and children have intestinal parasites. XSProject pays to treat these ailments as well as ringworm and hookworm. The cost to treat the illnesses that families get from the water has been rising every year.

Bringing clean water to this community has been XSProject’s goal. But it was not a simple task. Until we knew what contaminants were in the well water, we could not determine what level of filtration would make the water safe. It took more than six months of research, university and laboratory tests, collaboration with local water filtration companies and some very special folks at Rotary Clubs International before XSProject was able to locate the right water filtration method that every family would understand and want to use.

It was when the Jakarta Cilandak Rotary Club became so committed to this project, that progress toward a solution began. After reviewing the water tests and pursuing locally made products, they purchased and donated 70 water pots and filters for the families.  On July 30, their trucks delivered the water pots. With help from XSProject and the manufacturer, Richard S. and other members of the Cilandak Rotary Club taught the families how to use and take care of their filtered water pot containers.

 It was a very good day for everyone to have a drink of clear, thirst quenching water.

Getting instructions for filtering water
Getting instructions for filtering water
Receiving their filtered water pot
Receiving their filtered water pot
Richard S. with trash picker
Richard S. with trash picker
Thank You from the Cirendeu Community
Thank You from the Cirendeu Community

Links:

Darni Without Glasses!
Darni Without Glasses!

The vision problems started with Darni. It was really no surprise since living at the garbage dump and being subjected to the poor air quality and living in a dark house with only one light can put a lot of stress on your eyes. As Darni began to learn more intricate details in her advanced sewing classes she increasingly had more difficulty.

I told her to get her eyes checked. Even new frames are very expensive. But it just so happened that Noto, Darni’s husband, had found a pair of glasses when he was out picking trash. So Darni’s prescription lenses were popped into her “new” frames. Then she was very happy because she could see so much better.

Soon after Darni got her eyeglasses, XSProject partnered with RSIA Lestari Women and Children’s Hospital to offer the very first eye exams to every adult at the Cirendeu trash picker community. Any adults who could not see clearly could receive a free pair of eye glasses compliments of RSIA Lestari. Mostly just the young women and mothers got their eyes examined

Not long after they received their eyeglasses, many of the women stopped wearing them and began complaining of headaches. But Darni was still very happy with her prescription glasses. It was then that I understood the problem!

When Darni first got her prescription glasses, she told me that she had to take them off when she was not in sewing class because she was embarrassed about being teased. Other moms would say things like: “Oh, you look like a successful women.” (translation: you don’t deserve to be a successful women because of who you are).

I told her, “Forget about what other people say and just say it’s OK”.  I also told her that she was the first person to understand and appreciate the benefits of wearing glasses and to tell the other moms how her life is much easier now. Then everyone will want to wear their eye glasses.

When XSProject began offering vocational training in making jewelry, it was “clearly an eye opener” for the six members of the new class,  when they realized they were not  able to see the small details needed to make the jewelry.

Darni took three of the moms to the same eye doctor she went to.  One mom, Sutiah, had the worst eyes and the most difficulty working with small jewelry parts.

Frames, donated  by our supporters and donors in the US helped save XSProject money. It cost just $60.00 for the 3 pairs of prescription lenses. The moms got to choose their own frames. You can see how lovely Supena, Rokhanah and Sutiah look now.

Supena returned to the making jewelry class wearing her new glasses, and told her friends and neighbors how much better she could see.  Now other moms are thinking they probably need glasses too!

There are still many adults in the community who are afraid to have their vision checked. The mothers in this story have school aged children who have benefitted from receiving regular exams and eyeglasses. XSProject now regularly offers eye exams and eye glasses in the community. For a donation of $30.00 the gift of better vision can change a trash picker's life.  

Supena and Sutiah
Supena and Sutiah
Rokhanah
Rokhanah
 

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Organization Information

XSProject

Location: Cilandak Barat, Jakarta - Indonesia
Website: http:/​/​www.xsproject-id.org
Project Leader:
Karen McDaniels
Denton, Texas United States
$61,565 raised of $95,000 goal
 
668 donations
$33,435 to go
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