Generate Income & Hope From Non-Recyclable Garbage

by XSProject
Dr. Faauzan Talks to the Community About Tetanus
Dr. Faauzan Talks to the Community About Tetanus

In April, XSProject and the Jakarta (Indonesia) Chapter of Rotary Clubs International teamed up to give tetanus vaccinations to the trash picker adults living at the Cirendeu community garbage site.

Oh wait! Did I forget to mention that, like most of us, trash pickers hate being stuck by needles?  

Here’s a video clip of the day’s events: 

Eighty people had signed up to receive vaccinations. But when the day arrived, only half of them showed up at XSVillage where the event was held. Curiosity and a free lunch brought in another 20 adults.There are still many more who need to have the vaccination, though.

Tetanus is a disease caused by bacterial poisons and marked by stiffness and spasms of the muscles and locking of the jaws.It is spread when water and sewage systems are disrupted, causing water contamination. It is especially dangerous to trash pickers and people who live at garbage dumps because their immune systems are already compromised.

Dr.  Faauzan, talked to the community about being careful around scraps of metal and rusted nails. He shared the early signs and symptoms of the tetanus infection and encouraged everyone to take the series of 5 shots to have up to 25 years of coverage. 

Dr. Faauzan’s team included three volunteer nurses, a local nurse and 2 nurses from the Jakarta Rotary Club.  Everyone got a blood pressure check and lunch hosted by XSProject. The children got to watch as moms and dads tried to be brave when it was their turn to be vaccinated.

You can help XSProject vaccinate the entire community with your $25 donation. The next vaccination date is November 4, 2014.

A Successful Event-Jakarta Rotarians & XSProject
A Successful Event-Jakarta Rotarians & XSProject
Ibu Salim
Ibu Salim's New Home Under Construction

Dear Friends,

This month we are sharing a a story about the Salim family, who live at the landfill.

Pak (Mr.) Salim was a trash picker in Indonesia his entire life. He had very little money and no education, but he dreamed of a better life for his eight children.

Over the years his children grew up, and like many other young people living at the land fill, never had the opportunity to go to school. Pak  Salim was the leader (lapak) of the original trash picker community that XSProject worked with.  It was from Pak Salim’s dream of educating the children that XSProject’ s Education Scholarship Fund was born.

Pak Salim passed away in November, 2010. His wife, Ibu (Mrs) Salim and his children and grandchildren still live in the same community but now XSProject assures that the children receive everything they need to get a good education and start in life, except…

In January, the monsoon rains flooded and badly damaged the homes in the trash picker community. One home that was completely destroyed belonged Ibu Salim and three of her grandchildren who lived with her. 

With the help of XSProject, GlobalGiving donations and a fundraising event, enough money was raised to purchase materials to build her a new home. Her sons and other men in the community completed the construction quickly and in May, Ibu Salim, Agus (age14),  Septi (age 9) and Bagas (age 6) moved into their new home.

 Pak Salim’s dream lives on through determination of the community and XSProject to give each child a safe home, and a complete education that will enable them to find work well beyond the trash heaps.

Ibu Salim
Ibu Salim's Old House Was Destroyed by Rain
Ibu Salim and Bagas in the New Home
Ibu Salim and Bagas in the New Home
Ibu (Mrs)  Salim
Ibu (Mrs) Salim
In the Kitchen!
In the Kitchen!
Mr. Satiri (l), Mr. Wardi (r) & New Trash Cart
Mr. Satiri (l), Mr. Wardi (r) & New Trash Cart

Mr. Wardi had a big problem.

As the senior man (Lapak) in the Jakarta trash picker community, his job is to make sure there are enough trash carts in good working condition for all the trash pickers. Without a cart, a trash picker cannot move through a neighborhood collecting recyclable trash from the homes to sell and feed his family.

A lot of Mr. Wardi's trash carts were already badly worn but two carts were beyond repair. Mr. Wardi had to come up with a plan to get enough money to buy the materials to make two new carts right away.

The prospect of this happening did not look good. It would mean that two trash pickers would not be able to collect trash or make enough money to buy food for their families. His was a serious dilemma!

What Mr. Wardi didn’t know, was that his friend, Retno Hapsari, XSProject General Manager already had a plan for new carts by raising the money through GlobalGiving.

In February, XSProject received three GlobalGiving donations for just this purpose! So, when Retno went to Mr. Wardi’s house with enough money to build two trash carts, he was very surprised.

How did Retno know of his problem? How was she able to give him this money? The answers rested in a promise Mr. Wardi made to Retno years ago; that he would help her convince the trash picker community to allow their children to go to school so they would not grow up to be trash pickers, too.

Over the years, their friendship has helped raise the community out of extreme poverty, one child at a time. Retno knew from the community what Mr. Wardi needed. XSProject was able to fund Mr. Wardi's urgent need for trash carts because the GlobalGiving community of donors responded to her need.

Mr. Wardi now knows the whole story of how people very far away, who don’t know him, opened their hearts and changed his life. And this is the story of how Mr. Wardi got his GlobalGaving trash carts.

Mr. Wardi Building a Trash Cart
Mr. Wardi Building a Trash Cart
Installing the Wheels
Installing the Wheels
A Bright New Cart in 3 Hours for Mr. Satiri!
A Bright New Cart in 3 Hours for Mr. Satiri!
Sewers with the new iPad Sling Bag
Sewers with the new iPad Sling Bag

Dear XSProject Partner,

Did you ever wonder how products are made in the emerging market world? Do you ever wonder who the individual is who made that product you bought and what their life is like? In this month’s letter, we thought we would share with you a bit about how we make XSProject products.

On March 11, XSProject offered our first in-house product training workshop. Led by our Product Developer, Gofur, the purpose of this one-day training was to teach the sewers to make a new product, define the processes needed to improve the quality of the products and to increase capacity while continuing to maintain that defined quality.

On this day, the challenge for the sewers was to make an iPad Sling Bag from scraps of automobile car seats. When they finished their proto-type bags, the bags were sent to the quality control trainees to review the production process as well as the final product, where changes and improvements were noted. In this way, everyone was involved in every step and understood the importance of their role in the total process.

Everyone attending the day long workshop was paid by XSProject. We plan to continue to hold these workshops each time there is a new product to be developed or if more training is needed. We encourage sewers who complete these workshops to start their own home based businesses. They will have opportunities to continue to work with XSProject to generate their income. In return, XSProject is able to offer greater variety and quantities of products to consumers.

The iPad Sling Bag was a request from the Singapore American School for their students. We are happy to report that they are very pleased with the quality and the style of their new bags.

XSProject uses non-recyclable trash such as plastic soap pouches, discarded billboards, advertising banners and automobile car seat fabric scraps to create consumer awareness about waste in our society. The products XSProject designs, makes and sells provides income to Jakarta’s trash pickers and employment to the people who wash the trash and to the sewers so they may be independent business owners in the future.

To see more of the products XSProject makes, go to

Making a bag from car seat fabric scraps
Making a bag from car seat fabric scraps
Sewing piping from an advertising banner
Sewing piping from an advertising banner
Thank You GlobalGiving Partners!
Thank You GlobalGiving Partners!


Dear GlobalGiving Partner,

Because of your generous donations, XSProject is excited to tell you that our project, Generate Income and Hope from Non-Recyclable Garbage is now fully funded. As our way of thanking you and expressing our sincere appreciation, we thought you’d like to know what we did with all your donations. So we are sharing with you today how your money was spent.

1. 30.7 tons of trash were purchased and removed from Jakarta’s waste stream and repurposed into 58,000 products that XSProject sold around the world.

2. The trash pickers who sold their non-biodegradable trash to XSProject were paid 2 times the market price for the trash, which provided nutritious meals and clean water to their families.

3. XSProject gave vocational training and work to 80 marginalized and otherwise unemployed people who now sew products from trash for XSProject. Having a structured work environment and a steady salary has dramatically changed the living standard of our team of washers and sewers.

4. XSProject funded the K-12 education of 60 children from the trash picker community. We believe that the best way to break the cycle of poverty is to educate the children. This changes the family dynamic and gives hope to trash pickers that they can move beyond their current condition.

5. XSProject’s General Manager, Retno Hapsari spoke about the trash picker community at countless schools, conventions and social gatherings in Indonesia. In her talks, she created awareness about the trash that consumers generate, often without realizing it, and the environmental effects it has on plants, animals, land, water and communities.

XSProject’s work is far from finished, however. We hope you will continue to be a partner with us so we can continue the work we have really just begun. The trash picker community is in desperate need of clean water, medical attention, better nutrition and expanded vocational training. If you can find it in your heart to make recurring donations, XSProject will put them to good use. Regardless of whether it’s a single donation or recurring, whatever the amount, a trash picker and his family will be forever grateful.

Please write us with your comments, questions and suggestions. We want to hear from you and we will reply to each and every E mail.

With gratitude,

Karen McDaniels, Project Leader -

Retno Hapsari, General Manager -

P.S. Are you wondering what happened to the work we did with the children? Please visit our NEW GlobalGiving project site: Give an Education to a Trash Picker’s Child. Project #16185.

Best Friends
Best Friends
Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, trash picker
Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, trash picker

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Organization Information


Location: Cilandak Barat, Jakarta - Indonesia
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Karen McDaniels
Denton, Texas United States
$61,616 raised of $95,000 goal
671 donations
$33,384 to go
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