Pak Salim in the community
Since our last report, XS has made progress. We are developing a new line of products and we are transitioning management to the local team. But more about those topics in a future post. This update is dedicated to Pak (Mr.) Salim, who was the leader of the original trashpicker community that XS worked with. Pak Salim has been part of XS since its earliest days.
Sadly, Pak Salim passed away last week. He was in his early 60s. Pak Salim did not die from a complicated disease. It was a hernia that killed him. Hernia surgery is one of the most common and safest operations performed in the United States. They are also a relatively inexpensive and safe operation in many developed countries. Unfortunately are not inexpensive for a poor person in a developing country like Indonesia. Pak Salim could not afford an operation, even though it was recommended. So his hernia went untreated.
When XS learned that Pak Salim was ill, the Jakarta team offered to cover the cost of his surgery. However, we got involved too late. Before there was time to find out more details about the required operation, Pak Salim passed away. He will be sadly missed by the team at XS as well as by his family and members of his community. It is not clear what will happen to the community as a result of his passing. Sometimes a new leader steps into place. Other times, the community dissolves and people find new homes in other trashpicker communities. Whatever the outcome for those left behind, this will be a period of transition and challenges. At XS, our thoughts are with all of them, particularly the children in this community that are beneficiaries of our scholarship program.