Street Children Project: Presents for 2014 – Diary 1

Hello all,

Recently, I started myself to giving something to others. It began from a meetup that my big brother created just 2 days after I arrived in Jakarta. The meetup called Positivo, a place where people can stay, focus, share, and contribute on positive things among those negative things going on in the world. I know, he’s amazing on his own, make sure you check his blog later.

The Wake up Call

Back to the meeting, it was when we met George Hilaul, a former full time magician from the Netherlands who left everything and moved to Jakarta, created a foundation dedicated to educate the slump children in the city, such an inspiring person. George then shared to us his foundation and project. While I was listening to him, I felt there was a lightning struck in my head, “Isn’t this what I always want to do?” It’s actually true. If I remember, I use it as one of my excuse going abroad back then. Yet, I made other excuses not to make it happen. For those who live in developed country may be surprise and feel pity to see children begging on the street or to see people sleep on their trash trunk. But for Indonesian, we’ve been raised by seeing them. It something that just outside our door step. I’m not saying that nobody do something about the poverty, believe me we do. It’s just that most of the people have their own excuses to not go all out with it. But for me, my excuses were gone “I’m not gonna miss this chance. No matter what, it needs to start, and the time is now”, I said to myself. In two weeks I decided to join George’s project. Six weeks after, I realized something.

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picture of Ayu teaching the street children under the bridge

Something Precious

I realized…I still had my old dolls! My mom mentioned it before, I just surprised they were still many. One day, I wanted to clean them up because I despreately need space in my room!! While I’m cleaning one giant bear doll, I got sudden nostalgic attack about how the younger me spent time with her giant bear. I used to talk and to cry to it a lot when nobody would listen to me about everything: school, friends, boys, parents, family, dreams. Without noticed, I dropped another tear just to flash back to the past. Then I looked to the other dolls, they all have meaning for me even though most of them are gift from family or friends. There I thought the dolls would be such great presents for the street children. And it would be greater if I don’t just give the dolls, but also share the emotion my younger life’s, it means my wish, my dreams, my hope I used to dear so much.

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collection of our dolls, you can tell the bear right?!

While thinking about those things, I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t the others do it as well?” Because I’m sure dolls and toys are full of our warm memories when we were child, no matter if the memory is happy or sad, it still be warm feeling from the past. We can say that they are precious to us. And that is the right reason to give to someone who doesn’t have it. The slump children who live literally under the highway bridge and outside their homes is full of trash, they need to sell something on the street to help their family daily needs, some of them are dropped out from school, several of them didn’t have any education until George’s project started; I wonder if they even know what the idea of word ‘value’ is. It would unlikely if they have something that they can call ‘precious’.

The Lost Age

In 2013, I have seen myself and many of my friends around my age (no matter where they are), struggling on self development. We talked a lot about what kind of person we want to become, what kind of life we want to have, what kind of job, love, place, and so on. The point is that we are on the first step of adult world which is sucks and full of politics, but we want to find ourselves to stand on that world, so that we can grow beautifully. We are lost, we don’t know if what we are doing is right, only ourselves and each other that give us the full support. We often lack of motivation to remind ourselves of our goal.

John Holmes, the author of The Politics of Humanity said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up”. If you think by giving something to others, you can say that you have helped them, you are mistaken. By giving something to others, they help you to make you become a better person. The amount of what they give to you is actually greater than what you’ve given to them. Many people just don’t see it that way.

Mutual Needs

I see there is a connection on these matters. The toys that holding our precious memory, will help the street children to find their ‘precious’. And the street children who are going to receive our ‘precious’, will help us to be better people. Yes, both sides need each other. I thought if we can motivate each other, it will be great. And so what I told to George, he was pretty excited.

The project idea will be giving second hand dolls/toys with a card message from the previous owner about their childhood memory. In return of those presents, the children will give the same level of value, which in detail I couldn’t share yet. It based on motivating each other. The donatur target focus is Jakarta 10’s – 20’s age range. The amout of present should be around 100pcs. There is no better way to start the new 2014 than have positive start. I am aiming for the last week of January. I hope this project will be happen and useful for both sides. There are many things need to be done within the limited time. I will keep posting this project series as the journey started. Wish us luck!!

Love,

Chiyo