Jamboree for street children – a big hit!
Each year we host an event for the street children of Jakarta and surrounds. This year marked our 17th year of running this annual campout, Sahabat Anak Jamboree. It was held over the weekend of 24-25 August in Ragunan, South Jakarta.
This large scale annual event requires a lot of planning, behind the scenes organization and a lot of volunteer hands to make it happen. We are fortunate as an organization to have volunteers willing to put in the hours for a common value we all share. That is to make life a little better for the street children.
With 1000 street children and about 600 adult volunteers and supporting organizers we needed 25 tents to each sleep 40 children and 20 adults. Then there was the extra tents needed for medics, food and water sorting and storage, not to mention banks of makeshift showers to wash the masses at the end of a long day.
Sponsors and supporting organizations attended on the first day providing workshop activities for the children to do.
The Learning Farm from Cianjur, West Java ran a workshop about organic farming and had the kids playing tunnel ball with cabbages. Toko Bagus ran a workshop for the children to do some online shopping navigation. Dance workshops, making finger puppets, reusing cardboard products for handicrafts and coffee-making were other activities available on the workshop circuit that the groups rotated to throughout the day.
When the workshops finished at 4pm there was some team time to finish decorating their tents.
Each group had a name like Google or Sepeda (bicycle) and they used this theme name as inspiration to decorate their team tents. The next activities were bath time and dinner. To wrap up this long day there was more on-stage entertainment until late in the evening.
The logistics of catering for this many people is mind boggling – shower provisions for each child, goodie bags and food to take home, a shirt each, name tags, schedules. Meals and snacks, enough for over two days, not to mention the gallons and gallons of water needed under the hot August sun. We are always happy to have new people on board so give some consideration about if you can help out next year. It’s not only a really worthwhile cause, it is great fun for everyone.
Children from Bogor, Depok, Bandung and Yogyakarta attended. Interested parties from Surabaya and Bali also came and were involved, hoping to take back ideas for development with the underprivileged children in their own communities.
Early the next morning everyone was up exercising, a bit of Gangnam style dancing at 6am certainly gets the blood flowing.
Food and camp clean up were the first things on the agenda after exercise and before games for the first half of the day. After the lunch break there was more entertainment, performances by some of the children’s musical groups and finally the announcement a lot of the children had been waiting for.
KADO project wraps up – winner announced
Over the previous three months, 32 groups of 10 children (plus volunteer supervisors) across Jakarta have been involved in an entrepreneurial project called KADO (meaning gifts). The final 10 projects were judged the previous Thursday at Museum Bank Mandiri by the three judge panel of Mr Tanan from Ciputra, Mrs Romi, a psychologist and the Kick Andy show.
The standout feature in the final 10 projects was that most projects revolved around the themes of waste management and environmental care. Clean, green, reuse, recycle and reduce. These projects meant the children had to brainstorm ideas to make money that could be used to improve their community. A proposal, budgeting, and an action plan were all components that they explored in this project.
Another standout feature was noted when viewing the final 10 project presentations the previous week.
There was a significant amount of confidence displayed from the girls that presented their project. So, our volunteer’s efforts to nurture personal character building in the children is definitely paying dividends.
Congratulations to the winning team Prumpung 1 who created an event named Prastival – which included a play about environmental issues, a silent art auction and a handicrafts bazaar from recycled products to raise money for a public dumpster and new toilets in their community.
An avenue of committee volunteers and staff lined the exit route at the end of the Jamboree, as the children said goodbye ready to go back to their homes after a long weekend.
Tears were shed.
The normality this event offered, the bonds created, the connections made were hard for some of them to leave behind. They were part of a caring family here. A family that provided for them, food, opportunities to learn new things, activities to keep the mind active, love and caring.
Some touching images will remain burnt in my memory – of 17 year old boys hand sewing green crocodile finger puppets – children walking hand in hand to the showers – and the tear-stained cheeks of young children as they left, sad that this special time has come to an end.
Until next year.