From Railway Tracks To The Stage – A Story of Success
The tropical rains in Jakarta last Friday night meant the foyer of Haji Usmar Ismail Theatre in Kuningan wasn’t as busy as it could have been for the Cabaret performance of some of Jakarta’s marginalised children.
Hosted by Sahabat Anak’s Tanah Abang tutorial area opening performances included music by the children of Cijantung and musical poetry from the children of Grogol.
The main event was a drama performance entitled Impossible – from impossible to possible based on a true story of a girl who lived on the train tracks at Tanah Abang but who overcame this disadvantage to enrol in tertiary education and finally she has chosen to major in secretarial studies.
The hardship of living on the train tracks is not unknown to the children who were in this performance as this is exactly where they live. The ever present scream of train brakes, the cramped living conditions in roughly constructed shanties amongst the piles of tyres, cardboard and plastic bottles are where they live. A place they share with oversized rats and the scorching heat held and reflected by the foundation rocks and the worn metal of the dual tracks outside their front door.
The true story that the drama was based on is about one of the volunteer teachers who these days gives back to the children who live the life she once lived on the tracks at Tanah Abang. This story is not only one of overcoming the odds and tenacity but it also about giving back to the children of that same community who face the same hurdles that she had.
As a shining light and a beacon of success the story unfolded on stage with children of this community as living characters performing under the spotlight. The opportunity for any marginalised child to be on the stage in Haji Usmar Ismail Theatre is a rare one and an experience that will inflame their passion to push through their daily lives and aspire to become the best they can be. The story of giving is the founding principle of Sahabat Anak.
Despite Jakarta’s rain and the subsequent traffic jams, the crowds did come and the night was an inspiring success for the performers and a solemn reminder for the audience of the hardships that some of our fellow citizens face each day.