Butcher, baker, candlestick maker – the choices are numerous when you play
A group of 18 marginalized children from Cengkareng and 48 children from Condet (half from a local orphanage and the other half from Taman Bacaan) enjoyed fun-filled day at Kidzania recently. The day provided an experience for these marginalized children that is economically out of their reach.
At a usual cost of Rp. 180,000 per child and Rp. 90,000 for any accompanying adult this can equate to nearly a quarter of the monthly minimum wage for a family of 4—2 adults and 2 children for a day out. Not to mention the cost of transport, food and drinks as well.
Play is an important aspect of a child’s development. Quite frequently this aspect is taken away from children who live in marginalized society because of the demands of their daily living and their restricted environment.
In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” And herein lays the tragedy of children who are forced to work on the streets from an early age to supplement their family income.
In a venue such as Kidzania they can explore, create and dream. It provides them a safe environment to role play at being a model, a journalist, a fireman or a dentist. With a myriad of employment choices in this mini world they earn their own money and can cash it in at the souvenir store or take it with them when they leave.
Diah and Roby, both aged 9, both from Condet said they like being police. Roby said when he first had to catch a thief he was scared initially but then it was fun when he succeeded. You get extra money for catching a thief so there is an added bonus for being brave.
Diah has been to Kidzania once before for a similar event. She was excited to come again as she knew what to expect.
Both children ran off clutching a fist full of money, from successful thief catching, to join the fire brigade.
In a single day these children can go from making pizza, to being a shop assistant at a convenience store to being in a stage performance. The diversity of this play stimulates their minds, fuels their passion for a brighter future and sees them leave with smiles intact and precious memories to treasure.