Children of families living in the dumpsites in Kampung are cared for and provided an education at a local school we support.
Gathering together in a time of worship and devotion, children learn about the importance of prayer and worship.
Single mothers with young children find the help they need to feed their families.
There really is no prominent slum in Jakarta, the city where Please Pass the Bread is focusing its support. The poor, urban in nature, are scattered throughout the city. And, I guess, scattered is the wrong term – Culturally intertwined is a better description.
Poverty in Indonesia is generations old and has continually staked claim to its territory as the city grew. Any community growth or city revitalization has grown up through the existing problem.
The children living in poverty know not another way and aren’t expecting anything other than poverty. For the poorest children in the Jakarta slums, struggling to survive is living life normal; scavenging through trash to help the family eat is normal, begging for handouts is normal, being dirty and sick most of the time is normal. Not attending school is normal.
Many children are pushed to the streets to generate an income for the family. The streets of Jakarta are crowded with working kids. Some are abandoned, runaways or working for their families. They make money by shining shoes, begging, or scavenging trash – or worse.
Life on the streets for these children comes with dangers. Public places leave them vulnerable to thieves, organized crime involvement or gangs, violence and sexual abuse.
Hope doesn’t exist because there is no representation of it. These children live life adrift, from hand to mouth, from any handout they can get. To them, this is life lived normal.
In addition to providing children with food, other assistance through health services and education are essential. But above all, these children in poverty need to be treated as human beings, shown love and care and given protection. They need to experience a brighter side of life to know there is something better.
When we entered Indonesia we knew we wanted to help in more ways than one. Although we expect to increase our involvement in Indonesia, we are starting in an area where education is priority. We are still in the evaluation stage and will determine a deeper involvement in the weeks ahead.