Story by Shane Yap, Masaki Takehara, Andy Tangjaya and Allen Cheng
What if we told you buying a book could help a child have his/her one full meal for a week? It’s the sad truth, but this is one issue that we feel has been overlooked and that is the fact that many children are deprived from their right to have an education and their daily needs. This is where we want to be part of the global solution and we want you to support us! We are having a book sale on the 13th of March (at Fun Fair) and 18th of March (at Preston campus). The Sahabat Anak Center works with street children in Jakarta to provide shelter, food and education. One copy of our book, “Since Every Child is Precious…”, is $10.00, and funds raised from your purchases will go directly to supporting the work of Sahabat Anak! Want to know more? Good. Let us tell you a bit more about this book.
The organization we visited is called “Sahabat Anak” which means “children’s best friend” in Bahasa. It was founded in Jakarta in 1997 by a group of volunteers who were students and professionals. To give you a brief background of what this organization does, it focuses on the most essential needs for the street children in Jakarta: education. Through our visit and interviews with the founder, we have really felt that education could help children get out of their poverty cycle.
So why do we want to be part of this organization? It is because there are currently 11,000 street children just in the city of Jakarta. Shocking isn’t it? I bet you didn’t know about that.We wanted to create a book that would show us the reality of the lives of street children, which is something we don’t see in Singapore. We also wanted to raise awareness in our ISS community about how we can all make a difference in the lives of others in small ways, like supporting the work of an organization like Sahabat Anak.
“I totally couldn’t read and write before. I was illiterate. But since I joined Sahabat Anak PKA, now I can read, write, even count. I got the excitement since I have new friends and study day-by-day with them.” – Sahabat Anak student
What makes this book so special is that it puts emphasis on both the stories of the children at Sahabat Anak and stories from graduates who have benefited from the organization. Hearing their dreams, hopes and fears made us motivated to try our best in collaborating with Sahabat Anak to create a book that could portray the lives of those people, who are as creative and intelligent as we are.
We will be launching our book at this year’s Fun Fair, Sunday March 13th at the Paterson campus. Come visit the Sabaht Anak booth to hear more about our experiences with Sahabat Anak and the stories of the people it helps. While you are at it, why not buy a book or even donate to them? Every bit can help them work towards a brighter future.