The month of Ramadan this time, once again we are given a chance to compete in goodness. One of the easiest ways to do that is to help street children, which are approximately 230 thousand in number and spread across major cities in Indonesia. However, many of us are still trapped in the not-so-ideal method of charity: giving coins. Our idea, it will be able to instantly reduce the problems of abandoned children in Indonesia.
In fact, neglect of children is a system, and giving street children money alone will not be enough to destroy the devil's system. One-one, the money will instead they deposit to adults who intend to exploit them.
What they need more is protection, care, education and motivation to get out of the harsh life of the road. And these are the real ways to help them:
1. Be a Volunteer
By volunteering, you can directly help them. Meet with the street children, hear the complaints and difficulties they experience. You also have the opportunity to share the knowledge you have with them.
Do not be inferior, you do not have to teach like a school teacher. You will be considered as their playmate and their accompanying friend. Your activities can also be diverse: from learning, music, drawing, dancing, and so forth. You're like a pair of binoculars, with what they can see a world different from the street world that has raised them.
Sahabat Anak Foundation (YAS) is one of the social institutions that actively fight for and provide education to street children. YAS will gladly accept you as a volunteer. In addition to YAS you can also volunteer through Indonesia Street Children Organization (ISCO), Save Street Child and Dream House. Visit also indorelawan.org, a site that provides a liaison portal between volunteer candidates with various social organizations. At the portal, you can find a variety of Indonesian social organizations that are in need of volunteers. You can also visit the shelter house and NGO care for the child who is near your residence.
2. Go to the Street Children
As long as this is the month of fasting, you can invite your friends to make an event of opening and eating with street children. They would be very happy if someone cares to prepare them for a meal.
Dinner can be interspersed with fun activities such as playing, singing together (most street children play guitar, you know) and others. The important thing is to appreciate their choices and preferences: ask them directly what they want to do with you together. You can also learn from the abilities they have!
You can carry out breaking activities on the road, but if not interested, just come home and the nearest orphanage.3. Monitor Government Performance
The 1945 Constitution mandates the responsibility for the maintenance of street children in the state. This does not mean we can escape at all. Instead, as a citizen, we are part of the country itself. We can not let go of hands. We have a special role to oversee the performance of government (and related institutions) in maintaining street children. Are all efforts done well, or even the existence of street children really maintained up to the increasing number?
Here you have to be observant and vocal in overseeing the performance of institutions such as the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (Kemenpppa), the Ministry of Social Affairs through the Child Social Welfare Program, and the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI). These three institutions represent the state in terms of street children protection. In addition, you can also oversee NGOs who also have concern for street children. For example, the National Commission for Child Protection (please note that this is a different institution than the KPAI).
In addition to the center, you should be more vigorous in supervising the performance of the provincial government and the city you live. With the existence of regional autonomy each city is entitled to issue its own law. For that, please check whether the city you already have a law that protects street children or not? If you have not, get through your representatives in your local parliament immediately, or launch an online petition.
If your province / city has a law on street children, monitor its implementation. Make sure the law does not actually marginalize them. Not infrequently, local governments mobilize Satpol PP on the grounds of discipline street children and homeless, beggars and street singers. Not infrequently also children who choose to dress differently like punk for example hair shaved, because the government considers their makeup interfere with the community. Make sure it does not happen, because each of us has the right to express identity.
4. Distribute Donations
If you have not had the opportunity to carry out the above activities, you can still help them by donating. Remember yes, donating is not the same as giving money in the middle of the road. Donate your funds through official and trustworthy agencies in distributing social assistance such as Rumah Zakat, Bazarnas, mosques, churches, monasteries, and other social institutions in your city. Certainly, you can also donate donations to foundations that directly handle the problem of street children like Hipwee yag already beberin above.
Right, right? There are still many ways to lighten the load of street children in addition to giving them a ripple of coins!