XSProject changes lives in Jakarta’s trash-picker community [video]

Do they really want to be trash pickers? They do not want to be a trash-pickers, but what they want is making sure that they can eat. And what they want is making sure that the kids can eat first. And the only way they can do is by instead of begging, they have better dignity. So what they can do trash is everywhere.

I can pick up trash and I can buy food for my family. I think that is really better. And that’s what keeps me moving is the fact that this family is living in a hard life, that they don’t ask, that they do something. The typical day of the trash-pickers is they get up at 5 o’clock in the morning. The dad usually pulls the bag behind their back or pulls the cart.

They look for anything that they find on the street to put it in their cart to collect any trash that they can. After a couple of hours, maybe 10 o’clock in the morning they come home sort and then the wife will have to help sort, clean up the trash. And then after two, three, four days, when they have enough trash to sell, that’s when they have to sell it. The value of the trash that they collect, one time it’s worth maybe 50,000 Rupiah, which is about US$5 a day. And we purchase from them, we give them extra income and then we, with a good design, a creative design, then we produce products.

The idea is to extend the life of the unwanted products. XSProject is caring about the environment. XSProject is caring about the people that need the most. XSProject cares about the education of the unfortunate children. When we get the trash from the trash-pickers and we have to go to sorting and then we have to soak it overnight.

And then we have to do the washing process. Just washing, just like when you wash things inside out, on the top, the bottom. And then we have to go through the rinsing and then soak it in a disinfectant. And then we have to go through the drying process, inside and out. And then after that going through the cutting process, then going through the process of sewing.

And the office is actually the backbone of our activities. The office is the place where we create the unused and unwanted trash to become good quality products. And then after that we have to sell the products. The only way to get the funds to send the children of the trash-pickers to go to school is by selling their products made out of waste. As the children grow, we realized that in order to go to school, in order to be successful in school, they really need to get good health.

So XSProject is now working with a hospital nearby where we give them a chance for the parents, the community to get a free service…  They live a very hard life. So what XSProject is trying to tell them that we can make sure that your kids will stay at school and that’s what creates the relationships, the trust. If something happens with the family or with the children, I cannot say no.

We have to keep going and I think stay true to working with your heart and true that we believe that we can do something. Change a little bit to the community and people will understand and they will help.

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