Pasar Mandiri: The Volunteers’ Effort

Behind every successful event, there are always hard-working people. Although they are assigned to different parts, all of them become the backbone of the events. The real example is Pasar Mandiri, a project which Sekolah Sungai held on 7-8th of March. 

Pasar Mandiri is a project that introduces the idea of the importance of thrift shopping, which also reduces textile waste to the children. Held in respectively three places, which are at Sungai Code, Winongo, and Gajahwong, this event is successful because of the volunteers and coordinators’ efforts. For the volunteers, it must be a fun journey.

Enrico Ardhana Putra or Rico from Sekolah Sungai Winongo expressed that they had several steps to prepare the event. “For the first step, we have to gather unused clothes from people.” Following their publication through Project Child social media, they gathered a quite amount of clothes. The same thing is also expressed by Melisa Tanady, a volunteer from Sekolah Sungai Code. “We (the committee for Pasar Mandiri Code) sorted the clothes a week before the event.”

The volunteers didn’t work alone. The children also helped them to run this event through roleplaying. They became cashiers, securities, sellers, which is also an exercise for them to learn about the concept of responsibility. Ideas are also exchanged between the volunteers and the children. Therefore it is not only mainly from the volunteers’ opinions. 

While this event is considered a success, the obstacles are still there. A volunteer from Sekolah Sungai Gajahwong, Wani Utami, or Tami, revealed, “It was raining at the morning of the event (03/08).” She added that the volunteers also had difficulty in carrying back the unsold clothes. The same thing happened in Winongo as it was heavily raining in the morning, forcing them to delay their departure to Winongo. “We are supposed to go at 6 AM, but it got delayed to 8 AM.” said Rico. 

This annual event also benefits both the children and the volunteers. Melisa said she got the priceless experience and the importance of being grateful. “I think personally the children would get exposure on how to sell things which they wouldn’t get in school.” 

Lastly, all of them wished that the next Pasar Mandiri would also be successful. Tami said that she hoped for more attention in the preparation of the event. Rico said he would expect nicer decoration next year, and Melisa wished that it will always be a useful event for everyone. Despite all the difficulties they faced, we always try to improve ourselves to do good things. 

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