I Don’t Get Paid to Be Awesome

by Witri Utami (Sekolah Sungai Volunteer)

  Sherry Anderson once said, “Volunteers do not get paid, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless”.

     A volunteer is also known as an unpaid worker. When it comes to volunteering, the only requirements that we should have are passion and positivity. The positivity comes from the positive attitude, it is shown when our mind is looking for valuable action that we can do for everyone. While passion is about the willingness and effort to do it continuously, wherever and whenever it is needed.

Tami is the one who is wearing black hijab

     My name is Witri Utami, I just graduated from a private university, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta, majoring in law. I had never been involved in volunteer activities and decided to do it when my friends told me about their experience involved in volunteering at Project Child Indonesia. Then, I tried to find out more about volunteer activities on Project Child Indonesia through social media and followed the selection process. One of the interesting things about Project Child Indonesia is the friendliness of its members that make us comfortable to interact with each other. They welcome new members in a fun and educational way, which can be seen from a welcoming party session that is filled by a sharing session and then followed by some activities that can unite one another.

     Project Child Indonesia offers volunteer opportunities which consists of some divisions and one of them is Sekolah Sungai. Sekolah Sungai has numerous projects where we are able to increase our social engagement skills. We conduct activities for the society in certain areas to provide additional knowledge that will be useful for their daily life. Also, we have projects for children such as learning class and Pasar Mandiri which was conducted last month. We believe that school is not enough for social learning, as we are aware that the main purpose of school is providing an academic aspect.

     Project Child Indonesia tries to help the children of the younger generation to learn about social engagement where children will pay attention to how to do everything with sincerity, like helping others through volunteering. Volunteering in Project Child Indonesia is not only about having a connection to the community or committing activities together, but also benefiting us as we have various self-development programs as a tool for us to develop ourselves. Self-development is not only for personal interests, but also to familiarize themselves with each other.

     As Kofi Annan said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the others for helping others.”

     That is the value that I got in Project Child Indonesia as long as I become a volunteer. Volunteering as a family where we are working together to spread kindness through useful activities. It can transform yourself to become a responsible person. Furthermore, it is one of the ways to boost your personality. 

Be Good, Do Good, Feel Good

by Monica (Sekolah Sungai Volunteer)

Firstly, let me introduce myself, my name is Monica and I am currently studying at UPN “Veteran” Yogyakarta majoring in Petroleum Engineering batch 2016.

Monica in one of the Sekolah Sungai session

I want to share my experience since I become one of the volunteers in Project Child Indonesia (PCI) Batch #30. It has been 2 months since we did a training and welcoming party before becoming active in PCI’s program. My position in this organization is the volunteer of Sekolah Sungai in Winongo River. Sekolah Sungai is one of the programs which the target is given to the community at three riverbanks in Yogyakarta namely Winongo, Gajahwong, and Code. Every group has seven volunteers including two interns. I am so grateful that I could meet new friends and make new experiences with others while trying to achieve our mission together although we are from different backgrounds.

At Sekolah Sungai, we focus on conducting events based on their needs and potentials, for example Pasar Mandiri, Nutrition Supply, and Urban Farming. At the first and second of Sekolah Sungai in Winongo visits, we tried to introduce ourselves by calling the children around their house. I was really impressed by their enthusiasm and friendliness. We gathered them into a community meeting place, but they still forced me to call their other friends. Then, they took my hand and I felt so happy as I thought some of the children were shy. I thought they would be shy to meet me for the first time, but they were so brave. In our activities which only lasted for 2 hours, we did many things such as introducing our team, playing together, giving them the rules when they joined the class which helped them to respect others, and lastly we explained the material needed. At the end of the meeting, we gave them fruits. After the class finished, they were so happy and I was proud when they were excited to join the next meeting. Then we made plans for the next meeting. We were part of this volunteering and we wanted to give our best contribution to them. I made sure that all groups were planned clearly and in detail according to the plan. 

The first program was Pasar Mandiri, a secondhand market by the children of Sekolah Sungai to raise awareness about the importance of thrift shopping to reduce textile waste. It also provided an opportunity for children to learn what transaction was and how it worked. For the next meeting at Sekolah Sungai, we gave the children an opportunity to roleplay which helped them to understand to become a security, seller, buyer, note taker, and cashier. Then we made some decorations too. At Pasar Mandiri we sold second hand clothes for people around there and the income was used to give educational events for the children in riverbanks of Winongo, Gajah Wong, and Code.

I am content that I could see their beaming faces when they joined the class. I have learnt many things that we have to be always grateful for what we have now. I love a quote by John Wesley, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” as it reminds me to do good to everyone. As they say, keep your circle positive and surround yourself with good people!