(Written in December 2020)
My name is Sali. In 2017, I graduated with a B.A. in Arts from a university of Bandung. Upon graduation, I moved to Batam.
Since I was a child, I was taught the importance of sharing with others, whether it be at home or at school. After all, sharing can be as simple as giving used clothes that are still suitable for fire victims. I think it's easy for anyone to learn to share.
When I graduated from middle school, I chose to continue my studies at an SMK (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan, or vocational schools), where I joined the school's Paskibra team. There, our coaches organized a social service activity every year. Whenever I participated, I found a unique joy in seeing the smiles from the people we served. From that point on, I began frequently looking for information about the world of volunteering.
When I graduated, one of the correctional institutions in Bandung opened a volunteer program. Although it was intimidating, this was the first time I tried to independently register as a volunteer. However, I had to let the opportunity go to move out of town.
I first heard about Rumah Faye in 2019, where I occasionally participated in online sharing sessions that the Rumah Faye team held because we could not do face-to-face activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To my surprise, I was able to grow more involved in Rumah Faye’s activities. Finally, in November 2020, I was able to contribute directly by joining as an apprentice staff at Rumah Faye to teach in a safe house. Some of the activities I do are teaching basic skills, English, and Mathematics.
At first, I was afraid that I could not attract the interest of the children there. However, just like teaching in schools, each child is different and we can find numerous ways to entertain them. Sometimes, I give them small games to help hone their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Like all other children, they are very excited when they enter skill-based subjects, because there they can freely express their creative ideas. In fact, it is not uncommon for them to teach each other about things they already know, such as how to plant using hydroponics.
While doing activities as a volunteer, I have learned many new things. I have learnt sincerity, patience, and to be grateful for the blessings I have received so far. In addition, being a volunteer whose job is to help victims of violence - especially children - has provided me with a lot of understanding on the characteristics and traits of children which is very useful for my work in the future.
Let's open our eyes and ears. There are numerous cases of violence against children that is happening around us. Sometimes, we are so busy with our own business that we forget that we are social beings living side by side with other people. Volunteers do not just provide material assistance. Above that, volunteers devote their hearts and minds to one goal: to see the victims rise up and become new people. The smile and confidence that each victim can get back is something that cannot be bought with any amount of material. Happy International Volunteer Day.
Let’s all be volunteers!
Author : Sali Ginting
Editor : Mellysa Anastasya
Translator : Faye Simanjuntak