Catatan Pingit (English)

I’m beginning a serial post entitled #CatatanPingit (in English it says Notes about Pingit). It’s about my experience volunteering as teacher for homeless children in Pingit, Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

I started volunteering when I was in university, around 2007-2009, but then I got caught up with my undergrad thesis so I left the community since and went back to my hometown in Jakarta. Since I got married and moved back to Jogjakarta permanently, I re-joined the group. Ever since I joined, I always think I am so lucky and blessed to be able to experience both formal and informal education. There are things in life that often unbearable and hard to digest, but the lives of these children and their families taught me how to face the ordeal in a different way that I was brought up.

There are no real science or theory to deal with these kids. I wasn’t given any kind of theory or tips on how to talk with them on my first day. I just jumped in directly to the ocean of the unknown. And I am still learning. I have read some philosophical books to help answer some of the questions in life. Yet, most of the times, these marginal people are the ones who actually show me the way how to live life, to appreciate what you have, and why you have to always be grateful.

Through the series, I want to share with you my ride with the kids, and I hope that you, too, would like to give me some tips on how to help them. For example, teaching a 10 year old girl ABC and numbers. That’s just one tiny example. There are other challenges far more difficult. And of course, I want to share what sorts of insights I have gained.

Because my target is for Indonesian people in general, I would most likely write in Indonesian, though I would occasionally write in English as well.

Hopefully, these kids will get a second chance in order to earn a better life. #CatatanPingit


Author: Maria Ambarastuti

A wife, a worker, a dreamer. trying to live her life to the fullest and continue to search for ways to enrich life. drop me an email for further chats:

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