Apa kabar Indonesia!
– Let’s eat! Ramadan is finally over!
* Apa kabar is Indonesian which means “how are you?”
Lim Hee Sung
I run into town people on my way to go to work like everyday. For JTS activists in Indonesia, it is the beginning of the day to say good morning to the town people at the work place. JTS Indonesia have supported kindergartens, town medical offices, and water canals in Lubu cba song, Dil la dang ky mang, and Ttyu this year. We are also planning to provide farming equipments at the proper time. We had to ask medical officials’ advice because we’ve never had any experiences to build a medical office in town before, while we had built a kindergarten and water canal last year. We are about to build a living space in the new medical office this time, so that the medical staffs can stay in for 24 hours, since the medical office is the first step for town people to get treatment. We believe that the medical office will be helpful for pregnant women and infants, who feel difficult to move to far places, after it’s completed. The kindergarten will be built with 3 classrooms just like the previous building, built in last year. I think 3 class rooms are enough to handle increasing children’s number in town. We decide to provide farming equipments, mainly the ones which can be delivered from Indonesia and are easy to be fixed by people in town.
The Ramadan, which had been in a month, was over yesterday(19th Aug). Ramadan is a Islamic holiday, which means ‘hot moon’. During Ramadan, Islamic people can’t eat until the sun goes down, and they pray all night at a islamic temple. This is Indonesia, and Islam is Indonesian’s national religious so it is difficult for us to force Indonesian people to work, during Ramadan.? Although JTS activists are not Islamic, we agreed to follow Ramadan custom in a way to share and respect Indonesian culture. After Ramadan, Lebaran(Indonesian Holiday) begins. We can finally start the construction again after a week break, the Lebaran holidays. I’d like to say thank you to JTS activists Sun-Wook Kim, and Sung-Gen Oh for following the rule of Ramadan.
JTS Indonesia now has two big agendas ahead: securing legal standing in Indonesia, and diversifying its projects. For the legal standing, Sun-Wook Kim has taken care of it since the beginning of this year. Korean activists are issued 2 month visa as an social and culture invitation in Indonesia. Therefore, we have experienced many difficulties. For example we need to get native people’s permission not only for financial or office work, but for insignificant work such as moving or setting up the internet. I think we can freely work not going through natives and are finally able to get better legal standing, if JTS corporation is established in Indonesia within this year. For diversifying JTS projects, Sung-Gen Oh has handled it. Mostly, he is thinking about two things: how make the best use of proper skills to support town and how establish the town union. Proper skills means a environment-friendly technology which saves resources and energy by meeting the regional condition. Our plans are to support a system which makes water clean and to provide the drinkable water to KEC. KAMANG MUDIK, KAB. AGAM, WEST SUMATRA from rain water. KAMANG MUDIK is located in 900 meter above the sea level, so it’s impossible to dig a well in town. If a water cart comes to the town, people pay money to drink water. They are already poor, so buying water is huge burden to them. Most of the town people use living water from the mountain stream. They fill a basket with the stream water and every town people get water from the basket. The problem is that agricultural pesticides, used by farmers for planting, permeate through the ground and it contaminates the stream water.
For the union foundation, we would like to adopt a long term approach. One of the problems, this town has, is a lack of jobs. Most of people in town work at a palm, but it doesn’t make any better to get over the poverty because it is very unstable job. That’s why JTS Indonesia has tried to found a sewing union for women and a fishing farming union for men to earn money.
Of course, many studies should be done for the projects before acting, but I think it would be helpful to improve living condition of the town people, if the plans are successful. In Indonesia, as you can see, three JTS men have been living together, thinking how to make the town better place to live and working on the projects. Sometimes it goes fast or slowly but steadily, we are making our dreams in Indonesia. Thank you.