Introducing Cirendeu Handicrafts

Introducing Cirendeu Handicrafts

Girl wearing Cirendeu Handicrafts dressAt XSProject, we are committed to supporting the young women and mothers in the Cirendeu community who want to earn their own income by gaining skills to start their own businesses.

Womanesia a club of students at the Jakarta Intercultural School, is leading a project that sent two mothers, Darni and Rokhana to sewing classes for the past 18 weeks.

They started as beginners and have now graduated from the advanced level class. They have already begun accepting orders for clothing and household items.

In May, Yuni, another mom, joined the group. She had been working as a sewer in a factory. She received so little salary she could not support her family. Now, by using her skills, she has opportunities to show and sell her ready to wear at bazaars and to acquire new customers. Thank you to Womanesia for their continued support by promoting and advertising in their international community for these mom’s.

Here in the US, Darni, Rokhana and now Yuni are the mothers who sew the Little Girl Dresses available for sale ($20 each) on our website. Sales from these dresses go directly back to these three women.
Karen With Cirendeu Handicrafts Group

In addition to Darni, Rokhana and Yuni, there are six other young women and mothers who are creating and making jewelry…from trash! These products will soon be available for purchase on our website.

Some great features of the jewelry are that all earring wires are hypo-allergenic, much of the jewelry is created using paper beads they make by hand from magazines, earrings and necklaces from plastic wrappers and discarded batik scraps and earrings made from the inner tubes of motorcycle tires. Sales from the jewelry go directly back to these mothers.

The women have decided to call their business Cirendeu Handicrafts. We hope you will support them with your purchase of their products on our website and at our conferences and trade shows. 
Cirendeu Handicrafts Group Picture

Let the Sun Empower the People – Solar Lamps for Students

Let the Sun Empower the People – Solar Lamps for Students

Retno and group of students with solar lampsTheir homes are barely 20 square feet, to house a family of five. There are no windows and the solitary light bulb doesn’t shed enough light to read by. The only other light in the home is from the television.

This is the environment that children in XSProject’s education program, who live at the Cirendeu garbage dump, struggle with every day. Once the sun goes down at about 6:00, doing homework and trying to study for a test is impossible. Many of the young people already have poor vision and wear eyeglasses.

When the organization, Future Without Poverty offered XSProject 20 personal solar lights for the students, we just couldn’t refuse. Made by Flexiway Solar Solutions, the lights can sit on a table, the floor, or even be hung. Retno with student and solar lamp
So, one Sunday afternoon last May, XSProject’s General Manager gathered twenty middle and high school students together to show them how to charge and use to their own personal solar lamps for studying and walking safely home from school when it is dark.

It took the students no time at all to learn to install the stand and operate the two brightness levels. There was a lot of excitement as Retno Hapsari handed each student his/her very own solar light.

There are still 54 students at the community who could benefit from having a personal solar light to study by. XSProject is not able to obtain more free of charge, but we can purchase them for $10 each. We think the benefits to the students is immeasurable.

Retno with student and solar lampYou can be part of this amazing program to help XSProject purchase 54 more solar lights, by making a $10 donation on line to XSProject today.

All donations of $10 in the month of June will be used to purchase solar lights for the remaining 54 students.
Students with solar lamps

Donated Eyeglass Frames

Donated Eyeglass Frames

By Retno Hapsari

Photo of Rokhanah wearing her eyeglassesIt started in April 2015 with Darni. As she began to learn more complicated skills in her sewing classes she had difficulty seeing small details. I told her to go get her eyes checked. New eyeglass frames are very expensive, but it just so happened that Noto, Darni’s husband, had found a pair of glasses when he was out picking trash. So Darni’s prescription lenses were popped into her “new” frames. Then she was very happy because she could see better and her new prescription glasses don’t give her a headache.

Soon after Darni received her eyeglasses, RSIA Lestari Women and Children’s Hospital and XSProject partnered to offer the first eye exams to all Cirendeu community, administered by Dr. Titi’s nurses. The adults who could not see clearly received free glasses from Dr. Titi.

But after a week the women stopped wearing their free glasses and began complaining of headaches as soon as they wore them. But Darni was still very happy with her prescription glasses. It was then that I understood the problem.

When Darni got her prescription glasses, she told me that she had to take them off when she was not in sewing class because she was embarrassed about being teased. Other moms would say things like: “Oh, you look like a successful women.” (translation: you don’t deserve to be a successful women because of who you are). I told her – forget about what other people say and just say ‘it’s ok’ – I also told her that she was the first person to understand the benefits of wearing glasses and to tell the other moms how her life is much easier now. Then everybody will want to wear the right glasses.

Then, when Samantha came last November to teach the moms how to make jewelry, it was actually an “eye opener” for the six members of the class when they realized they also needed glasses to be able to see the small details needed to make jewelry.

Last week Darni took three moms, to the same eye doctor she went to. Sutiah always had the worst eyes. Her prescription lenses were -10.

The frames, given to XSProject by our friends in the US saved us a lot of money since we didn’t have to buy new frames. Darni said that she was bargaining so hard for the lenses that she only paid Rp. 800.000 (($60.00) for the 3 pairs prescription glasses. I had given the bag with the frames from you all to Darni and the 3 moms so they could choose their own frames. You see in the pictures what Supena, Rokhanah and Sutiah chose.Photo of Supena and Sutiah wearing their eyeglasses

When Supena returned to the making jewelry class last Monday wearing her new glasses, and said that she could see so much better, the other moms are now thinking they need glasses too!

Sorry for the long story, please thank Tom, Diane, Tracy and Karen :) for donating the frames.

From the Generosity of Strangers – A New Family

From the Generosity of Strangers – A New Family

Photo of Endi and Mrs SalimThe trash pickers of Jakarta have very little money and few  possessions. But as I travel through the community during my visits, I have met some very  generous people. Not only do they share the little that they have but they freely open their hearts and homes to others even less fortunate than they are.



Thirty years ago, Endi was a 7 year old street kid in Jakarta. He had been living in an orphanage, and never knew his father. His mother visited him during holidays but could not take care of him. When she stopped visiting, he ran away. Endi survived on the streets of Jakarta working odd jobs for two years. When he was nine he met two other boys, Sapei and Sunardi. They felt sorry for Endi and convinced him to come home with them.



Home turned out to be the Cirendeu open garbage dump. Sapei and Sunardi were two of the eight children of Pak (Mr.) and Ibu (Mrs) Salim. A  big family already, yet he was welcomed as if he was their own child. The Salim’s were Endi’s first real family. Pak Salim taught him important things to survive in the world, just as he had taught his other sons.

One of the reasons why XSProject exists is because Pak Salim always regretted that he and his children never had an education. He wanted future generations of children to have an education so they would not grow up to follow their parents to the trash business. This was a promise XSProject made to Pak Salim before he died in 2010.


Today, Endi 37, is married to Munah, 26 and has three children. Fiki 7 and the oldest, attends the XSProject pre-school and will enter First Grade in July. Sila 5, will start pre-school soon and Rafhah the baby.
Photo of Endi and his family



Endi is a trash picker. He remains at Cirendeu, working with his brothers, selling recyclable materials to take care of his own family. But his children will never have to live that life. They will get a complete K-12 education through XSProject.

When Ibu Salim’s house was destroyed by the floods in 2014, Endi, Sapei, Sundari and the neighbors built a bigger and better house for his “mother”. While the family is strong and very close, Endi longs to one day find his birth mother, Luisawati. Since he was a young boy, he has saved every phone number and address of people who might know how to find her. He has not had luck yet, but does not give up hope, either.



As XSProject works in the trash picker community, we realize that every individual and every family has a story to tell; where they came from and how they got to Cirendeu. Breaking the generational cycle of trash picking and helping these families have a better quality of life is preparing them for a future when they will no longer have to live this way. At XSProject, though, we know the community and family bonds are strong and these can never be broken.


Photo of Endis Family

Jupri’s Story

Jupri’s Story

Picture of JupriPeople call me Jupri. My real name is Juju Juheri and I am 32 years old. I work at XSProject in Jakarta, Indonesia.I only have a middle school education. When my mother died, I had to quit school to make money for the family.

I started by directing cars where to park at a shopping center. I made money from tips doing that. I really love music so then I began playing guitar and singing on Jakarta’s streets. After that I became a construction worker, building houses in Jakarta. But things got bad and I had to find other work again.

One of my friends worked at XSProject as a sewer, making products from plastic trash. XSProject sells the products and with the money, helps the trash pickers. In 2005 I went there and Ibu (Mrs) Uni said I could have a job washing the trash. I made very little money but I liked the idea of helping the trash picker community in my small way.

I was a trash washer for two years. Then Ibu Uni said if I could also be a courier for XSProject, I could make more money. So I did.

Every day when my work was finished, I watched the sewers making the products. I watched for one whole year. One day, while the sewers were taking a break, I sat at one of the machines and taught myself how to make a plastic tote bag.

After the sewers were finished each day, I would sew some bags and earn extra money for each bag I made. After one year I stopped being a washer and became a full time sewer. This was good for me because the sewers got to live at the XSProject workshop for free. We only went home once a month. I was a sewer for six years.

Picture of where Juri learned to sewIn 2010 I married Erlina. Today we have a 4 year old daughter. But for now they live too far away for me to be with them, so I send money home instead.

There never was enough money and I was always looking for a way to make more. I watched other people working at XSProject using computers. I wanted to learn because I knew it was a way to a better life. So I watched…and soon I learned… I taught myself how to use Excel. It took a long time but I was patient. In 2014, Ibu Retno, XSProject’s General Manager asked me to be in charge of procurement, manage the raw materials and also the products the sewers made. I did not know how to do this, but I learned.

I like working for XSProject and seeing how we help the trash pickers and send their children to school. I feel good about my work but I miss my family a lot. When my daughter is old enough, XSProject will pay for her to go to school for 12 years. She will have a better life than me.

Some day I would like to have my own company that helps the poor, like XSProject does. I also dream of a balanced life. Right now I have to sacrifice for my future. I want to find a way to balance my family, work and my music. By the time I am 40, I want to have my life in balance and my family with me.

So that is about me. About Jupri. Thank you.

XSProject-USA Wholesale Catalog Available

XSProject-USA Wholesale Catalog Available

Do you love XSProject’s story and products? Do you think other people might also love to hear about our work?

XSProject now has products available for church and school fund raising events.This is a great opportunity to teach children about recycling and poverty. XSProject can also make short film clips, photos and informational material available  to make this your best fund raising event ever.

For more information contact Karen@xsproject-usa.org and request an XSProject Wholesale Catalog.

A Field Trip to the Hospital – How Your Donations Are Spent

A Field Trip to the Hospital – How Your Donations Are Spent

Do you remember your first trip to the doctor’s office? Do you remember how you felt? Were you anxious? Nervous? Even with Mom there?
 Akbar, Kirana, Zheefana, and Rika visit the doctor
XSProject’s kindergarten teacher, Miss Vicky arranged to have her class of 12 pre-schooler’s take a field trip to RSIA Lestari Women and Children’s Clinic and Hospital to see what going to the doctor was all about. To make things even more fun, she invited their mothers to go along, too.
 
But Miss Vicky had a secret plan. This was going to be the very first health check up for the little kids from the Cirendeu open garbage dump and she wanted it to be a fun experience.
 
As adults, many trash pickers will not go to a doctor no matter how sick they are because they are afraid.
 
RSIA Lestari has a special relationship with XSProject. Dr. Titi, who owns the hospital and her staff take care of the Cirendeu trash picker community and sends the bills, at a reduced rate, to XSProject.
 
When Miss Vicky arrived at Lestari with the children and mothers, they were greeted by Dr. Maya and her three assistants.
 
It was a lot of fun to get their height measured and getting weighed on the fancy scale! Then they got to sit on the big hospital bed to get their ears checked, stick out their tongues and say “AHHHH” and feel the cold stethoscope listening to their heart rates.DoctorVisit1
 
After all the excitement of the trip, and the attention of the nurses, it was time to have blood drawn and receive shots for Diphtheria, Pertissus, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Hib (the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5).
 
Suddenly this field trip wasn’t so fun anymore, even with mom right by their sides. But they were brave and tried hard not to cry as they got pinched and stuck in both arms! On top of that, there was the humiliation of having to give the nurse a urine sample! Thank goodness that was the last thing Dr. Maya and the nurses asked them to do!
 
Before they left, Dr. Titi and her team of doctors gave the children nutritional snacks and milk.
 
Some of the children were sick and could not get their vaccinations. Dr. Maya sent medicine home with their mothers, with instructions on how to administer it. They would come back the following week.
 
On October 28, Miss Vicky took her class and the mothers back to Lestari to learn the results of the children’s tests. All of the children are underweight and have nutritional deficiencies. Dr. Maya wants to schedule x-rays for some of the children and other children have hookworm. Hookworm is caused by walking barefoot on contaminated soil (like a garbage dump) and causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue and anemia. The physical and cognitive growth of children can be affected.
 
Miss Vicky and XSProject instruct both children and adults to wear shoes. But in many cases, they have no shoes, just “flip flops”.
 
For $100, all 12 of these children received complete heath check-up, their mothers learned how to keep their children healthy and our great GlobalGiving donors get to see the results of their donations through these adorable pictures. XSProject is continually grateful for the wonderful GlobalGiving community. You are helping to save lives every day. Thank you.

Photo of Fikki getting ready for a shot.