People 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.
In 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.