By Sammy Ladh
The existence of street children in Indonesia has been recorded since the 1980s, but since the multidimensional crisis in mid-1997, the number of street children increased rapidly. According to data from the Center for Data and Information (Pusdatin) Department of Social Affairs, the number of street children from year to year shows significant increase. In 2000, there were 59,517 children in 2002, 94,674. In 2004, 98,113 children spread to large cities. The definition of street children themselves, always quoted Pusdatin Kemensos RI, is a child of 5 to 21 years who spent the most a lot of time to make a living or wander the streets and in public places. Street children can be divided into three groups, namely:
1. Those who live for 24 hours on the road, completely separated from their family
2. Those who work on the road but still have a home and family
3. Those who take to the streets (or are vulnerable in the street), because his parents have already lived in the streets.
The existence of more and more street children is a problem, especially in large cities such as Yogyakarta. Their presence disrupts the convenience and safety of traffic and is often charged with criminal acts such as pickpocketing or assault. More suspicion that street children are controlled by some unions, which makes the existence of street children in the big cities disastrous.
Many parties have tried to solve this problem of street children. The government, in this case the district / city government, with various policies and regulations, sought to solve this problem, or at least mitigate its negative consequences. In addition, many non-governmental organizations are emerging to try to solve the problem
street children. Various models of manipulation have been undertaken, various projects and programs have been implemented, ranging from the popular shelters model, to the last quite horrible is the local regulation on the treatment of homeless and beggars issued by many district / city governments. However, this document is not intended to evaluate the projects and programs of street children.
Others see the “strangers” as rich people who only come to “share for fortune” without worrying too much about their real situation. By building these relationships as well, Yayasan Rumah Impian Indonesia (otherwise known as the Dreamhouse) can discover what most street children need through their own recognition and direct observation of their daily lives. In addition to finding their needs, through established relationships, the assistance provided to street children will not be just a charity from a stranger but “the help of a friend “who came out of deep empathy.
In keeping with its vision and mission, the help provided by the Dream House to street children is not only charity (food, clothing), but rather the help to empower them. Assistance in the form of entrepreneurship training and mentoring, apprenticeship support, preventive child care, scholarships for the children, and family support can better achieve its goals when it is ensured by established relationships. Indeed, an obstacle encountered by this solidarity approach is the need to spend a lot of time with street children.
The assistance provided is also long-term. Nevertheless, since the launch of its programs in 2008, good relations with street children have yielded many positive results. The number of street children who have volunteered to study at the Center for Self-Learning Activities (PKBM) with the help of Dream House, there are even 20 children returning to formal school in some schools from the elementary level. until high school with a full scholarship of Dream Home and now 80 Children are assisting in education center to prevent them from going to street. The awareness to stay at school increase from time to time, and this does not happen by coercion or lure, but by relationships that are intimately related to the Dream House volunteers.
Finally, Dream House believes that with this solidarity approach, the transformation can take place. It may take some time, but Dream House is ready to make the journey.
* Founder of Yayasan Rumah Impian Indonesia