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Thinking out of the box on World Food Day

Indonesia, October 18, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Fitria Rinawati/Mercy Corps Indonesia  </span>
    Rusli (9) expressed his thought about World Food Day Photo: Fitria Rinawati/Mercy Corps Indonesia
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Fitria Rinawati/Mercy Corps Indonesia  </span>
    Santiya (17), GCC leader during her peering presentation about World Food Day Photo: Fitria Rinawati/Mercy Corps Indonesia
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Arum Ismartini/Mercy Corps Indonesia  </span>
    Cici's campaign banner; spreading words about world hunger on world food day Photo: Arum Ismartini/Mercy Corps Indonesia

Over the weekend, children in the Yayasan Darma Indonesia orphanage were cheered up by the visit of Global Citizen Corps (GCC) leaders and volunteers.

“World Food Day - I have never known such of day before," said nine-year-old Rusli, dressed in a praying cap. "It is fun. I won many quizzes so I got lots of prices. Though it is sad to know others in different places in the world are in hunger. I saw it on the video that leaders brought it for us. I feel so fortunate instead with my condition, living in the orphanage and having enough food.”

It's a simple but powerful expression from a child who has never been exposed to an issue like world hunger. He is living with 70 others in this orphanage, where they spend their days with religious activities and getting an elementary school education. The GCC leader’s activities taught him to think out of the box — to get to know about worldwide hunger and the plight of poor people in Indonesia, as well as the importance of healthy food and healthy behavior. These message were delivered in creative ways by the GCC members through videos, presentations and games.

Santiya, Bella and Hanum are just three among the 100 GCC leaders in Jakarta who initiated the event. “This year, the World Food Day theme is 'United Against Hunger.' It’s amazed me to know that there are around 1.02 billion malnourished individual across the world. We’d love to do something to get involved in the movement. We distributed sugar, milk, rice and school utensils. It’s not about the big amount or value we brought to the community, it’s about the change! It’s only the beginning of our change we made,” Santiya said enthusiastically.

“I know now, it is World Food Day today, when we can do simple things that can change many things. We are part of the change!” Rusli commented.

Responding to key global issues is one of GCC's main mandates. It is an international movement of young people who connect globally and act locally to end poverty and address related development challenges.

Supported by Mercy Corps, selected young leaders serve as GCC leaders Indonesia to

  1. Engage in on-line discussion and dialogue to learn about each other and about critical global issues. The discussions and youth-produced multi-media reports will be uniquely enriched by the diverse cross-cultural perspectives.
  2. Organize and lead at least two action projects that educate others, provide a community service improvement, or affect public policy on one or more of six key issues: hunger, climate change, access to education, access to water, conflict, and human rights.

In other parts of Jakarta — still in the same spirit of commemorating World Food Day — Cici, one of GCC leaders, and Ami, an activist who involved in Cici's campaign, walked around the UIN (State Islamic University) campus and raised awareness about World Food Day.

They spread banners, handed out flyers and encouraged their friends to sign petitions. Dozens of people signed the petitions and hundreds donated money.

“Hunger is everybody’s business!" said Cici.

“We want people to be aware that many are hungry. While they can have complete meals every day here in Jakarta, some of our people are still striving for food,” added Ami.

The donation number hit IDR 850,000 (US$95)! Cici and team are very excited about it. They are planning to donate it to an orphanage that's run by the university. Cici tells us that the orphanage's greatest need is food. So, she planned to spend some of the donation money to buy food for them, and some for buying them some kitchen tools.

Cici realized that this is only a small action. That’s why, she is already busy designing another action for her community. “Wait and see,” she smiled, “I plan to do something about education.” We will, Cici. And oh, a little bird told us that it’s going to be a library for the community? How exciting!