Feature: Solidarity for marginalized -- Indonesian youths "sell" free goods to people in need

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 24, 2021
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by Hayati Nupus

JAKARTA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Groups of young Indonesians set up stalls at free markets in several areas in the country as part of a campaign they call "solidarity for the marginalized".

People who come to these markets could take home second-hand clothes, books, shoes, and also vegetables, dried fish, ready-to-eat foods and cat foods, or have their hair cut for free.

Fahri Syah, aged 20 years old, a member of the Bogor Free Market located about 50 km south of capital Jakarta, said this action is based on the concept of mutual aid, giving their goods or skills to others voluntarily.

"These transactions involve no money at all," Syah told Xinhua on Monday.

The mutual aid turns out to be valuable, especially amidst the pandemic, as many people have been laid off and have had difficulty making a living, Syah added.

Held since June last year, a few months after the country was hit by the coronavirus, the Bogor Free Market opened their stalls in different places for vulnerable groups including the homeless, informal workers, street children selling tissue papers around traffic lights, and buskers.

Sometimes they build their stalls on the side of main roads or under bridges.

The Bogor Free Market opens stalls two to three times a month, depending on their readiness and the availability of the goods they are going to "sell".

The donations they receive are only in the form of goods or services, not money, for maintaining transparency and the spirit of humanity.

Donors who share goods or services are group members, friends, neighbors, relatives, people who contact them through social media, or anyone who wants to lend a helping hand.

Although the offerings are free, people are encouraged to take only what they need, Syah added.

There were participants who contributed their skills of cutting hair, and there were also medical students who brought sphygmomanometers to check blood pressures of their visitors.

A similar collaboration was held by 12 young people in the Samarinda Free Market, which is located on Indonesia's second-largest island of Kalimantan.

Together with the Happy Kitchen group, they provide dozens of ready-to-eat meals which are distributed free of charge.

"We share it with passion and love for humanity," said 30-year-old Seny Sebastian, a member of the Samarinda Free Market.

Today, these special free markets have spread across urban areas in Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Samarinda. Enditem

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