PEKA Group Helping and Developing Community

Writer: Billy K. Tambahani

There is a Christian group in the city of Bandung which hold social services in a unique way. This group is named Peka, so it is often called the Peka Group. Peka Group has the objective to promote and improve the lives of the poor by giving them jobs and income for their efforts. In the city of Bandung, the unemployment rate is quite high and led to increased of poor population and families in the city. This is compounded by the high rate of displacement of poor people to the city who want to find work. The newcomers then actually are stuck in the city, unemployed and poor because they do not have the expertise and skills and adequate education to get job. That is why Peka Group targets the unemployed and the urban poor to make them have a better life.

Peka Group started its activity with the ministry to invite the poor and those who do not have a job to jointly collect plastic waste in the area where they live. The plastic waste is one of the major problems in the city due to the use of plastics in various forms for various purposes. The plastic garbage collection activity has also helped the government to reduce the presence of plastic waste which is difficult to unravel.

Plastic waste is then collected in a shelter. People who carry a plastic garbage into the shelter will be given cash payment based on the type and weight of plastic waste they carry.

At the center of the plastic waste collection, Peka Group invited the poor to come to work together to sort and clean up plastic waste that exists. Some of them are working as a recorder the size of the weighing scales, as employees determining the type of plastic, plastic cleaners, as clerks in payments and other section. All of them working in the garbage disposal center are paid a salary as a reward for their work.  Rubbish that had accumulated after cleaning  will be dried, and then will be sold to the plastics processing plant.

Peka Group has increased its revenue rapidly since it was founded.  Today, Peka Group has evolved and become a big company in recycling plastic waste and producing plastic seed in Bandung.  Peka Group also has another field of business such as property, farm, fertilizer, and piggeries.

Activities Carried by Peka Group
There are many activities which are conducted by Peka Group, such as:
1. Managing the waste recycling business
Peka Group has its own office that manage all activities related to        the waste recycling.  People will come to this office and bring their      waste that can be recycled such as plastic, paper, and iron.  And            there are some people whose job is to receive and calculate the             price of the waste.

  1. Provide social assistance to employees and surrounding communities
    If there are employees or people in the environment who need help, the Peka Group will provide social assistance as required and this action is adapted well to the existing capabilities of the group.
  1. Provide capital assistance to business partners
    to provide capital assistance to people who want to be partner in the field of recycling bins
  1. Providing housing assistance to employees and displaced persons
    providing shelter and bedroom for employees in a residence
  1. Providing scholarships for children who are from poor family
  2. Creating a shelter for migrants who can not afford
  3. Provide assistance to local government
  4. Organize meetings for employees in accordance to their religion once a week.
  5. Hold a Christmas social event every year
  6. Hold a recreation and worship Easter event for employees and partners every year
  7. Hold a mission visit to other regions in Indonesia
  8. Opening of new jobs in the other region, especially in the field of recycling plastic waste

The Types of Businesses
Until today Peka Group is becoming increasingly advanced and there are some types of businesses that is currently undertaken, that is:

  1. Selling and Purchase waste materials
  2. Recycling bins
  3. Plastic Seed Production
  4. Production of Fertilizers
  5. Residential property
  6. Livestock breeding
  7. Cooperative savings and loan

Social Services Activity
In its social services, Peka Group has become a growing company and provide benefits to society and the city. In the context of its social services, Peka Group has managed to carry out the following functions:

  1. Blessing the poor
  2. Empowering the poor
  3. Opening new jobs
  4. Providing shelter
  5. Improving living standards of the poor people
  6. Involve the poor in business
  7. Educating people to become entrepreneurs
  8. Training the communities to have a good personality and faith in the Lord
  9. Building good character and self-sufficient society.

My Observation And Thoughts
I was living in a house adjacent to the location of Peka Group and I got involved in the ministry in this place, so I pretty much know what this group are doing and who they served as well as what forms of social services undertaken by this group.

According to my observation, Peka group has done the social services  very well at all for the poor and migrants from outside the province. Many people who do not have a home, come to this place and they are given the jobs and adequate wages every month.

Peka group also give spiritual guidance to people who become employees so their characters and attitudes are changed and become better personally.

A Story of Angel

Writer: Billy K. Tambahani

Her name is Angel,  a very good name that was given by her beloved father, whose face  she never saw in her whole life.  Her father died when she was still in the womb of, Susy, her mother.  He asked Susy to give the baby the name “Angel”, while he was in the hospital, before he passed away.   Angel believe that her father loved her so much.  He might hope that Angel would become like an angel who is the representative of God, in this wicked and corrupted world.

Angel was born when her mother was very poor and not having place to stay.  Susy is a woman with low education and came from a hinterland.  The death of her husband made her be so quickly lost all the possessions and without income.  She had no job when giving birth to Angel. She was homeless and moved from one place to another.  She usually slept on the sidewalk in front of a shop which she felt safe to sleep in Bandung, one of a big city in Indonesia.  Having no relatives in that big city and far away from family, made her alone and lost.

An old man helped Susy to gave birth to Angel.  And from that time, Angel was adopted by that old man without legal process and letter of adoption from the competent institution of the state.  He gave a small amount of money for Susy and helped paying the cost of childbirth in the maternity clinic.  Susi was asked to care for Angel up to 5 years old.

Separated from Mother
When Angel was 5, she was brought to another city by her adoptive parents.  She was separated from her mother since that time.  Angel’s adoptive father was a good person, but he married again and lived with his second wife in another city.   His second wife was not a good person and hated Angel.  She liked to force Angel to do the housekeeping work.

Her adoptive father knew the situation and send Angel to a boarding school since she was 7 years old.  It was a catholic school with some strict rules in Medan, a city in North Sumatera. Angel liked to be in that school, but she often remember Susy, her mother and wanted to meet her.  Angel knows that she is a child of Susy.

Once, when Angel was in the 4th grade, she was sent back to her adoptive parents because of breaking a rule.  She was in her adoptive father’s house but the situation was very different.  She was forced even more to do many works of housekeeping by his adoptive father’s second wife, and sometime got beaten because of doing something not properly.  One day, she was expelled from the house by his adoptive father’s second wife, and she went to the street.

Angel took a bus and went to another city. She was still 9 years old at the moment.  She arrived in Pekanbaru, a city in Sumatera.   She had no place to stay and she became a homeless who lived and slept on the sidewalk of the street.   She met many children and people whose activities were begging or playing music on the street for some coins.  Then, she became a street performer requesting mercy of others.

Two years had passed, Angel was still in Pekanbaru and she often slept in the front door of a shop.  Every morning, the owner of the shop, Mr. Acong, a chinese man, always noticed the existence of Angel.  Thinking of adding some employee to his shop and to help Angel, Mr. Acong asked her if she wanted to work as a shopkeeper.  She gladly received the offer, started to work and stayed there.

The Life as a Prostitute
Angel had some girl friends at the shop who was also workers.   One of them had bad attitudes, and invited her to go doing another job at another place.  She said that the work is very simple and giving a lot of money.  Thinking about having a lot of money and to advance her life with the consideration of her situation during two years working at the shop, Angel then left her job at Mr. Acong’s shop and went with her girl friend.

Contrary to what she thought about the job, her friend brought her to a place in Bangka Island, to became a prostitute.  She didn’t want to do that kind of job but she was trapped in that place and slowly became familiar with the situations there and accustomed to life as a prostitute, because she was forced and threatened.

She was there for 7 years and during those times, several times, she realized that she has to change her life because the life she lived was dangerous for her.  She sometimes thinks about God and pray, asking for God’s help.  She never went to a church, but once, a pastor met her and said to her, “God loves you, God wants you to leave your sins and come to God.”  This incident is always remembered by Angel, but she didn’t go to church yet.

Besides working as a prostitute, Angel was selling drugs too.  She didn’t just sell, but she used the drugs too for herself.   One day, an undercover cop framed her for selling drugs and wanted to catch her, but Angel ran and escaped from the police pursuit.  But, she had injured one of her leg that she needed an operation at the moment.

During her life in Bangka as a prostitute, one of her closest friend died because of HIV/AIDS.  This made Angel thinking about her future and life.  She realized the risk of dangerous diseases to infect her body.  And this situation helped her to think of quit from the prostitution. She was very afraid to die, because she felt not ready spiritually.

The Search for Birth Mother
Angel came to the decision of leaving her life as a prostitute and started a new way of life.  She met a social worker who help her escape from the prostitute locality.  She began to search for her birth mother, Susy.  He knew only a little information about her.  Thinking of the possibilities to search information from her adoptive father, she went to his house in Medan and got the information of her mother last address.

She went to the city where her mother was.  Trying to find clues from some people who knows about her mother by stating her names and characteristic features, she finally found her mother with great happiness and stayed with her mother at a small place.

Changing of Life
Starting a new life with her mother, Angel found some difficulties to find a job.  She still had some illegal drugs from her friend and thinking of selling it to get money. But, after thinking deeply about the risk she would have, all the drugs were thrown away.  She had made a good decision and then struggled for her economic condition.

Few months without job and income, Angel became depressed and sick.  A friend of her mother asked a pastor who was also a social worker to come to see her.  The pastor was very kind to her and listened to what Angel said about her history of life.  After listening carefully to her, the pastor then asked her to pray together and surrender all things to God.  Before leaving, he promised her to find a suitable job and good community for her.

Only one week after the meeting, Angel got the job at a company based on community development and Christian values, in Bandung. She started to work there with standard salary. She really enjoyed her job and gather with the Christian community at the workplace.  Now, she lives a happy and thankful life with her mother.

Analysis of the story
The development of Angel psychology influenced much by her childhood situation. Born and grown up without a father makes her loss the attention, love and teachings from father.  Her mother helped her to understand some situation only until her age reached 5 years.  But, it is somehow has made a deep impact in her mind.

Her life in adoption with her adoptive father and new mother made her even more devastated.  At first it was good, but without love from her adoptive father’s new wife, she walked without mental support from anyone.  Her adoptive father couldn’t make good decision for Angel because of fear to his new wife.

One of her event history was the life as a street performance or a beggar.  The hard situation she faced on the street and dealing with the street society, didn’t give good contribution to her mental and spiritual development.   She lived her life by her intuition and feeling, not based to good and strong concepts about how to be a good woman and person.  She had no example to follow and she had bitterness in her heart, but also love to her father and mother.  She remember her mother and father, and this remembrance once made her to have a good decision.

Her friends influenced her life and made her life even worse in the prostitution.  The life as a prostitute can be concluded as a compulsion that she didn’t want in her deepest heart.  Some events could be as a turning point for her such as, the death of her friend caused by HIV/AIDS.

And the real turning point of her life was when she met the social worker and escaped from the prostitution locality.  The social worker had taken a good contribution to her life and brought her out from the darkness of life.

Her life became better when she was helped by the pastor and worked at the company in the city. She started to learn many new things from the teachings and life from her new community.  One other joy that she really have in her life is the gathering with her mother.  The connection with her mother was also the key of having started new life in new environment.  We know from this story, that it began in bad situation, but the end was the happiness for Angel and change in her whole life physically, mentally, spiritually.

Loving and Serving Ministry