Mere two sachets of coffee. That is all what Khoirul Anam managed to sell today. Everyday, from sunset to sunrise, Khoirul rides his bicycle around the city selling instant coffee drinks to tired customers.
It has been thirteen years since he migrated to Jakarta in search for a better life. He is still grateful for every rupiah of income he can make, however, current economic downturn has started to hurt him.
“Before the pandemic, work is easier. Lots of customers,” said Khoirul. “Nowadays, not so much. I used to sell at least ten sachets of instant coffee a day, now, just two.”
To help ease people’s burden caused by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that seems to be far from over, Bank DBS Indonesia initiates #DBSStrongerTogetherFund donation program. This donation program brought in volunteers from Bank DBS Indonesia #peopleofpurpose staffs, as well as Westbike Messenger, The Cyclist’s Portrait, and Foodbank of Indonesia. Since the pandemic began, Bank DBS Indonesia has donated more than 300.000 packages of staple foods to the community.
The #StrongerTogether program is Bank DBS Indonesia”s real support and collaborative effort with community and community organizations. Dozens of employees are involved in making face masks, packaging foods and distributing them directly to the community.
As Bank DBS Indonesia’s commitment to sustainability and care for the environment, it was decided to deliver the food packages by bicycles.
This volunteer and donation program received positive respond from our partners. One of them is Panji Indra, photographer and founder of The Cyclist’s Portrait. “I’m delighted to collaborate with Bank DBS Indonesia. This is a very positive campaign. As we know, almost all of these on bike drink vendors are affected by the pandemic.”
“This collaboration has a real impact,” said Hendi Rachmat, founder of Wetsbike Messenger. Westbike Messenger is a bicycle courier service that is working on to reduce pollution and carbon emission. “ [Pollution and carbon emission] affected not just those who are suffering from the pandemic, but also the environment,” said Hendi.
The statement is echoed by Erni Septi Aryanti, Bank DBS Indonesia employee who is actively involved in this volunteer activities. “This time we are donating in a new way. Donating by cycling. We are helping to ease the burden of those who are affected by the pandemic, and reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.”
On one early morning, dozens of cyclists were already busy packing their bags with packages of staple food. Some were chatting, some were praying solemnly for a safe journey. When faces are obscured by face masks, joy can be clearly seen in their every movement.
The dozens of kilometers to cover and dozens of kilograms to carry did not dampen their spirit to share. It’s been almost a year since the pandemic began, and volunteerism has grown into a recognized force in addressing the pandemic.
On one Sunday morning, the volunteers, riding their bicycles, picked up food packages from Foodbank of Indonesia’s warehouse and delivered them to Khoirul’s residential area at Kampung Starling in Central Jakarta.
Just like Khoirul, majority of the residents living on this riverbank seek their livelihood by working as drink vendors on bicycles. Everyday, they ride their bicycles, packed with various instant drinks, to little alleys and streets around the city.
And this time, at the end of a very long year, there were other cyclists waiting for them with new hope and packages of food.
Together with dozens of other recipients of the staple food packages, Khoirul’s burden is a little lighter now. Supports from many sides have become a ray of light in the midst of the pandemic dark cloud. Collaboration from all sides to support those who are suffering because of the pandemic, is an undeniable force that will carry us through this pandemic.