Butet Manurung: The Advocate of Indigenous Indonesian

“I remember when I was little; I loved to read story books. Then there were a lot of questions in my head: Do my friends out there like to read books too? If they have books, can I exchange books with them? It started from these innocent questions that I started a library at home. At that time I was, maybe, in the second grade. I invited my friends to read; I took only a few cents per person, but it was voluntary, some would pay and some would not. Some would borrow books but never returned them, and after a few years I ran out of books.”, recalled Butet when she first learned to organize other people to create something positive. Blessed with a smart mind, achieving in many subjects from math to sports has inspired Butet to help her friends that are falling behind. It was here that her talent for teaching slowly developed. “My friends would ask me to be the teacher, maybe because they did not want the class to be boring. I asked them to play ‘Teachers and Classrooms’. They became my students and I was their teacher. I created a few play models such as playing quizzes or discussion groups. Usually I would tempt them with the prize of a cake or candy as an incentive. I did that from elementary through high school. Until I was a teacher for my students in Rimba, I realize that my childhood experience being a teacher was very valuable. I had a rich creativity to teach.” As an educator, Butet holds a principle that a good teacher is someone who is able to learn from their students, and also from the weaknesses of teachers before them. She really applied this principle when she was a teacher of the Anak Dalam Tribe in the depths of Jambi. Butet taught reading and writing through an anthropological approach. Butet learnt from them the language and wisdom of the Rimba People.

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Gamal Albinsaid: A Young Doctor Paid in Trash

While as a medical student at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, Gamal Albinsaid heard the harrowing story of a young girl lying lifeless on top of a pile of garbage at the young age of 3. Her name was Khairunnisa, or Nisa, and she had succumbed to diarrhoea that led to her life being lost. Being a trashpicker, her father was not able to bring her to a hospital due to a lack of funding and thus, Nisa was only able to make do with whatever they had available for treatment. Sadly, her life was unable to be saved against the diarrhoea that many of us can find treatment for it easily – but not for her. The tragic story of Nisa created a deep impression on Gamal Albinsaid to a point where he was inspired to care and provide the less-fortunate with sufficient treatment. Now, the 27-year old from Malang, East Java is now known locally and overseas as “The Garbage Doctor”. Through the Garbage Insurance Clinic that he established, Gamal is able to provide free medical care to the less fortunate who are only required to pay using trash. His noble venture has captured the heart of the world where in 2012, Gamal was chosen as a Young Changemaker by Ashoka (a global social entrepreneurship organization). Two years later, Gamal was given the “Sustainable Living Youth Entrepreneurs” award from the British Royal Family in the start of 2014. He won first place out of 510 contestants spanning over 90 different countries. His accomplishment won him a trip to London and a face-to-face meeting with Prince Charles himself.