Wednesday, 13 November 2013

#DayofTheGirl; When a Little Girl Speaks about Happiness

Ramonah singing on a MetroMini bus.

October 11th is the Day of the Girl. Time for the girls declare what they want, to tell the world about the girls’ rights and to prove that they are able to do whatever they want in a good way and care. On that day, all the girls are expecting justice and happiness. Just like Ramonah 8 years old, a street singer. At that time, during the day in the South Jakarta. I was on the way to return home. On the bus, I saw a girl singing to entertain the passengers and find money. Because I am interested in her life, I followed her out of the bus and asked her to have lunch with me. Here's a little conversation between us.

What’s your name and how old are you?
My Name is Ramonah, 8 years old.
Where do you live?
I live in East Jakarta. I'm leaving with my mom and two little brothers.
Where’s your dad?
I don’t know, where's my dad. He left us when I was at 6 years old.
Who asked you to be a street singer?
My Mom. She asked me to be a street singer since I was 4 years old to help my mom finding for money.
Are you going to school?
I don’t have time to go to school. I need to take care of my little brothers in the morning while my mother worked. My mother works as a maid and returned home at noon. If my mother had arrived home, I would go to work on the street.
Did you want to go to school?
I really want to go to school. I want to learn and wearing uniform. I have a book to study with my mom. My mom always taught me about math and to write in the night. But I don’t have a bag, shoes and uniforms. My mom says that I can go to school when I have a bag, shoes and uniforms. I can go to school if my brothers had gotten older.
Are you often playing with your friends?
I have many friends, but I rarely play with my friends. Because they work as street singers as well, we went to work to a different place. We just met in the evening, before returning home.
Did you love to work as Street Singer?
No. The weather was very hot and my legs are painful, if I walk too far. But, I can’t go back to my home if I don’t get enough money. So, I had to get lots of money. I had to buy food for my mom and my little brothers.
What’s your dream?
I want to be a teacher. Teachers have always been at the school and all the kids wear uniforms. The teacher is a smart and a good person. Because they teach children to write, dancing and singing. I want to be smart so I can teach my brothers to write and teach them about math.
Do you prefer to go to school or play with your friends?
I prefer to go to school. Because I can invite my friends to join me, go to school and play together. If I don’t go to school, we always work to be street singers and couldn’t play.
That's the simple answers of a Ramonah. A little girl who worked as a street singer to help her mother earn money and feed for her little brothers. For Ramonah, happy is to go to school with her friends, have a bag, shoes and uniforms so she could reach her dream to become a teacher in the school. I feel very touched and very grateful for everything that I have.
Ramonah is just one of many children who don’t go to school and become street singers. If we are care about the kids like Ramonah, just do anything that we can do to help them. Do it, from the smallest thing. Because the little attention from us, means very great for them. Let’s make the day of girl become a great opportunity to catch the dreams in the name of peace and togetherness.

This article was originally published on Voices of Youth.