Sometimes, kindness didn’t come from within us, but the universe somehow leads us to it. This is a glimpes of Ranggi Lukfi Aprilianzah’s story and the path that leads him to the world of human trafficking.
Q: Hi, Ranggi! Could you tell me about what you’re currently doing?
A: I just finished my final thesis and now I’m still volunteering in a social institution for human trafficking victims called Rumah Faye.
Q: Hmm, I think I’ve heard about it. But can you tell me more?
A: So, Rumah Faye is an NGO focusing on human trafficking. It has two branches in Jakarta and Batam. The Jakarta headquarters is for preventive act and the Batam one is for rehabilitation. I did my thesis in Batam, but mostly I work in their Jakarta branch.
We have various activities for preventive programs. For example, we have some assisted areas where we socialize the children and parents about the dangers of human trafficking. We also have cooking or drawing classes to attract the children.
As I said, I also visited the Batam branch for my final thesis, but I wasn’t focusing on the children (why the children had come to that condition or their psychological state), only the rehabilitation program for its effectiveness, flaws and plus points. So, the Batam branch is a shelter where victims could stay for three months to a year. There are many activities in the shelter, including individual counseling, group counseling, and vocational activities as trauma healing medium, such as hydroponic and sewing. Their creations are then sold to support the shelter.
Q: What are the types of human trafficking in which the victims suffer from?
A: In the shelter, mostly they are victims of sexual exploitation. They were sold by their parents, but they didn’t realize what was happening to them. They didn’t recognize it as human trafficking probably due to lack of education and their age. The victims start from the age of twelve, elementary school to junior high school level.
Q: How do they come to the shelter?
A: The admission system could be through reference, outreach or the victim could come to us individually, but that rarely happens. As I said previously, they didn’t know what was happening to them. Most of the time, admission in through reference, such as from the police, social services and other NGO network. There’s also outreach, where we go to certain locations that potentially allow exploitation, such as localization areas.
Q: Do you have any further plans with Rumah Faye?
A: Yes, I want to continue working at Rumah Faye (Jakarta), but they will not have open recruitment until around the end of this year. There’s also a vacancy in Batam, but the shelter is designated for female victims, so the staff must also be female.
Q: I see you’re already deep in the waters. But what initially interested you that you come to Rumah Faye?
A: In my major of Social Welfare, I concentrated in Child Welfare. I was specifically interested in child trafficking from a friend who told me about Rumah Faye. So, I practiced (for academic purposes, sort of like an internship) there and got really interested in child welfare and protection.
Q: Besides Rumah Faye, have you ever done other volunteering program?
A: I’ve been to GUIM (“Gerakan Universitas Indonesia Mengajar” or “Universitas Indonesia Teaching Movement”) and ENJ (“Ekspedisi Nusantara Jaya” or “Glorious Expedition of the Archipelago”). I’ll tell you about ENJ which was a collaboration program between Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Universitas Indonesia Student Body. ENJ volunteers would go to islands for community empowerment. The collaboration with my campus focused on the nearest area of Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands). We help the residents who lack in access for education, health and such for about two weeks. Since we were students, we helped with teaching. I joined the two weeks program twice.
Q: Two weeks? Such a short time. Well, one of my concerns is the time period in volunteering programs. What do you say about the significance of volunteering, regarding the time period?
A: I was the Vice Project Officer for GUIM and I will try to explain from its perspective. We are aware of the period (it was a month) and we didn’t just volunteer to do some teachings and leave it at that. We also have, for example, policy brief where we give recommendations to the government. Since we lived for a month in the chosen area, we came to realize the problems and tried to give solutions to those problems for what the government, teachers and parents can do about it. There is also Sadewa for GUIM alumni. The community is no longer under the campus and it has its own activities which mainly aim to keep the impact of GUIM continues, even when GUIM doesn’t anymore.
Q: Lastly, why should people volunteer?
A: When volunteering, we interact with completely different people. It’s a different feeling than, say, when you just give out donations. When we’re there in the field, we see the reality. Personally, I became more grateful with my life. For instance, in GUIM I realized that not everyone can have access to education, while I’ve gone to school since I was a child with no obstacles. Whilst in Rumah Faye, I became aware that there are children who are exploited for prostitution, when I lay comfortably in my house.