Kindness doesn’t have to be big. It can start from something small and simple, because every kindness matters. Who knows, you might inspire others to do the same thing and what you do can become something big and impactful!
Meet Annisa Dinta, one of the initiators of Kado Keliling (Roving Gift). The concept is simple: giving food (gift) for breaking a day fast during Ramadan to our fellows in need. The social project ran for three years and have reached the thousand islands across from Jakarta.
Q: Hello, Dinta! We heard that you initiated an inspiring social project called Kado Keliling. Can you tell us more about it?
A: Basically, it’s an action of giving out ‘gift’ as in food around Jakarta to our fellows in need, so they may enjoy the food for break fasting. I initiated this with my friend, Nandi Sihol. We were concerned upon two things: 1) many people out there cannot break their fast with proper food intake, 2) many of our friends are willing to help, share or volunteer but they don’t know where to or how. That’s where Kado Keliling comes in.
Q: Why do you pick the name Kado Keliling?
A: We want to give without expecting any reward in return, so we symbolize it as “kado” (gift). Since we actually walk and hand out the gifts directly, we call it “keliling” (roving).
Q: So, how does Kado Keliling work and what kind of food did you give out?
A: Firstly we would invite donors to fund the food packages. In 2017 and 2018, we offered Rp20.000 for each package, while in 2019 the package was worth Rp30.000 because we use furoshiki wrapping.
Each package consists of heavy meal (roasted rice), beverage (mineral or coconut water, since the receiver has been dehydrated through fasting), wet tissue to keep hygiene and vitamin packed fruits. We always try to keep our packages eco-friendly by using brown paper bags and later furoshiki, which is a Japanese technique to wrap gifts in reusable fabric.
For every package, we encourage donors to give special messages for the receivers. The messages will be written on the front part of the package which we will also decorate (however, we use hang tag in 2019). We were helped by a few volunteers in preparation and roving the streets to give out the packages.
Q: How was the enthusiasm?
A: Well, on our first year, we gathered 300 packages and distributed them around Jakarta. By 2018, the number doubled to 600 packages. But this year, we gathered a staggering 1.100 packages and collaborated with @jejakseribu and @girlswho to expand our reach to Payung Island and Tidung Island, which are part of the thousand islands. We were aided by 35 volunteers to prepare the packages and distribute them around Jakarta and the islands.
Q: Wow, your project is growing significantly! Surely, every movement has its challenges. What were yours?
A: On the first two years, we gathered donations through bank account transfers using personal account. We thought it was ineffective because we then need to compare the balance with the proof of transfer one by one. So, this year we collaborate with KitaBisa.com, a digital donation platform, to effectively gather the donations.
Another challenge is to gather messages from the donors and write them down on the packages. A customized message is Kado Keliling’s signature, so we had to gather enough volunteers in this process. Fortunately, the number of volunteers increase every year, so this challenge was overcome so far.
Q: What are your plans for Kado Keliling?
A: In the meantime, we don’t have further plans for the project, because so far we still focus on doing this project in Ramadan month only.
Q: Lastly, how does this project personally affects you?
A: For the last three years of doing this project, I’m very grateful that the gifts for those in need are coming back to me in different ways. Therefore, I hope donors, volunteers and others who support Kado Keliling will receive ‘unexpected gifts’ as I have received. This project is also growing from the support of my family, friends and donors who are willing to be part of the chain of kindness.
Every year after Kado Keliling, I am always touched by messages that are personally precious to me.
“Thank you, Kado Keliling for the opportunity!”
“I want to do it again next year!”
“Please invite me again next year!”
“This is the first social project I participated in. So fun! Thank you.”
For that, I am forever grateful.
Dinta’s story is one person helping to spread kindness. Imagine how much impact if five, ten and more people are doing the same thing for their local community. You don’t have to wait for a big occasion or a certain cause, because kindness is needed everyday and everywhere. Do it now, do it small and believe that every kindness has an impact.