Any Kusuma Dewi’s life transformation

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Any Kusuma Dewi, from a socialite, now transforms into a person who cares about the needs of people. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – Getting a decent education is the basic right of every Indonesian child. This is what underlies Any Kusuma Dewi founded Tri Kusuma Bangsa Foundation in 2012. Through this foundation, she opened education classes in Kota Tua, North Jakarata and Taman Ismail Marzuki, Central Jakarta.

Any, familiarly greeted, told the Independent Observer, before establishing Tri Kusuma Bangsa, she has experienced various humanitarian activities. For example sending a package of medicine during the Tsunami in Aceh. Then sent the Qur’an during the earthquake in Padang. Not stop there, when five thousand houses were submerged in Banten, Any carried the aid of medicines and groceries as much as 2 thousand packages.

Admitted by Any, the momentum of founding the foundation came after she returned from Banten. “While I was there, I had time to visit a grandmother who was chronically ill and could not wake up. The grandmother was alone. In the shack there was only a mattress and a broken table which on top of it was a moldy bread. When I saw that, I cried. That’s a slap for me. Like somebody is asking, “how much money do you spend in a day just for fun?, “Any said vigorously.

Focus on Children’s Education
Any always remembers this event. He also decided to have a meaningful life for others. Through Tri Kusuma Bangsa, Any and volunteers opened several classes of Education in the Kota Tua. She started the class for playgroup and kindergarten children. They are taught to read, write and count. Then the Month Class, for elementary school children grade 3 and 4. And Class of the Sun, for elementary school grade 5-6. “For these children they are taught mathematics, English and general knowledge,” she said.

Not only that, there is also a Rainbow Class. This is a special class for children with disabilities. The education pattern is somewhat different from other general classes. Here one student will be educated by one teacher. By applying that method, the pupils will get special attention and preferential treatment according to their special needs.

To educate in the Rainbow Class, the teacher does require extra patience, because the tutor should repeat the same lesson many times until the student really understands. Not to mention to understand the condition of students and their needs, so as to provide guidance according to the portion and their respective conditions.

Currently the children who studied in the Kota Tua are 150 people. They used to study on Saturday, from 3-6 pm. Because seeing the needs in the field, since 2 years ago, Any has opened a class in Taman Ismail Marzuki. The number of students is only 30 people. They study on Sunday, 9am – 1pm. Not only learning, Any also provides food.

Generally, the children who study in the Kota Tua or Taman Ismail Marzuki, are street children, children of duafa (poor) and diffable. Especially for street children, they have a job as a tissue seller. “In the early days, they worked as buskers and beggars, but now they are generally sellers of tissues,” Any said.

Any further said, although the learning activities has lasted for 6 years, but she still remembers the challenges faced during the early start of the process. At that time, she was challenged by the students’ parents and thugs around the school.

“If their parents initially complained because the children who instead of getting money, they even learnt. However, over time, their parents even want their children to learn. Even if their children do not study, they will report it to me. I am grateful with the awareness of these parents, “explained Any.

While the thugs, when the first 2 years of the learning process took place, every Saturday, she must pay Rp.300 thousand. “My place of activity was a motorcycle parking lot, So they counted 3 hours of income, so I had to replace the amount they used to receive. Not only that, from where the activity to my car was parked, I was usually visited by 3-4 thugs. I give them money, because this is for my equality as well as the volunteers,” Any continued.

When she started this activity 6 years ago, she settled all the necessities. However, over time, there are already donors who help her. “As the time passes, there are more donors, generally close friends. Alhamdulillah there are already some supports. Like food in Kota Tua, every Saturday I need about 150 boxes and there are always regular donors,” she said.

Not only activities for street children, Any also has foster children in Blitar, East Java and Cilincing North Jakarta, which numbers to hundreds of people. “This foster children if they go to public school, I will provide pocket money and transport, while for the private school students, I will pay the school fee.”he said.

Inspired by Grandma
Any said, her caring for the needy is inspired by her grandmother, Mbak Sarno Putri. Since childhood, her grandmother who owns a restaurant in Blitar, often provides food to anyone. “Every day she always distributes free food to anyone. So she is very famous. For example, she will let a pedicab (becak) driver who has no money, or ordinary people to have a free meal. Her principle of life is like this, for her grandchildren, if for example they ride a bicycle or motorcycle and tire is flat on the road, there will be a help, because Eyang (grandmother) ever instilled goodness for others, “he said.

From a socialite with a hedonist lifestyle, now Any transforms into a person who cares about the needs of people. “When I founded the foundation, I left the old world, Arisan (mingled with friends), Hanging around, shopping branded goods, and so on. I am transformed, and this transformation makes my life better and I find happiness here, “she said.

One of the values of life she holds is that when we share, -sharing what we have, money, knowledge and energy- we will not become poor. (Dessy Aipipidely)