Children’s Struggle to Find a Spark of Education Under the Dark Under the Bridge –

The children’s smiles spread full of joy when they welcomed the team under the Cilincing bridge that afternoon. Even though it was raining heavily, this rented plot in the slum area was still very crowded.

Children ranging from pre-school age to teenagers often walk back and forth in the house, which is called Rumah Merah Putih. They recite the Koran and study knowledge so it’s no wonder the activities here are always alive every day.

Nevertheless, there is a heartwarming story behind the activities of these children. They are not like other children who grow up in a supportive environment. This learning house is located under the bridge (kojem) in Cilincing, North which is crowded and dirty. In addition, it is not uncommon for illegal activities to emerge at night, such as prostitution and discotheques.



“Kojem is an illegal place and many people say it is a place of crime, a place of nightlife and lots of prostitutes, lots of discotheques. If the outline is not good, it is not suitable for anyone it is not good. They have no concern for children like a chain that will not end, so Merah Putih decided it was children who didn’t get that right, Merah Putih tried to give that right,” said Red and White founder Desi Purwatuning.

So it’s not surprising that since the establishment of the Learning House, all the pros and cons have occurred. This Learning House also moves around but stays in the vicinity of the location because of the needs of the children who are thirsty for a safe home and provide them with adequate education.

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“Many people still disagree with us being here. Apart from the billiard table, we have also been in a prayer room above the sea so if there are waves the prayer room shakes. We have also been above the sea, we are limited to the plywood of one night worker and we their activities were in the morning, so when we were teaching them they didn’t hesitate to throw the used contraceptives at us, we finally moved to a bigger, safer and more comfortable place for the children,” he concluded again.

However, all these obstacles and threats were faced by Desi in order to provide education for children who experienced a lot of abuse where they lived. It is even difficult for them to get support from their families, especially regarding the legality of children, such as KK and others. Until now, the rented house of learning, Merah Putih, is still next to a discotheque, so that every night the children recite the Koran from the Koran to the accompaniment of music from the discotheque.

“At home they are not very safe because there is a lot of harassment here, in fact the predators come from their own homes. Sometimes the mother works the night and does it at home and the child sees and the child follows an example until the children tell us. Before there was Red and White, if here I say they are rude and have no attitude, the education of the children is minimal, there is a lot of violence and abuse against children. Little concern for children let alone to get legality,” he continued.

Therefore, Desi sees the importance of the presence of Merah Putih in this “black” location to help children get their right to education. However, unfortunately, this Learning House does not have many supporting facilities, such as laptops or other learning facilities. The most urgent thing is that the landlord apparently sold his place and the Red and White Learning House was “forced” to pay hundreds of millions so he wouldn’t be evicted.

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“Right now we can’t extend Merah Putih and we have to buy Rp. 250 million, which is no small thing. I even sold my business to my fellow teachers at Merah Putih. We’re not even looking for a place because the average is a discotheque. I’m sure Allah will give me a way that is not in my mind,” he said optimistically.

Dear friends, this story is a reflection that there are still children whose rights are difficult to fulfill, especially those who live on the outskirts of the capital city. Whereas children are the future of the nation whose rights must be fulfilled.

Therefore, it would be nice for us to work hand in hand to help the continuation of this Learning House so that children under the bridge can receive adequate religious and formal education. Come on, start donating right now only through doing

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