Up Close and Personal With Odon.
Rudianto, nicknamed Odon, has worked with Gerakan Kepedulian since 2016. Prior to his work with GK, Odon described his youth as that of a street kid; drinking, stealing and doing drugs. His parents had also separated, so he was rarely home at all. During the interview, when asked why he thinks he made those decisions, he answered that he thinks it was because his parents weren’t around to tell him otherwise. As he lived with his mother, she too was rarely home due to working as a housekeeper.
Katie Sondakh Photograph of Odon during the interview | Jakarta, Indonesia, 2021
Odon had stopped going to school by SMP 2 (8th grade). At the time, he had been asked whether he wanted to continue school and he said no because he didn’t want to further burden his parents. If he had the choice now, he says he really does want to go back to school if he had the means to, even it if means starting from the beginning.
Ever since meeting Ibu Puri, the head of the RT, Odon has been clean of drugs and works to help other street kids who went down the same path he did.
Katie Sondakh Photograph of Ibu Puri, the kepala RT (head of the village) and a mother figure to many of the children at the community center | Jakarta, Indonesia, 2021
With the pandemic continuing to plague Indonesia, He is frequently at the community centre, helping Ibu Puri with sorting recycled trash to sell, and meeting with some friends. They used to have a building, but due to Covid-19 restrictions the building hasn’t been used. Odon currently works selling food and drinks, and most of his days consist of preparation, cleaning, and selling while going around the streets and talking to other street kids, looking to help them change for the better.
Katie Sondakh A picture of some of the younger students studying at the learning center. The hand sanitizers were a donation made by my mother. | Jakarta, Indonesia, 2021
Odon was more reserved and polite compared to some of his friends who were sitting nearby. Ibu Puri was the mother figure for many of the children there and she explained how she only trusts Odon to go out into the streets alone because he's seen the worst of it all and is least likely to fall back into that lifestyle. In his own words, "A second chance doesn't come twice".