Turning Manchester United into Indonesia United

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buy a BOLBAL shirt to support #indonesiaunite

The Reason Why

At this point, it may not be necessary to discuss at length the reason why the Indonesia Unite movement was born.  Suffice it to say that it forms itself in the national psyche of Indonesians as a response to the very grievous bombings happened lately in Jakarta.  In fact, it may be argued that it has always been there, as this is not the first time any bombing incidents hit Indonesia.  It has always been there, lying dormant in the subliminal mind of us Indonesians :  A silent voice that whispers defiance, – that speaks to us to do something about it to make manifest our responsibility as a member of mankind.

And such is the movement’s raison d’etre.  It begs a question, – what we should do then to ride the big waves of Indonesia Unite to do actual works to show that we care ?  What tangible things should be done to show that we love ?  So far, Indonesia Unite has gathered a lot of momentum, garnering a lot of supporters, even gaining attention from media and was broadcast in a special program.  Yet still, that part of our consciousness demands that we do something real.  Not only as a response of defiance to the terrorists, but as a sign that the terrors cannot take away the most precious thing we have as human beings : our capacity to love.

This psychological demand feels like an itch in the mind of one of Bolbal’s founders.  So when one day he was doing his laps around the Senayan Stadium as his regular exercise, he stopped when he saw one of the street hawkers packing his unsold non-licensed Manchester United T-shirts.   Further conversation divulges many heartbreaking stories of what the bombing meant for these innocent people who were just trying to make a living.  One even sold his only motorcycle for IDR 8 million as a capital to produce the now-useless-MU T-shirts.  When pressed about what he was going to do with the shirts, the answer jolted us awake like a yank in our heart, “I just don’t know.  I just have to start from zero again.”

And thus the idea was born.  With bolbal, we are going to buy the unsold T-shirts from these street hawkers, print the Indonesia Unite logo on the reverse side of them, and re-sell them.  We quickly divide tasks accordingly.  One of us is looking over the financial matters, raising fund here and there for this project.  Another is building contacts and network with the street vendors.  A friend will take charge of the production process.  And still others like me, doing simple things to help here and there by doing what we can to make this happen.

In doing all of this, we constantly remind ourselves of one Latin word : caritas.  It is the root of the English word “charity”, – which taken to its very basic meaning, speaks about affection, esteem and love.  We take note that we need to show love in the altruistic kind, to do something real for others, – especially for those who were hit hard by the bombings.  Again, this is the very least we can do to make Indonesia Unite meaningful, and doesn’t stop as a high-profile rhetoric only.

Are we going to be successful in doing this ?  Will we get enough response and interests to help a lot of the street-vendors ?  We still don’t know.  What we do know is, with your help, we can be part of that deciding answer.  To tilt the balance of the momentum somewhat, – so we can help as many people as our hearts would allow.  Because we care.  Because we love.

( by Fajar Jasmin )

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