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Graffiti brings school to Jakarta's street kids

le mag

Graffiti brings school to Jakarta's street kids

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All over the Indonesian capital Jakarta, volunteer teachers are teaming up with local graffiti artists to try and bring school to the city’s many street children.

Thousands of children work on the streets of Jakarta, living from begging and dropping out of school.

The idea of the project, named 'Graffiteach', is to raise the children’s awareness through a medium they are exposed to every day.

It’s the brainchild of a bunch of designers and creative directors like Ronny Pratama: “We are using graffiti as a medium for teaching because street children are often exposed to graffiti. These children work on street corners near walls that are often covered with graffiti showing obscenity or gang names. That’s how we came up with the idea of turning graffiti into something useful,” he says.

In partnership with local NGOs, the artists turned the walls into veritable blackboards, covering them with topics such as English, math, science and culture.

Once completed, volunteer teachers encourage children to come to the walls for impromptu lessons.

The project started in February 2013, and within a year, they had completed 20 graffiti projects around the city.

Nur dropped out of school three years ago to start working on the streets: “I am so happy to be able to get together with my friends and learn about things that I did not know before such as English and culture through graffiti,” she says.

The project has led to a successful book project and founders are looking into expanding the volunteer work to other parts of the country.

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