English / Bahasa Producing sports shoes in the factory I earn about $140 (AUD) per month. Most of this income (80%) I hand over to my mother so that she can cover our household expenses and schooling for my younger brother and sisters. I don’t have any personal savings. My family that is my savings! My mother makes savings, but that is to pay the rent for our house, mostly. The 20% of my income that I keep for myself is spent mostly on transport to and from the factory and, of course, for my food. My older brother now has a family of his own to look after. This means that my mother and I have to take primary responsibility for supporting my two younger siblings. My younger sister is living here with us near Jakarta. She is still in junior high school. I also have a younger sister who stayed on in Sumatra after the rest of us moved to Jakarta. She was living with my grandmother, but since my grandmother passed away a few years ago, she now lives in student rental accommodation (we call it kos). This costs quite a lot of money. Since my younger sister has now finished senior high school I’ve asked her ‘What do you want to do? Would you like to go to university or to work?’ She said ‘I would like to work first you know, so then if I do go to university I can cover the costs myself.’ I asked her why she wouldn’t allow me to just save up and pay his costs, but she said she couldn’t be such a burden. She is really considerate of me like that; she really worries about what condition I’m in. Since the beginning of the year my younger sister has started working for a news agency in Sumatra. We hope that in a month’s time she will have enough income to cover his own costs. It’s been hard up till now because my younger sister has a physical disability, which makes it difficult for her to walk or carry out physical work. It’s quite funny when the time comes each month for me to send money to my younger sister – it’s a real trial. The thing is I don’t have that long a break from work and I’m so scared to be even a minute late because my supervisor can be very angry. This means I have to literally sprint to the bank where I can transfer the money! I run there as fast as I can and then stand in a line looking at my watch every two seconds freaking out that I’ll be late. Then as soon as I transfer the money I run all the way back to the factory. It’s exhausting!
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