In front of the East Nusa Tenggara Governor’s Office in Kupang City, every weekend on Sunday, there is a Car Free Day that attracts visitors for exercise, relaxation, or strolling around.
Amidst the bustling crowd of visitors along the park in front of the Governor’s Office, three teenagers were busy offering food to passersby on Sunday (30/7). One of these teenagers is Mia (17).
That morning, she was selling rice bowls and offering them to every passerby. The rice bowls are made with battered chicken, teriyaki sauce, vegetables, and scrambled eggs; this is Mia’s homemade product after being taught by UGM students during the community service program.
Mia smiled as noon approached because her food was sold out.
“It’s a decent income for my family,” Mia said to Andika, a Philosophy student who taught her how to make and sell rice bowls.
“I was taught twice by Andika,” said the teenager from Kelapa Lima, Kupang.
For Mia, selling at CFD is challenging. Usually, she goes to CFD to relax and watch people doing their activities.
This time, Andika taught her how to offer rice bowls to visitors. Although not all passersby bought her food, the experience of selling was awe-inspiring for her.
“This is the first time I sold rice bowls at CFD,” she said.
A similar experience was also felt by Sela and Nurul, two teenagers in the 11th grade at a high school in Kupang.
For a week, they were guided to cook various types of food that could improve the nutritional quality of their families at home.
UGM students also showed the variety of foods Sela and Nurul could make from the available ingredients.
“We sold nine items,” said Nurul.
“I sold 12 glasses of grass jelly cappuccino,” said Sela.
Nurul and Sela were accompanied by two UGM students, Natalia from the Faculty of Agricultural Technology and Farah from the Faculty of Dentistry.
According to Natalia, today’s experience was meaningful for the teenagers in Kupang, as the embarrassment and fear of offering their products to consumers disappeared.
This entrepreneurship development activity aims to familiarize teenagers in Kelapa Lima with the business world. Natalia and her colleagues also taught other teenagers to make dessert boxes that sell for Rp10,000, make hanging flower pots from coconut fiber, create beaded bracelets, and craft items from towels.
“All of these provide alternative job options that can help cover school expenses or be developed into businesses that can meet their needs and those of their families,” explained Natalia.
The work programs carried out by 26 UGM students conducting community service in Kelapa Lima, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara Province, include education and training on waste separation and management.
“In the first phase, the Paradiso Beach environment was cleaned of waste. This beach is now more comfortable for children’s activities such as drawing, learning English while singing, dancing, counting, and exercising,” said Farah.
By mid-August, Farah said that her team and the community would transform Paradiso Beach into a comfortable tourist destination. Various photo spots were also built, utilizing modified recycled items as decorations.
“While taking photos, visitors can enjoy drinks and food from the vendors mentored by UGM students,” she explained.
Field Supervisor in Kupang, Dr. Widya Nayati, stated that this year’s community service activities have the overarching theme of the Smart Green Kelapa Lima.
According to Widya, it is the first year UGM has conducted community service in Kupang City. Previously, she supervised students in Hawu Mehara District, Sabu Raijua Regency, for three years.
“This time, we did it in Kupang,” she explained.
Author: Gusti Grehenson