A garbage collector in Indonesia asked Ghina Ghaliya if she had an old mobile phone he could have. He wanted it so that his kids could access the internet for school. “He said it does not matter if it is the ugly one, as long as his children can use it for learning from home,” says Ms. Ghaliya. The garbage collector’s question gave Ghaliya an idea. She would collect old mobile phones for students in need.
Ghaliya is a journalist at a national newspaper in Jakarta, Indonesia. The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll in her country. Early on, Ghaliya and 11 other journalists organized a group to provide food and money to people in need. But parents needed more help. As schools shuttered and classes moved online, many kids in Jakarta couldn’t access the internet from home. Ghaliya remembered her conversation with the garbage collector. She and her friends began a mission to find unused mobile phones.
They collected more than 200 mobile phones in just a few months. Cash donations allowed them to buy more phones. In some cases, they also purchased prepaid internet access for those phones. “We really hope the mobile phones can be used as much as they can during the pandemic,” says Ghaliya, who says she is a problem-solver by nature.
Ghaliya listened to her neighbor, the garbage collector. She didn’t dismiss his request, but she worked hard to meet the need he exposed. 2 Corinthians 8:14 says, “Your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.” Months into the pandemic, hundreds of Indonesian students now have better access to online school.
Khaissyah Levi is a 16-year-old student in Depok, West Java. He used to borrow his dad’s mobile phone for internet access. But for that to work, the high schooler had to plan his schoolwork around his father’s work schedule. Thanks to Ghaliya, Khaissyah now has his own phone with internet access for school.
Oayran Ruby Al Maghribi’s schoolwork had to wait until his father got home from work too. Then Oayran could use his dad’s mobile phone. Oayran started falling behind in his classes for the first time in his life. Ghaliya’s group gave the 11-year-old his own phone. “I will use the phone to do online school every day,” he says with a huge smile.