Right outside the major cities of East Java, Indonesia, you will find large cemeteries with thousands of sarcophagi spanning over several acres. These cemeteries in East Java are home to communities of people who are in the margins of society both economically and socially, many of whom are migrants from all over Indonesia. The poverty, instability, and risks due to migrating from conflict or disaster makes these populations extremely susceptible to trafficking and exploitation. Most of them do not have the necessary documentation to be able to access government services in the large cities.
Many are victims of abuse, sexual exploitation, and trafficking. Some are disabled, orphaned, ill, or widowed, and all of their situations are informed by severe poverty. Women here turn to what they see as their only choice, selling themselves for sex.
This is where we work.
We currently run community development programming in two different cemeteries: Yellow Flower and Rose Cemetery. We first began working with the Yellow Flower Community in 2012, and were invited to expand into the Rose Cemetery in 2020.
This is a rapidly expanding work with reach to more than 600 families, resulting in street knowledge that traffickers are leaving alone children known to have education scholarships. Through our community development efforts, we have reached hundreds of individuals through education, holistic care, entrepreneurship opportunities, and community events.