Students fund children’s charity through Project O: Reboot

WITH the success of their past events under their belts, PPIA – RMIT’s Indonesian students association – is once again inviting Melburnians to get involved in their latest charity event, Project O: Reboot.

Taking place this evening, Project O: Reboot is a talent show aimed at raising funds to help Indonesian children receive a proper education. Working in collaboration with Care4Kids Indonesia (C4KI), the guys behind Project O: Reboot believe “education is going to break the poverty cycle”.

The project’s managers Sally Tam and Danny Tanoto say after ten years of KafeArt, the successful arts showcase PPIA has previously hosted, it was now time to start a new beginning.

“Our school is RMIT, and the image attached to it is arts,” Sally says.

“For the past 10 years, PPIA RMIT hosted the KafeArt event that presented exhibitions on fashion, photography, music, and much more – showing arts in its many forms and splendour.

“But now we want to break everything that we had, and make a new project. So we asked ourselves, ‘what’s our passion; what’s our vision?’ And we came up with the idea that we wanted to do social work – charity work.”

Danny shares the same vision. He and Sally started the project from scratch in October 2010, without resources, money, or people to back them up.

“We call it Project O, because we want it to be a project, which means that it’s on-going,” Sally says.

“‘O’ represents a never-ending circle, and the term ‘Reboot’ is used because we want to reboot everything, including the event’s vision and mission.”

“And ‘O’ is also like the number zero, which means you start from the beginning again,” Danny adds.

“With Project O: Reboot, we want to provide an ongoing support for social work, and this year we are solely focusing on the education sector.”

The talent show will feature three performances: a dance performance by Echo Dance Crew, an acoustic guitar performance by Maggie Mae (Ogam and Barli), and a vocal performance by Hendrawan Mulyono.

There will also be games and several performances by Indonesian artists including Amink, Naif Band, and Petra Sihombing.

Sally says support for the event isn’t just coming from Indonesians. Project O: Reboot is open to the public and the Victorian Multicultural Commission has recognised it as an event that brings people from different multicultural backgrounds together. But it’s worth noting that it will be run in Indonesian.

All the money raised will be donated to C4KI, which funds 21 children’s education until high school. With this project, Sally and Danny hope to raise funds for C4KI to sponsor more children, providing them with resources like books and computers and repairing school buildings.

“C4KI does not open their own schools or orphanages, but they are funding the children who are not able to support themselves to get a decent education,” Danny says.

“They focus on supporting the community in Tanggerang and Parung, which are rural areas in Indonesia where the education system is still not fully developed.”

Sally and Danny hope to raise $13,000 to help support the children. They say they are committed to a non-governmental approach to charity so they will know the money is distributed straight to the children.

Danny is passionate about what Project O: Reboot invisages.

“Our vision is simple. If the last PPIA event was about fun – gathering people together, and then going home – now we want our audience to learn something: it’s when we can have a good further education here in Australia, there are still children in Indonesia who can’t even finish their basic education.”

Playing on their arts strengths, Sally and Danny hope that, through this event, they can improve the Indonesian education system.

“Our aim is for lives to be changed,” says Sally.

“Around 2 million children in Indonesia do not have a proper education. And if we put ourselves in their position, as someone who can’t have access to education, it’s really a big thing. Being granted a scholarship is like a life changing moment.”

Project O: Reboot is taking place at 6pm on Saturday, September 24 at Melbourne Town Hall. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door for $25.

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