Monthly Archives: July 2010

When Football Can Change Your Life






By Kate Otto

Greetings from Bandung, Indonesia, where this Reynolds
Scholar has been working as a Program Consultant for grassroots HIV/AIDS
organization “Rumah Cemara” over the past year.

I am writing today to announce with pride that Rumah Cemara
has been named a Finalist in the “Changing Lives Through Football”
Ashoka Changemakers Competition!
 
For a grassroots community still new to the term “social
entrepreneurship”, it is a huge thrill for them to see their work
recognized by such a prestigious institution as Ashoka for its value and
innovation.

Why is Rumah Cemara’s Football Program so impressive, you
might ask?  Start with the facts
that Indonesia already has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia, and
because of  burdensome social
stigma towards people living with HIV, it difficult for the estimated
333,200 Indonesians with HIV to open their status.  If HIV/AIDS is stigmatized further, the disease will surely
continue to spread, not only within the still concentrated populations of drug
users and sex workers, but into the general population as well.

The Rumah Cemara Football Program was created to break this
cycle of stigma, and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia by hosting weekly
football matches that engage both HIV-positive and HIV-negative players.

The Program’s impact on people already living with HIV has
been significant: Over the past two years, 100 people living with HIV have
played regularly on the Rumah Cemara team and on the five additional teams they
have helped to form across West Java, including two teams based at provincial
prisons. Playing with Rumah Cemara increases the players’ confidence,
motivation, and ability to live a healthy life with HIV.

169-Picture 2.pngAdit Taslim (pictured right), who serves Rumah Cemara as Keeper on the
field, and Grants Manager off the field, explains, “Rather than approach the
public with the controversial language of HIV/AIDS, we use a universal language
that is accepted around the world. It is the language of football.”

Rumah Cemara was selected as a Finalist from nearly 300
organizations across 60 nations worldwide who use football for social change,
and is the only Finalist from the Asian region. 

If selected as a Winner, Rumah Cemara will use the prize of
up to $30,000 to increase the number of teams and number of weekly players in
the Program, from HIV positive and HIV negative communities, as well as from
professional football teams.  By
2012, Rumah Cemara aims to have transformed the Program into a formal,
recognized Provincial Football League of people living with HIV, also serving
as a forum for HIV/AIDS education. 
Rumah Cemara also hopes to add at least four female teams to its
currently all-male roster.

In order to win the monetary prize, Rumah Cemara must
receive the most online votes of all 12 Finalists. 

The voting deadline is August 18, 2010, and as a Reynolds
Scholar who deems this organization and their program as a highly effective
mechanism of social entrepreneurship, I urge you to vote for Rumah Cemara
Football Program here: http://www.changemakers.com/node/76731

Thank You / Terima Kasih!

 

Sincerely,

Kate Otto

Reynolds Scholar 2006


*More About Rumah Cemara: Rumah Cemara is the largest
network of people living with HIV and people who use drugs in West Java.  By December 2009, Rumah Cemara’s
membership includes 4,317 people with HIV/AIDS and drug users, and 1,276 people
affected by HIV/AIDS within 61 peer support groups, including 3 office
locations in Bandung, Sukabumi, and Cianjur.  Additionally, the Rumah Cemara Treatment Center has already
treated 200 people who use drugs since it’s founding in 2003. www.rumahcemara.or
g

** Photography by Reynolds 2006 Scholar Bobby Sukrachand

Cycles Delivery, LLC set to Reopen Soon

To the friends, supporters, and customers of Cycles
Delivery, LLC,

We want to begin by expressing our
warmest thanks to the NYU Reynolds Program and Youth Venture for the grand
prize award in the “Be a Changemaker Challenge.” After ten months of hard work
and dedication and with the help of so many incredible mentors and supporters,
we have turned our idea for a bicycle-run delivery service from urban farmers
markets into a reality. In September 2009, after months of struggling to carry
our purchases home from the Union Square Greenmarket, we realized the demand
for a sustainable delivery service from the market.  Our goal was to increase support for local
organic farmers and their environmentally sustainable practices. Today, we have
transformed Cycles Delivery into a fully licensed Limited Liability Company,
with everything from a custom-designed delivery tricycle to the proper
insurance, legal representation, and volunteer network to help us succeed.

164-bikeMA_small.JPG

We are writing to share a story
with you of the recent roadblock in Cycles’ development. Last month, when we
entered the Union Square Greenmarket to launch our service, we found that
another bicycle-run delivery service, “From Earth to Kitchen,” had just begun
operating. We were undeterred by this until we found out that they had known
about us and made a deliberate attempt to start two days before we did. Our
bicycle designer told us that From Earth to Kitchen had requested that he build
bikes for them before finishing ours. While we structured Cycles as a profitable
business, our main goal has always been to increase support for sustainable
farmers. To be treated as competitors by a group of people who claim to share
this goal was disheartening.

Despite this, we began offering
deliveries in Union Square for the month of June. However, it has become
increasingly difficult for us to continue.
Because the owner of From Earth to Kitchen has worked at a previously
existing stand for several years, he has significant influence in the market. Many
vendors said
that they could not send us customers because they did not want to hurt their
business relationship with the owner of From Earth to Kitchen. We recognize
that it’s impossible for Cycles to support the farmers in the market if they
are afraid to send us customers.

Despite our roadblock, Cycles is
still pedaling through. We are not unaccustomed to challenges- we began with no
business experience, no money, and no connections, and we’ve made it this far
already. We’re not going to stop now. We have found a new farmers market to
work with and are very excited to begin running Cycles there. We’ve learned
from our past experiences and are holding off on publishing the name of the new
market until all of the details are worked out, but we will post updates on our
Facebook, Twitter, and website as soon as we can. Please check back soon for
more information and thank you so much for all of your support.

 

Ashley & Michelle

 

CyclesNYC.com