Mujahidin Peddles Frozen Dessert and Works Odd-Jobs to Make Ends Meet

Every day, Mujahidin sells "Es Oyen" around Sidoarjo CIty. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has made it hard to sell his merchandise. Many times, the frozen dessert does not sell well, and the money is not enough for the capital. He is forced to work odd-jobs to make some business capital.

Mujahidin
Mujahidin sells es oyen around the city of Sidoarjo. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, EAST JAVA – Around 08.00 p.m, when many people were spending time with their families, Mujahidin (41) just started to visit the market. He shopped for various types of fruit and other ingredients for Es Oyen, a frozen dessert originating from Bandung that is topped with various kinds of fruit. Selling Es Oyen is his main source of income to support his family.

Mujahidin has to work extra hard to meet the needs of the family. His children are still in elementary school. Sometimes, because of the limited money they have, he has to choose between school needs or food for his family.

“Once, I did not eat all day because the money was used to buy data quotas for my children to study from home,” said Mujahidin to ACT on Thursday (6/3/2021). His children have not received data quota assistance for a long time.

The only way out for the Mujahidin is to keep selling Es Oyen. He travels around using a cart pulled by an old motorbike from 08.00 a.m till 04.00 p.m.

His merchandises are not always sold out. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, his business has been hampered. He often earns not enough money just to buy fuel for his motorbike, let alone to buy the ingredients.

"I want to use a bicycle so I don't need to pay for gasoline or go to a repair shop for service anymore. Often, my motorbike suddenly breaks down on the road. However, I don't have a bicycle,” said Mujahidin.

If he doesn't make enough money, Mujahidin often has to stop selling temporarily. He works odd jobs, such as being a construction worker or a porter at the market.

He needs not only business capital but also money to feed his family. "I often owe 2 liters of rice and eggs for the side dish at a nearby shop. Alhamdulillah, the shop owner understands my condition very well, so it doesn't matter to him. I will pay it when I have money," he said.

The endless difficulties caused by the pandemic make Mujahidin worry about not properly supporting his family. He is also afraid that his two children will drop out of school. "It's really sad to see other families able to buy things for their children. I want to do so, but I have no money," said Mujahidin while holding his chest tight.