Sharing Happiness in the Time of Pandemic

The free meal service not only benefits the recipients, but also a provides a job opportunity for a number of people who help the restaurant owners in preparing hundreds of meal packages.

Ida Royati (47), a resident of Bambu Apus, South Tangerang, helped prepare lunch at Kampung Halaman Restaurant. The middle-aged woman works as a motorcycle taxi driver. Her livelihood has been severely affected by the pandemic. (ACTNews / Gina Mardani)

ACTNews, SOUTH TANGERANG – For Ida Royati (47), the key to happiness is always doing activities with pleasure, including when assisting the production of 100 free meal packages daily for nine days at Kampung Halaman Restaurant, Bambu Apus, South Tangerang. Ida said, she is grateful for the opportunity to help others in the time of pandemic.

"I don't think much about this job, just do it. The important thing is a happy heart," Ida said after wrapping hundreds of meal packages, Monday (4/6). According to Ida, what is more important right now is to work together.

Every day, she works as a motorcycle taxi driver for her neighbors. "Yesterday, I took my neighbor’s kid to school. I usually get paid weekly. Now, after the schools are closed, I can’t take children to school. I sometimes also help transport bridal make-up artists, sometimes even at 2 or 3 a.m.  If requested. I can also be take my customers to the market," she said.

Being an odd-jobber poses a certain challenge for Ida. After the pandemic, Ida has lost her sources of income. Therefore, she was very grateful when invited by Mega Sari (47), the owner of Kampung Halaman Restaurant, to help prepare 100 meal packages. "Alhamdulillah, I did not expect to be invited to help ACT in this program. I am happy to help," Ida said while smiling.

The free meal service not only benefits the recipients, but also a provides a job opportunity for a number of people who help the restaurant owners in preparing hundreds of meal packages, as said by Mega Sari, Monday (4/6). Through the free meal service supported by Aksi Cepat Tanggap and Danone, she can also help others by hiring more people.

"Usually, only three of us run this restaurant: me, my mother, and my aunt. I asked Ida for help because I need more people," Mega said. She saw the true impact of community cooperation to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic from the socio-economics aspect.

Kampung Halaman Restaurant that had been closed previously was back in business by preparing free meal packages for 100 beneficiaries for nine days. To Mega, the free meal service is one of the ways to share happiness to those who can’t stay home during the pandemic because they have to make a living.

Mega said, she was also immensely grateful to be an intermediary between the benefactors and the beneficiaries as Mega often heard good wishes from the beneficiaries. "Believe it or not, once you do an act of kindness once, you will definitely want to do it again," Mega believed. []