For many people in Indonesia football is more than supporting local heroes or their favorite club. Football feels like being part of a community, even in the most remote areas in Indonesia football is like a religion.
But we often forget the size of Indonesia and the many young football fans that live somewhere out in the far jungles. For all those kids it isn’t a normal thing to buy football shoes, a jersey, or even find a decent field to play on. But especially for the kids in remote areas, football is so important! Because they don’t have the privilege of going to a good classified university after their primary school or find decent work. Many kids end up somewhere on the streets and starting petty criminal activities to make a small salary.
In 2020, Indonesian football is being broadcasted widely on National TV and more and more remote areas are able to watch the big club’s performances. Together in small café’s they gather to see the results in the highest Indonesian Football league. That is also where the dreams of many young kids start – I want to become a professional football player! Following their heroes and trying to copy the lifestyle and training schedules to achieve the ultimate dream.
Of course, reaching the top is not reserved for many but there are heartwarming stories of professional football players coming from poor and tucked away areas in Indonesia. The biggest problem for the kids is actually not the drive or mentality but the facilities to play football. You can’t imagine that in some areas a decent ball is financially not reachable let alone shoes or a shirt.
“Football is not just a sport, but it is hope, joy, and togetherness”
We got in contact with FAJRI, a man who lives in Limo Kaum, Tanah Datar, West Sumatra. This is the man behind DUSUN TUO FC! A home for many children in the area. FAJRI, teaches them how to play football with simple training methods. Sometimes they even participate in small local football tournaments around the villages in West-Sumatra. We sat down with this unique man and talked about his passion!
What is the name of the community/football club?
The name is Dusun Tuo Fc, it’s named after the village we play in! The actual base of Dusun Tuo FC is in Limo Kaum Village in Tanah Datar regency in West-Sumatra. The kids are between 10-14 years old.
When did you start this football club?
I started in 2016, but within the first year we ran out of money and I stopped doing what I love so much. This year we started again and hopefully, it will hold a bit longer because it’s really good for the kids.
Why did you start again?
Since March, all the children can’t go to school because of the pandemic. Children have a lot of free time which is not utilized for useful things. And by that time, many children have been affected by drugs and other negative things.
To prevent the children from being badly influenced, therefore I started playing football with them again so that at least they use the time for positive things.
Do the children pay a fee to be part of Dusun Tuo Fc?
No, there is no fee at all! Everything is free and everyone can join actually.
So how can you cover all the costs?
My mother has a small business in making Nuts Chips, and I help her with that and deliver them to a few warungs in the village. Besides that, I work 2 or 3 times a week as a carrier for trucks. I help to load trucks on and off. I can finish about 50-70 bags a day! I got 1.000 IDR per bag, so a maximum of 70.000 IDR for over 8 hours of work.
For the small tournaments, I got help from friends regarding transportation. We can borrow a pick-up truck to move to the tournament location.
How is it going right now?
In the beginning, it was all about filling-time for the children. But because of the popularity, we had to schedule 2 training sessions a week! We play about 2 times a month against other villages.
What makes it so special to be part of Dusun Tuo Fc?
When I see them laughing out loud and enjoying our training sessions or the excitement they had before and after the match. The kids starting to appreciate each other more and more and acting like a real group/team. And nobody is complaining about broken shoes, the lack of training and the poor facilities.
Do the children need permission from their parents to play at Dusun Tuo Fc?
Yes, all the children get permission from their parents to join us. Most of the parents work as a farmer and are really happy the kids have different activities besides school and helping in the ricefields.
What do you want to achieve with Dusun TUO FC?
In general, I want to create Dusun Tuo Fc as a home where the children can realise their dreams to be someone and respected. Besides that a place were they can make new friends and enjoy playing football together. The ultimate dream would be having a regional competing team.
Maybe some day, one of our players can reach the Indonesian football top! It would be awesome to see one of my players on TV playing for an Indonesian team in the first or second division.
The future of Dusun Tuo FC and Awaydays Asia!
We as Awaydays Asia really do hope that there are more people like FAJRI! Every kid who likes football deserves the possibility to play the beautiful game! But unfortunately, we know that isn’t the situation in Indonesia.
We hope to get in touch with DUSUN TUO FC again soon and hopefully, we are able to help them take on to a new step in the future. Who knows that maybe someday we are able to donate a few football shoes or a team jersey for the kids!
TO BE CONTINUED…
AWAYDAYS ASIA in combination with SUMATRA VOLUNTEER for football community DUSUN TUO FC in West-Sumatra, Indonesia!