That afternoon, beneath a cloudy March sky, we pulled up at the entrance to one of the densest villages in Denpasar. Not long after, a woman riding a motorcycle with a basket perched on the back stopped next to our car. Her name is Jasmine Mustika. A woman from Malang who has lived in Bali since 1992. Jasmine and her family are one of the beneficiaries of the Family Bucket – a bucket filled with basic needs that we distribute to single mothers with school children in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jasmine led us down a road that got smaller and smaller – only enough to fit one car. After a few turns, we stopped at her house. We lowered the bucket, then one of my friends excused himself for a moment to park the car at the end of the road.
Jasmine and her family have lived in this house since 2003. Previously they resided in Kuta while managing an art shop. Because they did not feel comfortable with life in Kuta at that time, they then transferred the contract where the art shop was. “I want to live on the outskirts. I want to live in the village,” said Jasmine, reminiscing about her conversation with her husband.
In 2014, Jasmine’s husband died of a stroke. Jasmine also had to take care of her six children alone while keeping the sad news for some time from those who were very young at that time.
Every day, Jasmine works as a cook at the homes of her friends and acquaintances. Sometimes he also takes orders for rice boxes, nasi jinggo, and tumpeng for events. Apart from having enough food, she also saves the rest of her expenses just in case there is an urgent need for her children. “The important thing is that children can be like other children,” said Jasmine.
Four of Jasmine’s six children are still in school. Two are at SDN Kesiman, while the others are staying in Banyuwangi. Since the pandemic, his two elementary school children have studied online. It is difficult for Jasmine to divide her time between work and accompanying her children to learn. Jasmine hopes that her child will soon be able to attend face-to-face school. With this learning model, her children can learn more optimally. “In school, there is a teacher (who accompanies),” said Jasmine.
Even though the problematic situation forced Jasmine to work extra, Jasmine tried to be able to keep paying attention to the growth and development of her children. Among them is to support the hobbies of their children. Two of the children love to draw. One of them even became a champion in a calligraphy competition at his cottage.
In the future, Jasmine hopes to continue to support her children’s education. “I want to continue my children’s education to a level that – if Allah wills – I want my children to go to higher education, well-established schools. Well, surely everyone wants to have enough,” said Jasmine. (Eka)