A 33-year-old Indonesian woman initiated a civic campaign in March under which about 30 of her compatriots joined with her to clean up an old district of Taichung, central Taiwan, on the first Sunday of each month.
Pindy, who is from Purwokerto, Central Java, has been working as a domestic caregiver in Taiwan for more than eight years, the United Daily News reported.
The cleanup campaign in Taichung’s Central district serves two purposes – to raise environmental awareness and to reverse local people’s stereotypical thinking that migrant workers are not civic-minded.
Some Indonesians might have been accused of messing up the community, as some workers would smoke, drink and leave behind rubbish after gathering in the streets. Pindy wanted to prove that most Southeast Asians also love to keep the environment clean and tidy.
Considering Taiwan their second home, more than 30 Indonesian volunteers started picking up trash in the streets from ASEAN Square – a renowned hangout spot for Southeast Asian migrant workers – and finished at Taichung Park.
The migrants would politely remind people regardless of their nationality not to litter. Some people were upset at the beginning at being “corrected,” but most were touched by the Indonesian group’s efforts to keep the streets clean.