The Corona Virus has ravaged the world, causing many calamities, and has been known as no less than a worldwide blight. While people around the world suffer mentally, physically, and emotionally, all we can do is see the world through news articles and electronic devices. We feel helpless as a result. The disaster continually gets worse as the days go by and with bad news outweighing the good — a new “normal” which has devastated the health of people and impoverished many worldwide.

I have been living in Singapore for more than a year and the thought of the virus getting worse in my hometown of Indonesia, Jakarta, never ceases to cross my mind. Each day, the corona cases in Indonesia are in the tens of thousands and ever-growing. As a result, millions have been further impoverished, living on the streets and becoming increasingly susceptible to the coronavirus as the new delta variant is airborne. Not only has the coronavirus affected intrinsic factors but also extrinsic ones such as financial stability and security. Many small and medium businesses on the verge of bankruptcy have been forced to close down as they rely heavily on physical interaction, which is greatly limited. Aside from businesses, there exist food carts called “gerobak” in Indonesia where Indonesian women and men go around the city selling snacks, groceries, homemade food, and delicacies; they have been forced to stop operating as people are scared to go out in light of the coronavirus. A recent interview made by a credible news source showed that some of the impoverished in Indonesia were more worried about whether they had enough money to eat rather than Corona itself, showing the financial issues present in Indonesia but certainly present on a global scale too. 

Feeling stuck and helpless, I decided to start Operation Drip, an organization aimed to assist the Indonesian community get through these times with a little bit more ease and comfort. Operation drip is an organization I founded to help Indonesians to understand financial literacy. We start with the population we can make the most long-term impact with kids. Schools teach us about maths, science, english, but do we know how to manage funds or our emotions or how to meditate? That is the problem I seek to solve with Operation Drip: to help kids understand what personal financial literacy involves despite their backgrounds. 

We focus on impoverished communities, such as Kampongs and Panti Asuhans, and teach these kids how to manage money effectively. Our course has a myriad of information on managing, maintaining, and exponentially increasing money efficiently despite the person’s starting point. Our plan is to eventually partner with other organizations that aim to modernize and technologize the food stall people in Indonesia so as to allow them to properly manage their money when a regular influx of it starts coming. In today’s times, financial issues are an ever-recurring problem, and with this course, the money people earn, no matter how much, can be saved, managed, and spent properly in order for them to integrate and survive in these troubled times. We plan to distribute this to adults eventually too. 

So in retrospect, and as I write this, Corona has had a silver lining for small and mid-sized businesses in creating new opportunities and ways of innovation. I still believe the foundation of those innovations would be strengthened with key financial abilities, which is why developing these skills at an early age is critical. The current climate of “ed-tech” is undoubtedly changing for teachers, parents, and students alike, but is content changing fast enough? My inclination is no, and that is why I founded Operation Drip: to provide access to all underprivileged kids with the basics of financial literacy.