Who says sewing is a woman’s job? Men can do it, too, even better. Dani Pramana proves it.
The journey of one’s life could never be predicted, including the journey of Dani Pramana. The absence of the cost to go to school almost made him hopeless, but hope was always there for those who want to try. Dani was still a child then. He just graduated from elementary school (SD). However, his parents said that they could not afford Dani’s education to the junior high level (SMP). Little Dani was sad, of course. But he did not want to surrender to his fate. He felt that he had to get out of his difficulties, because he did not want to end up like his father, Disri, who worked as a construction worker. He spontaneously followed the advice of friends who lived in his neighborhood who were studying at Rumah Belajar (RB) Duri Kepa. “My friends invited me to join them. So without hesitation, I immediately registered,” said Dani. The important thing was going back to school, he thought to himself.
Pursuing After Package B and C
Because Dani graduated from elementary school, he automatically joined Package B program, which was equivalent to Junior High School. The first child of three siblings admitted initially he did not follow the lessons in RB managed by Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) too seriously. “But after a while, I started to have fun at school. Moreover, I had some friends at school. Solidarity among students was great,” said Dani. “Since I felt comfortable, I became more serious and diligent,” he recalled with a smile. He even joined some courses. Dani chose a sewing course, again based on his friend’s invitation.
If we only dream and imagine things, but do nothing, what good is that for? Our lives depend on ourselves.
Probably because he initially was just following his friends, Dani took the course half-heartedly and often skipped classes. “I got chased by the teacher,” he recalled with a laugh. “But RB was really great. My teachers were patient and continued to motivate me, and I was changed. My teachers said ‘sewing is a job that will not go extinct, and the more creative the tailor, the more promising the future will be’,” Dani recalled.
Self-motivation was not the only thing that made this single man born in Lampung, May 19, 1995 became diligent. “The course’s material was getting more and more interesting. Finally, I was no longer skipping classes,” said Dani seriously. “I found a new passion. It turned out sewing was really exciting,” he added. Going to school while taking sewing course did not make Dani forget his responsibility to study. High spirits and a pleasant environment made Dani always enthusiastic about going to Rumah Belajar. “From grade 1 to grade 3, I excelled, and got into the top three,” said Dani. These achievements produced unexpected results. “From grade 2 to grade 3, I received a scholarship from YCAB,” Dani said. After passing Package B in 2012, Dani continued to take Package C, also in Rumah Belajar Duri Kepa. However, just a few months after having a taste of school equivalent to high school, Dani was offered by his teacher to attend International Training Garment Center in Bogor. The training program was organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs and lasted for two months.
After the training, Dani received a job offer. But Dani refused, because he wanted to go back to school. When returning to school, it was near the final exam time of the semester. Faced with many tasks, Dani who had just gone to training missed a lot of his classes. “I was clueless. Obviously I had missed the lectures. I did my exam to the best of my ability,” Dani said. The result as he already expected, was not good. However, when he retook the exam, his grade increased, but that semester Dani did not get a scholarship. The incident became a whip for Dani. Eager to turn the situation around, Dani studied harder in his second semester. His efforts paid off. Dani was again entitled to a scholarship from YCAB up to the third grade.
Apparently, during second grade, one of the few compulsory subjects at school was sewing. RB even brought in master trainers who then invited students to work on orders from outside parties. “The lesson was deepened and we were doing more practice. When working on orders, we got paid. The money could be used to meet personal needs, so there was no need to ask our parents for money,” said Dani cheerfully.
Sewing can make money. There’s no need to go to the office because it can be done at home.
Being able to be a little bit more independent made Dani more enthusiastic to learn sewing. “Teachers motivated us by telling us that sewing could make money. There was no need to go to the office. This activity could be done at home,” said Dani mimicking the words of his teacher. According to Dani, sewing clothes tend to be easier than sewing bags, because almost 95% of the time, he only has to sew straight to make clothes. “In contrast to making or sewing bags. In accordance with the shape of the bag, there are a circle, an oval, or a rectangle. Especially for a small bag or pouch, the sewing is more complicated,” said Dani. “In addition, bag materials also tend to be thicker than clothing or shirts. Hence handbag makers are mostly male, because physically they tend to be stronger than female,” he added.
On The Road to Success
When he had finished Package C in RB Duri Kepa, Dani tried to work as a janitorial supply shopkeeper. Until finally in 2015, there was a teacher from YCAB who came to Dani’s house to discuss about working at YCAB. “I immediately rejoined YCAB. This time not as a student, but as a staff member,” said Dani with a twinkle of happiness on his face that could not be hidden.
Family is my passion for learning and working.
Dani is placed in the bag production section. “There is a supervisor who receives orders from customers my friends and I make the bags and fulfill the orders,” Dani said. His family became his passion to keep learning and working. “After my mom passed away in 2010, my dad had been living alone. My brothers, Aldi (16 years) lives in Pandeglang and Rangga (6 years) lives with my grandmother,” said Dani. “The kind of bags we produce are clutches, tote bags, and goodie bags,” he continued. This work not only makes him independent, but he can also help his family.
As the first child of three siblings, Dani assumes the task of sustaining the family’s economy as his responsibility. “All of them rely on me,” he continued. “My success is when I can help my dad financially including making him and the whole family happy,” he said wisely.