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Families fighting corruption: Winds of change blowing from South Sulawesi

Winds of change blowing from South Sulawesi

Recently Saya Perempuan Anti Korupsi (SPAK) agents from South Sulawesi (SulSel) engaged with Government officials in spreading anti corruption values.  People are becoming inspired to make changes in their own lives and in their communities. Agents in SulSel are now extending the movement to the rest of Sulawesi, to Papua and throughout the North and North East of Indonesia.

“I used to help friends get their children into the best schools and they gave me gifts in return,” an Agent from District of Goa told. “Now that I know it’s a gratification, I have stopped doing that. I feel embarrassed in myself.”  

The next generation of Indonesians are coming through as SEMAI agents. SEMAI is a movement generated from SPAK to encourage school children to focus on 9 anti corruption values identified by the KPK. A SPAK Agent from Maros, Sulawesi told the story of being with her SEMAI agent daughter when she paid for their purchase at a convenient store and was given candy as a substitute for change. The girl suddenly rebuked, “You shouldn’t give candy as change. Do you receive candy as payment in this store? This is corruption!” Mum was shocked but felt extremely proud of her daughter.

SEMAI agents are rejecting common corruptive behavior. One insisted to his mom that she must refuse an invitation from his teacher to deliver a school report privately to their home, because it might create the potential for gratification. Another refused to be driven to school in his dad’s official car.

Another SPAK agent was asked to pay a bribe by her company to make a new project run smoothly. She told her SEMAI agent son of the dilemma and he replied “Why are you confused, Mum? Just choose… quit from the project or quit from SPAK.” 

Gratification can sometimes be misunderstood as charity.  A SEMAI agent told that she is against her mum’s habit to give money to the security guy in the Post Office, which refers to as a charity. “She doesn’t realize that this is the reason why she is always served first. It’s not easy to make people understand, but I will never stop trying.” 

These stories of change reflect the hope being created among the SPAK and SEMAI movements.