The day following the match at Persija, Ajax visited the Museum Nasional in Jakarta. They didn’t go to see the famous collection, but for a batik workshop with kids from a disadvantaged background, and for a round of football with these kids in the museum gardens.
Batik: the art of decorating textile with dye and embellishments. For most of the Ajax players, this is a new experience. As they arrive at the museum, the football players and staff are divided into groups and they get to work enthusiastically with the kids. Everyone shows their final results proudly: birds, fish, dolphins and many adorned with the Ajax logo.
For the kids, what’s even better than batik is the arrival of the Ajax players. Everyone wants to pose for a picture with the football players, autographs are handed out left and right. Siem de Jong: “These kids don’t have it easy. In my group, there were several kids who had lost their parents. That’s extremely sad. Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine the circumstances here. And when you look around today and see all of these smiling faces, it’s just incredible.”
The clinic was organized by the Ajax Foundation. In cooperation with the local embassy and local foundations, 75 kids were invited for the batik session. All of the attending kids came from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The foundation, through the sport of football, tries to provide tools for real life. And it’s working, says the Indonesian participant Rianna. “Since I’ve been playing football, I’ve made so many new friends. I’ve become less selfish, because you need to work together on the field. And I’ve also gained confidence.” The fact that they now have the opportunity to meet with the Ajax players is great. “Everyone is so nice and friendly, it’s a really fun day.”
And how do you end a morning when you have two groups who absolutely love football? Exactly, with a ball in the museum gardens. The Ajax players have fun with the kids and try to outdo each other with nice tricks and plays. When the bus leaves, Lesly de Sa needs the most time to leave the museum grounds. His version of ‘Terima Kasih’ (Indonesian for ‘Thank you’) makes his very popular. And the wing forward’s autograph is in high demand.