Hands on in Indonesia

By Jessica Elgot, December 8, 2011
Jonas Dein and fellow CBBC prize winners hard at work in a silk factory

Jonas Dein and fellow CBBC prize winners hard at work in a silk factory

A JFS pupil swapped school books for factory work this summer in Indonesia, for a special CBBC show broadcast next week.

Year 10 pupil Jonas Dein, 15, from Hampstead Garden Suburb, beat 800 others for a place on the programme Show Me What You're Made Of, which follows five children as they travel through Indonesia and the Phillipines, which make gadgets, toys and clothes for British children.

Finchley Progressive Synagogue member Jonas said: "The idea was that we would live the life of the workers, earn their wages, sleep at their houses and work their hours as much as British law would allow.

"We had sleepovers with families. They were the lowliest workers there. We ate with them; we saw how much they could afford with their wages. There were kids running around the factories, they had to stop education and work. It was meant to trigger something for us to think about our own lives.

"I've had no experience like it, it was a blur. It was weird - when I came home and was making some pasta it was strange to be able to turn down the hob. The family we were living with used to say 'turn down the fire' and take sticks out and stamp on them. I put some socks on and I was thinking 'have I been to the factories where these socks are made?' It made you realise how small the world is. None of us thought it would have such a strong affect on us. I would love to go back."

Since returning, Jonas has been working to help the people he met on his trip. "I've done some car boot sales to fundraise for people I met there. I have raised nearly £400 and I'm going to keep on going."

Jonas added: "My parents tell everyone they meet. My friends are all really excited to see it."

Melissa Hardinge, executive producer for CBBC, said: "In the run-up to Christmas, children are often most concerned about ensuring that the latest must-have items are on their wish-list, but this programme illustrates what other people go through to make the things that they take for granted."

The five-episode programme will air from Monday night on CBBC at 6.15pm.

Last updated: 1:20pm, December 8 2011