August 2016 Project Update

Atambua Report

Atambua Report On August 12 our team of 5 arrived in Atambua. Esther, Daniel and Terry coming from Jakarta and 2 student volunteers from France, Karine and Gloria, joined us for 2 weeks of adventure and excitement with the people of Atambua and the surrounding area of Belu Regency. Family Care Indonesia has been regularly organizing social projects in and around Atambua for 8 years. Most of these projects have been initiated by Esther originally from the Philippines who makes routine trips from Jakarta. She has done a phenomenal job of organizing projects and sponsors both local and foreign to channel thousands of dollars’ worth of goods and support to this area. She is now very will know in Atambua and in the villages where she regularly visits schools distributing clothing, medicine, school supplies and books. She is also well known and loved by the business community as well as the Government head of Belu Regency. She has also encouraged other friends from Jakarta to join her on trips to Atambua and some of them are now organizing their own social projects and conducting them totally on their own. Seeing Esther in action is a marvelous experience in itself, an average Philippine mother of 7 with such a contagious enthusiasm that infects all those around her. This year is first time we have received 2 foreign student volunteers.

Karine and Gloria came from France to volunteer for 2 weeks in Atambua. They were a tremendous asset to our team and touched the lives of so many people in the area. Their willingness to interact and reach out to the local people broke down any communication language barrier and the local people were very moved by these 2 young girls of 20 years old who took the time to just be with them and love them.

After arriving in Atamabua we started right away with visiting schools. At each school we usually sing songs with the children and spend a little time getting to know them and introducing ourselves, the children also usually sing one or two of their own traditional songs. The packages we distributed consisted of school supplies, vitamins, cough medicine and snacks. In the past we have also distributed clothing, shoes, slippers, school bags, etc. All of these goods are usually collected in Jakarta and then shipped ahead of time to Atambua where we pick them up. On this particular trip after spending some time in visiting schools in Atambua we traveled about 2 hours into the mountains where we spend 3 days. The conditions in the villages are quite poor and many are under nourished.

Our 3 day visit happened to be at the time of Indonesian Independence day so we joined in on the activities and then traveled to various villages to distribute donated goods. We always prefer to personally meet the people and children and give any donated items to them directly. This way it prevents any possibility of the goods being collected and sold for profit to any particular individual.

Before returning to Jakarta we had the opportunity to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the Primavera Preschool. This is the school that we helped to build; even though the building was completed in 2009 the preschool was officially in operation before that time. We celebrated with the preschool children by having lunch all together and a big birthday cake. On this trip we also met with Carlos who was introduced to us by a good friend. Carlos is originally from Timor Leste and is involved in quite a few pilot projects and training programs. He is offering free computer training as well as agriculture and livestock farming projects and an art project with colorful pots for plants. He took us to see some of his projects which were very interesting and still in the beginning stages, basically empowering local people to be productive. He is seeking sponsorship and funding and this is something that we are also interested in supporting in the future.

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As you can see from this one trip that there is so much to still be done and there is tremendous potential. There is a lot of networking that goes into these projects from meeting with sponsors in Jakarta, communicating with sponsors abroad, shipping of supplies and organizing teams and working together with those in Atambua who all help to make these projects a success. Please contact us if you would like to be a part.

Activities in Bandung

Dina makes routine visits to center for children with cancer in Bandung. 17-year-old high school student, Diar (left), who rode 60 kms on his motorbike to spend time with the cancer kids. He was a big help the day I was there. I really admire sacrificial young people like Diar and tried to encourage him all I could.

We’re continuing the weekly English classes at the Grace House Orphanage. The orphans also have daily music practice some on violin and others on piano and guitar. Lika (right) brings along several laptops to make her classes as interactive as possible. I love the way she’s able to improvise, using kiddy chairs as desks and buddying-up two teens to a laptop.

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