Each year, we have the opportunity to travel and spend a day with the kids of Berkat Bangsa, an orphanage in Batam, Indonesia. In every visit, we would bring food, books, and school supplies for the children and the care takers of the centre.
Currently, the centre takes care of 40 kids; a double in number as opposed to a couple of years back. The surge in number of kids in many orphanages around the country was brought about by the deadliest tsunami which hit Banda Aceh and other provinces, which reportedly claimed the lives of 170,000 people in Indonesia alone.
We usually arrive at the centre at about 10am, just in time when the kids are back from school. The Indonesian couple who founded the centre sends the kids to a nearby public institution where they can enjoy their right to a formal education.
We would kick off the day with a fun game where we can introduce ourselves to them and vice versa. Getting acquainted with them can be a bit tricky at first as some of them are really shy, especially the little ones.
We’d organise learning programmes and interactive games which aim to help teach them valuable life lessons on the importance of education, unity, and friendship. In addition to the fun games and activities, we would also teach them basic English and Maths.
Many from our group could speak Bahasa, so it’s relatively easier for us to communicate with the kids. The kids love to sing and dance and they would even prepare a short program for us to culminate the day’s activities. This year’s theme was, “Putting others first before self.”
As we play, eat, sing and dance with them, we are reminded that sharing is really not just about the food, money or other material things; it’s about the quality time that we spend for others. Though we would always leave the centre with a heavy, heavy heart, as some kids won’t let us go; we bring along with us beautiful images of their happy faces and loud laughters throughout the course of the day.
Upon returning home and getting on with our daily grind, we never cease to cherish, enjoy and live the experience–the value of sharing and finding time to reach out and help the needy.
Subject: Dance of Hope
Location: Batam, Indonesia