Approaching the end of the year, it is good to look back and be able to report on the achievements of the children living at SOS Children’s Village Jakarta and its Youth Community.
Let’s begin with the academic success of our young people. Nine girls and boys finished higher education since 2007. Six of them obtained a diploma requiring a three-year study. Rena Apriliyanti got hers for Accountancy from STIE Jayakarta; Ari Supriyanto for Information Management from Akakom Yogyakarta; Antonius Didit for Food Science from Tarakanita Academy, Yogyakarta; Yohanes L. Agusta for Room Management from the Tourism Institute in Bandung (he now works at a Supersuite of the spectacular Atlantis Hotel in Dubai); K. Desi Natalia for Public Relations from Interstudi, Jakarta; Trisiani Kinasih for Accountancy from the State University Jakarta. Three girls succeeded in acquiring an academic degree after a four-year study; Eliza Yana graduated in Management from the private University “Nasional”; and our twins Febriana and Febriani graduated from St. Carolus Hospital’s Institute for Nursing Science (originally, both wanted to study at the Nurses’ Academy of the same Hospital, but as they excelled at the entrance tests, the staff there strongly advised them to take up Nursing Science. Both now are doing the year of hospital practice necessary for their career). Another young man, Mikhael Sobandi, who was the very first child accepted at SOS Jakarta at a very young age but later moved to SOS Semarang, graduated from the Faculty of Psychology of Soegijopranoto University, Semarang, in 2005; he works at a firm’s human relations department.
But how about our present kids? Well, they are purposely being engaged in all kinds of activities and experiences in order to prepare them for a successful future, with life lived to the full.
A big gathering staged at Le Méridien Hotel by our friends and sponsors of Wadah involved a number of children and staff from SOS Jakarta. Twelve girls and boys performed the very difficult Saman dance from Aceh and six played percussion instruments. Their contribution was integrated in a drama, in perfect coordination with young artists from SOS Bali, Lembang, and Yogyakarta. Their presentation was cheered by the international audience – and they deserved it, too! Furthermore, a bazaar was set up in the hotel lobby, exhibiting and selling handicrafts, food items, and beverages produced mainly by women assisted by the SOS Family Strengthening Program. Crafts made by children from several SOS Villages were also on display.
Like in previous years, more than 40 children of the SOS Nursery – remember, besides our own children there are those from the neighbourhood – were sleeping in tents put up in the Village field for two days. This was a small step towards self-reliance, as, for a night, they were separated from their mother and siblings. (Just imagine, four kindergarten teachers helping forty kids with their bath twice a day!) Exciting activities fit for their age were arranged. Although some mothers had been afraid, their darling would cry or fuss, the little ones were cheerful and lively and surely will have happy memories from their first camping experience. The event ended with a family gathering for the children, their parents, brothers and sisters; even some grandparents and aunties joined in. They all, including the teachers, enjoyed lunch together.
On another occasion, the nursery class was taken to a place outside Jakarta, where they learnt about rural life. As the majority of Indonesian peasants work in the rice fields, the children were also shown how to plant rice, which is hard work and usually done by women. Then they could try for themselves – quite an experience for our city children! As you can see in the photo, they took their task seriously!
Dear Friends, on behalf of young and old at SOS Jakarta, we at the National Office thank you for all your kindness during the past year and wish you and your family a Joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
SOS DESA TARUNA INDONESIA
Gregor H. Nitihardjo