This year will be the third year for the big family of SOS Children’s Villages MEULABOH, BANDA ACEH and MEDAN moving to their Village. The atmosphere is getting warmer by the increasing number of children living in each SOS-Village. About 90 children are now living at SOS Children’s Village Meulaboh, 100 children are at SOS CV Medan and 102 children are living at SOS CV Banda Aceh.
Although formal education is top priority, all kinds of activities are to develop our children’s talents, skills and characters. For example, in MEULABOH, the boys and girls are learning how to plant crops by organizing a program called ‘Little Farmers’. They started the program last March. After cleaning, hoeing and fertilizing the land, they started putting the seeds of kind of leafy vegetable named kangkung. Three days later, the kangkung have shown its young leaves. Three weeks afterwards, the vegetables were ready to crop. The children were very excited and could not wait the harvest time. However, after returning from school, they were surprised to see the garden. There were almost nothing left in the garden.. They were so upset and angry when they found out that a group of goats went into the garden and ate almost all the vegetable. What made the educators proud was that the children were not frustrated. After being upset for a while, they then cleaned the garden and harvested the vegetable left, washed and tight them in bunches. The children were even happier when the mothers bought all the vegetable so that they could buy more seeds for their next crops. Their effort is something to be proud of especially to the educators because this way the teens give good examples to the younger children.
As to the SOS Children’s Villages BANDA ACEH and MEDAN, they just organized outdoor activities for the children, i.e. camping. Everybody was very excited because it was for the first time they went camping and it gave a great experience for them.
Around 70 children of elementary and junior high school from SOS Children’s Village BANDA ACEH joined the camping at Terebeh village, which is located quite far from the Village. Before going to the camping site the children were equipped with knowledge about nature and how they have to behave with the plants. Besides, they also taught how to cross a river using a rope for a safety, work in dynamic group and play various games, including the night scream game. They were only allowed to bring rice and vegetables because they had to find the side-dishes by themselves. The children were confused at the first time but then when they arrived in the camp-site, they were more excited to see a river. They finally knew where they should find the side-dish. So, after putting up the tents, some boys and girls went to the river and tried to find some fish for dinner. All children seemed satisfied and happy that they asked to have similar program next year.
On a Saturday afternoon, the teenagers – accompanied by three educators - from the SOS Village MEDAN were ready for a holiday. They were going for camping. They had to walk for about 20 minutes to get a bus. However, unfortunately, after waiting for quite a long time they didn’t get any busses because they were all full. Finally they decided to stop a truck. All the teenagers enjoyed the trip very much. Along the way, they chatted, laughed and sang songs cheerfully.
After two hours of the journey, they finally arrived at the camp-site but it was already dark and the weather was unfriendly. It was very cool, windy and drizzling. However that didn’t decrease the enthusiasm of the children. Together they worked to build the tents and some started cooking dinner. At 8 p.m. the children finished all the work, the tents and food were finally ready. After finishing dinner, they set up a campfire, spent about two hours singing songs with a guitar accompaniment and enjoyed the campfire. The next day, they got up early in the morning, prepared themselves for a mountain hike to see the famous ‘three colours waterfall’. At about 8 a.m all teenagers and the educators left the camp-site. The children were so excited because the weather was nice, the sky was clear and bright. With full of spirit they walked hand in hand through a streaming river with small and big rocks. However, after two hours walk they still didn’t find the waterfall, they began to surrender and decided to go back to the camp-site. Arriving at the camp-site, they prepared the things for going home and tried to find a truck for their ride. Although they had no chance yet to see the waterfall, the children were still very happy. They kept laughing and joking until finally they arrived at the SOS Village Medan safely. The children were very tired but they had unforgetable memories, i.e. the stronger feeling of brotherhood they experienced during the camping.
Dear Friends, the big families of SOS Children’s Villages MEULABOH, BANDA ACEH and MEDAN thank you for all the support and attention you have been giving all this time. They send their warmest regards to you.
SOS DESA TARUNA INDONESIA
Gregor H. Nitihardjo