2 days ago, precisely on November 26th, Private Leisure International once again conducted our monthly Bali Charity program as it targeting an orphanage in Klungkung Regency. It called Semara Putra Orphanage located at Dewi Sartika N0. 5 Semarapura, Klungkung. This residential institution is under the care of Ibu Made Gunasih, the foster mother since 1985, the very first year this orphanage built. Nowadays, she takes 100 orphans under her wing. There are 60 handicapped children, 4 autism and the remaining 36 are normal children.
We departed from our office around 11.30 pm in the afternoon and departed directly to Klungkung. After an hour and a half drive, we arrived at at Semara Putra Orphanage. We were welcome directly by the orphans, the foster mother and her parlors. We had a very warm hug as the foster mother uttered prayer for our wellbeing. We had quite a merry greeting despite the poor condition of this orphanage, something that we did not expected at all. We knew their good intention yet we will be more than please just by visiting the site with the simpler welcome. It is since we knew their exact condition due to our previous inspection before finally deciding this orphanage to become our project of the month.
We led to one of the room in this orphanage where long table and chairs had been prepared. There we introduced ourselves and then listened to the foster mother brief introduction about Semara Putra’s factual condition. What were they urgently needed, their short history and the progress until today. It revealed that they really in desperate state of affairs with their primary needs that is food to feed 100 children then followed by education fee. The condition where they did not have regular donator complicates their already complicated lives.
Aid from regional government definitely could not gives firm support for this orphanage. How come they can continuing the lives of 100 children with IDR3,000 per children per day when people usually cost more than that just to eat every single day. What more tragic was this month donation that was only IDR 35,000 in total. We could not imagine the struggling of this orphanage just to eat every day. Once was an organization gave donation but with a very small number that was 1,500 per day per one children as it dedicated for 30 children only despite the fact that Semara Putra take care more than 30.
Ibu Gunasih has to use every single ways to cover the expense and to provide all children necessity especially their regular proper meals. She will indebted to shops owner or to the school as she asked for compensation until the orphanage has fund to cover the debt. It usually succeeds since Ibu Gunasih is a responsible person and has local’s trust with her. Every single day they will cost 30 kilograms rice for three times meal per day to feed all 100 children there. Her years of devotion to this orphanage gladly not conducted alone since this year she has seven local volunteers and what more pleased us was 1 volunteer from German who teach the children there about computer, English and Germany.
Ibu Gunasih will try her best to provide not only good food, fine shelter but also proper education for all children, normal or not. In the morning they will have their formal education, then it will be followed with additional skills such as dancing, computer, foreign language, anything. They also has raising ducks, goats and pigs in this orphanage so children, everything that could develop all of them into an independent person.
Things that really knocked our heart, and realize that we are in a better shape, better condition and better living was when we watched Ibu Gunasih teach the deaf children how to read and write. They use mirror so those children able to see the mouth motion in order to produce a solid sound. Despite their loss of hearing sensory, they try their best to said “Ibu” and “Bapak”. They are handicapped children and normal children in this orphanage. Some with no parents or families, some with parents giving up them due to a very tragic economic condition and others are parents who did not know how to educate their handicapped children. Ibu Gunasih said that they are children, normal or not, they deserve proper education and better life. Thus, she always try her best to prepare from the first step of education until circulating their life after school.
Today, there is already school for handicapped in front of Semara Putra orphanage up to high school level. It really help the children education since few years ago when the handicapped school only until elementary level only, graduated from it, Ibu Gunasih will deliver those children outside the region for them to have higher levels of education, such as in Denpasar or Badung. For normal children, when they graduate from their formal education, Ibu Gunasih will communicate it with hotels or resorts in south Bali regarding any training or works available for her children. Very lots of work to do and huge responsibilities in which she never let go even in her old ages.
We also accompanied by her to looking around this orphanage. We were shown where they sleep, children and woman are in one room with bunks bed and their secondhand lockers, and in separate building across the lawn were the male rooms with their bunk beds and old cupboards. There is also kitchen where 3 cooks prepare the meals, their barn with ducks, 2 goats and 3 pigs. Small land close to the barn actually used for plant but it usually failed due to the dry climate in Klungkung and if they used too many waters for plantation means another additional cost for them. We also saw their common room, that same room we used to meet and greet, completed with 1 television for all children there.
While accompanying with our little tour, Ibu Gunasih share her experience of her almost 26 years’ devotion. How she almost gave up, crying every night feels all are enough, but keep going with the support of her late husband, even where she was retired as a teacher and entering her old age, she keep maintaining this position, despite an once attempt came to spend her retired time with her grandchildren. She is a great and noble woman not only for children there but also for us who have this opportunity to meet her.
We gave not a big scale donation as we deliver it with utmost sincerity. Private Leisure International donated kilograms rice, boxes of Instant noodles, some kilograms of sugar, few liters cooking oil, bread, stationery and some hairbands. Each children also receive package of snacks and there are also some secondhand clothing from not only PL crews but also from some friends of PL staffs’ acquaintance. We also gave some amount of cash for this orphanage.
Several minutes before we leave the orphanage, we take our time to interact with the children, with other caretakers and with Ibu Gunasih while taking some pictures. They all are very eager, cheerful children, despite the hardship and struggle they face, handicapped or not, they still smile with wide big happy grin with us. This charity has changes and teaches us that despite our hard time, there are people in the world struggle with greater suffering. That is when we are whining, we need to remind ourselves of the children at this orphanage, who never give up and their foster mother with her utmost devotion and unconditional love. This charity, what we give perhaps not a big scale donation, but we give it with heart and we believe all people in the world could lend their hands, no matter how small, since for those people in need, our small helps means a lot.
For those who wish to help this orphanage, no matter how small, they are in need of any form of primary needs to support the children meals, cash that can be use to support the children education, they also need detergent to do laundry. The children at Semara Putra Orphanage also welcoming anything that can support their education time such as school textbooks or even desks to provide them better place to write since they have to study on floor or at bed.
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