Some December birthday celebrants from the Jakarta office visited the ‘Rumah Sinar Kasih Harapan’ in East Bekasi, a home for underprivileged children on 17th December 2011. They gifted the 15 children who live in the house with a Christmas tree adorned with decorations, as well as biscuits, cookies, toys, books and sport items. Most of the children, age 7 to 18, come from underprivileged families in Nias island, West Sumatra, a small island that has experienced natural disaster of earthquakes and tsunami three times in the last five years. This small house, run by a Good Samaritan, Mr Aven, who is also originally from Nias, is totally bare, with not a single piece of furniture in it, let alone a Christmas tree.  The kids live a very basic life. Mr Aven explained that they arrived from Nias about a year ago and had only recently started attending school after a group of women met them and helped them register and join.

Happy to see us, they were stunned for a few seconds as they watched us taking out the Christmas tree from its box… they really could not believe what they were seeing. Everybody then quickly joined along in putting on all the beautiful Christmas decorations. They also enthusiastically decorated the house with Christmas wreaths and the garlands that we had brought along.

We then talked about the importance of sharing, brotherhood, Christmas and education… before moving onto the next surprise: toys, sweets and games! Again, this gave us the opportunity to chit-chat further about the importance of sharing, patience and tolerance.

To our surprise, the kids suddenly lined up and sang some Christmas songs as a gift to us!  Their angelic voices created mixed feelings which were touching. Yet we found it very sad to see these young people celebrating Christmas so far away from their homeland as well as being separated from their loved ones. We could only wish in the spirit of togetherness that they would console each other, and that our visit, the Christmas tree and our gifts would bring light into their new home and lives.

Staffs and kids