Volunteer Story: A Reflection from Banyuwangi

As a safe space for Indonesian children to escape the chains of trafficking, violence, and exploitation, Rumah Faye is back with its three programs. Namely, Prevention, Rescue, and Recovery. When the whole world is struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this does not prevent Rumah Faye’s enthusiasm to continue to carry out its activities with the most economically affected communities. This time, in the context of its 7th anniversary, Rumah Faye held a Children’s Rights Discussion with the Child Welfare Institution (LKSA) Mawar Kasih. LKSA Mawar Kasih is an orphanage that was established in 1973. The orphanage is located in Banyuwangi and has 37 foster children in school at the kindergarten, elementary, junior high, and high school levels.

For the smoothness of this special event, Rumah Faye has strict considerations, so it can only invite three of Faye’s Friends (re: the name for Faye’s House volunteers), namely Javier, Tiana, and Sadun. We are the writers of this story who want to share exciting experiences with fellow readers. The news of this discussion event is a matter of pride and confidence for us, who are very happy to return to activities after a long delay due to the pandemic.

Before departure, the staff of Rumah Faye—Kak Tasya and Kak Imam—created a WhatsApp group to coordinate the event. Each group member gives each other ideas, and it’s sparked to discuss children’s rights. We also split our tasks. Javier and Sadun prepared materials on information sharing and also information on tourist attractions with Kak Imam. An unforgettable experience, considering that we made preparations only about 2-3 weeks before the event. When the day came, we set out with one goal in mind, which was to be successful in providing information to our younger siblings and at the same time celebrating the birthday of Rumah Faye with them. The proverb ‘killed two birds with one stone’ is enough to describe what we are doing.

October 16, 2020, was our first day. We made decorations for the birthday event of Rumah Faye with the LKSA Mawar Kasih sisters. After that, Tiana began to guide the event by singing, playing, and slicing cakes. We are grateful that the 7th Anniversary of Rumah Faye went smoothly. We got a cheerful impression, namely the moment when the sisters and brothers fanned the cake candles in their own way.

On October 17, 2020, I didn’t realize it was our second day in Banyuwangi. Javier and Sadun delivered material on Children’s Rights to the LKSA Mawar Kasih sisters. The situation was no less exciting than yesterday. Everyone was very cheerful and enthusiastic in responding to the material, asking in the question and answer session, and active during group discussions.

Although this event only lasted for two days, we as volunteers were pleased to have the opportunity to visit LKSA Mawar Kasih. We learned that life must be full of gratitude, mutual respect, and love even amid simplicity with diverse backgrounds. Children need to be protected and given their rights. ‘You don’t have to be a privileged person to share and help’—as our friend Faye Simanjuntak, founder of Rumah Faye, says.

We are proud of all the management of LKSA Mawar Kasih, who have given time, energy, funds, attention, sincerity, and love for every child there. May God replace their labors with abundant blessings. We also hope that Rumah Faye will continue to partner with other LKSAs, as proof that this forum is here to fill the souls and immunity of children who have lost their way. Hopefully, for other volunteer friends, we will continue to give smiles and happiness so that the children realize that their hopes and dreams are possible. Maybe, love is not enough. However, genuine love will make them mentally strong children.

Our activity on the sidelines of the visit is to take time to go to several tourist attractions in Banyuwangi. We spent the first day in De Jawatan Benculuk Forest by taking photos together among the shady trees. During the second day, we went to Baluran National Park to see the savanna and animals and take photos together as well. Not to be missed, we continued to Bama Beach, which is nearby. After being satisfied with everything we did in East Java, it was time to return to Jakarta. During the trip, we were reminded of how beautiful and enjoyable the Rumah Faye event was in Banyuwangi. We hope Faye’s friends will be healthy and prosperous wherever you are.

So if you, our friends who read the story of the three of us, are willing to help the child and the administrators of LKSA Mawar Kasih personally, it can be done through: https://kitabisa.com/bantumawarkasihbwi

 

Writers: Javier M. Putra, Tiana Ekklesia, Muhammad Sadun
Editors: Nadia Amani Alya + Mellysa Anastasya
Translator: Hasna Fatina