“I hope there are more people like you!” says 23 year-old Elsa, a resident of Puni Asuhan Bethesda Orphanage in Batam. She was referring to Young SMOU (YSMOU) volunteers who came to visit her.
YSMOU had previously visited the orphanage in November 2017, and felt the calling to return once again to follow up on the children’s well-being and just to cheer up their day. Puni Asuhan Bethesda Orphanage, founded after the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, is home to 49 children.
Prior to the planned visit, the working team visited the orphanage to assess what the orphanage needs were and in what practical ways the YSMOU volunteers could do to improve the home. So, it was with a better understanding that when 22 YSMOU volunteers turned up in Batam, on 31 August and 1 September, they had a clear mission in mind.
Mission home improvement
Volunteers divided into teams to carry out different tasks. Tasks included fixing of bookshelves and shoe racks; area cleaning; gardening; plastering work.
In between the tasks, there were times for interaction and engagement with the children. While some played soccer, badminton and Lego, the more musically inclined opted for some singing and guitar playing.
The volunteers also brought donations of toys, clothes, stationeries and water bottles for the children and essential provisions such as rice, cooking oil etc.
Volunteers decorated the dormitory rooftop for a mini buffet party with the children. The volunteers helped to serve the food to the children and spent time listening to the stories of the teenagers in the orphanage and got to know them better.
Mission cook off
The second day’s activity was a cooking project. Volunteers met 15 children at the restaurant for an Ayam Penyet cooking class. Divided into teams again, each group learnt how to make the perfect chicken broth, fry the best chicken and blend the spiciest sauce. While learning how to cook, it became a competition for the best chicken and sambal sauce. The children and YSMOU loved the class, as they had a good cooking time together.
One of the residents, 16-year-old Firman, who has been at the orphanage since age two was very grateful-
We’re very happy that you all could share with us – like bringing and building furniture, and cleaning up our house. And for the lunch and dinner that you’ve provided for us, we’re very happy.” Agreeing with Firman was Sri Lius, aged 22 years. He said, “We were very happy and glad because we know many people around us care for the orphanage. And also we’re very thankful because you all came to do gardening, cleaning and other things.”
To all YSMOU Volunteers who were willing to set aside time to participate in the CSR Project in Batam, Elsa says, “Keep giving and sharing!”
LUQMAN HAKIM BIN SADALI, YSMOU VOLUNTEER
It was a fruitful project by Young SMOU. With this CSR project, I have learnt to be contented with what I have and I truly enjoyed the interaction with the kids.