Family Care Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
After December’s tsunami, mobile phones became lifelines. Landlines were down & communications very difficult. Targeting this need, Family Care Foundation purchased mobile phones to be given away to select individuals. Recently, more mobile phones have been put into the hands of deserving volunteers and teachers, all of whom we have identified as helping many others in the region.
These mobile phones are to establish lifelines, not lifestyle. "The questions we faced were," relate Thomas and Katrina Bergstrom of Family Care Indonesia, " Who was deserving? How could we avoid people feeling left out? Who would be able to maintain the monthly payments?"
We first handpicked breadwinners. Then we came across some outstanding teachers who had lost everything, and were living on the floor of simple, Spartan school buildings, having resolved to continue their teaching. Among other things, this act alone provided security and normalcy to the pupils, including many newly orphaned children.
"Then we met Sri, Rizal, Agus, Cut Cinta, Hasan, Indra, Fitri and their
friends – all volunteers with the local branch of the Red Cross (PMI). “They are true volunteers,” said their supervisor. “They work around the clock. They receive no salary – only food a couple of times a day. It has been a demanding situation. We all live in tents. We are refugees ourselves."
Sri, previously a student at the teachers college, told how she miraculously escaped the waves. Her rented room, computer, her assignments and textbooks and newly completed thesis, etc., were all wiped out.
Now, months later, the workload as a Red Cross volunteer is less and she is getting back to re-do her work so she can graduate. Her vision is clear, but there are obstacles! The library is gone! She has to rent computer time in a small noisy public place. She has no home or belongings, only the clothes she wears.
Nevertheless, Sri has a radiant personality & strong faith that God will provide! No doubt she’ll soon graduate & become a compassionate teacher.
We can only say that our lives and mindsets have been forever altered by the interactions we have been blessed to have with the brave people we have met here – not just survivors but overcomers!"
For more on Family Care Indonesia, please click on the following link: FCI