Monday, April 7, 2008

Visiting Extended Families in Indonesia

The children of OI Indonesia have recently visited their extended families – for the most part, their grandparents. In all cases, the children live with us because their extended families cannot provide for them economically or physically. Below is a photo-essay of their individual journeys.

The extended families of our children live mostly in thatched
huts with plank siding, raised above the bare ground.

Most of our kids’ extended families have broken television sets
but little else other than their own pride to call their own.

The insides of rural homes in North Sulawesi are
Spartan but very clean. Here Jeiny ponders her life.

Alan’s grandfather is a dignified gentleman
who cares deeply about his grandson.

Alan savors the time he gets to spend with
his grandparents in the countryside.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stories from Sulawesi (7/04)

Two views of OI Sulawesi on Jalan Sea Malalayang,
Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

After our first attempt to start a project in Remboken, Sulawesi sadly failed, we were tremendously pleased to have our Sulawesi project continued under a board comprised of governmental and interfaith leaders including Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus. Jane Pajow-Tombeng and Rekkie Longkutoy, both Indonesian-Americans from Sulawesi living in New Jersey, agreed to serve as “Founders” of the Indonesian corporation, as required by Indonesian not-for-profit corporation law. I attended the official opening of the new home on July 22 with my son Mathew.

Sulawesi House, Indonesia:
second floor veranda
faces the harbor through a banana plantation.

Two siblings, Esther and Stenley, were the first to live in Sulawesi House, and four more soon transferred from “Yayasan OI Indonesia” in Remboken, which we had decertified for non-compliance. The project had continued on its own until July 2003. Several other children, including children from refugee camps in North Sulawesi also joined our program.

A courtesy call to North Sulawesi Governor John Sondakh.

A day at the pool for our children at OI Sulawesi in Manado.

We also began to offer English to our kids and neighbors at OI Sulawesi in Manado. Three times per week we taught English classes at Sulawesi House. Instruction was open to all disadvantaged children living in the neighborhood. About 20-30 children from Muslim and Presbyterian backgrounds attend this after-school programming.

Sulawesi House now offers English lessons to the local community.

Stenly, Junior, Velia and Alan pose in the equatorial sun.

Christmas brought presents for our children in OI Sulawesi.

The campus of OI Indonesia as drawn by Veronika, age 10.
Our House overlooks the harbor with Bunakin Island
on the horizon.

One of our OI Sulawesi children receives a medical house call.

Medical Care for the Sulawesi Children.

As physical and mental healthcare is extremely important for our children, each project works carefully to provide the best possible care available.

A Permanent Campus may lay down this road near airport?

We have been shopping for a permanent campus for OI Sulawesi in Indonesia. So far we believe the area around Manado’s airport would be most convenient and least expensive. Although we would like to eventually have a 16 hectare (40 acres) campus, we could begin with just one acre (1/3 hectare, about 3,000+ square meters), approximately the size of our annex campus in Sumatera).

There are various levels of land prices and we have identified the following:

The first is just minutes from the airport and costs $4.5 per square meter. It has a nice view and is easily accessible. Our campus land there would cost about $15,000.

The second takes about twenty minutes to reach from the airport and costs about $1.50 a square meter. This land is mostly flat land and has water that would be good for breeding fish. It is about 200 meters from the main road, accessed by a rough driveway. This could be purchased for as little as $5,000.

The third is thirty minutes from the airport and is the cheapest – only $1 per square meter. The short road is smooth, the land flat and near the road. This property would cost about $3,500.

I have already pledged to build both Rick Luce House and Frances Alleman-Luce House on the campus, with four children in each. Buying the campus for OI Sulawesi for approximately $15,000 would be a perfect contribution from a faith-based organization or a family foundation.

Muslim & Christian children play in harmony in Sulawesi House.