In the next three posts I will publish galleries of images from my visit to Indonesia in May/June. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to donate to any of these projects. More detailed information can be sent to interested parties.
The first of these is an activity day in the slums of North Jakarta where a community group had funded free medical/dental care and family activities.
The slums in North Jakarta are filled with Muslim families that make their living through fishing. The slum is a dusty area with narrow streets and basic housing. The main field where the clinic was held was littered with rubbish and pools of stank water.
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
~ Mother Teresa
Many families in the area can’t afford to send their kids to school but the community group had given them funding to open an affordable facility. It was packed to over flowing – they really need a larger space.
Doctors and dentist volunteers tried to provide education about dental hygiene and basic health conditions. However many simply wanted a quick fix – i.e. removal of teeth (without anesthetic) and pills for pain relief.
The mother’s battle for her child with sickness, with poverty, with war, with all the forces of exploitation and callousness that cheapen human life needs to become a common human battle, waged in love and in the passion for survival.
~ Adrienne Rich
Unscrupulous doctors (from other sources) had deliberately delayed treatment for some people in the community – people who could not afford repeat treatment or ongoing medication.
Indonesians love to sing and even women of a more traditional Muslim background got up to impress the crowd with their crooning.
About 300-400 people participated in the clinic including the village elders, mothers with children, older people, the sick and unwell.
Games held in the dusty field were of great enjoyment to all in the crowd and those in them. The women’s sack races were well attended with the usual laughter and fun you expect from Indonesians.
You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.
~ Bill Cosby