Tue, 08 Mar 2005

West Jakarta mall reaches out to orphans

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The 20 male orphans staying at the Al Muharram orphanage on Jl. Cipinang Cempedak II in East Jakarta, will no longer sleep in damp rooms with a leaky roof, thanks to assistance offered by the management of Taman Anggrek Mall.

Visiting the orphanage on Saturday, Taman Anggrek Public Relations and Communications Coordinator Dessy Tanumihardjo said that her office would finance renovation work at the orphanage.

"We will help fix the leaks, refurbish the bathrooms and kitchen and also give them several new sets of lockers and beds," Dessy said.

Kaka, one of the orphans, said that he and four others were sleeping in the backyard of the orphanage.

"The room often gets flooded when it rains," said Kaka, an elementary school student at a nearby Islamic school.

The Al Muharram orphanage is one of 15 orphanages in the capital that receive assistance from Taman Anggrek. Each orphanage receives different types of assistance, depending on their needs, but they are mostly in the form of renovation, training and equipment supplies, such as personal and household care, school accessories, computer sets, lockers and fumigation sets.

Orphanages that get assistance from Taman Anggrek include Mekar Sari in Tangerang; Vincentius Putra in Central Jakarta; Dwituna Rawinala in East Jakarta; Seda Putra and An Najah in South Jakarta; Kasih Immanuel Foundation in North Jakarta and Asuhan Adinda in West Jakarta.

"This is part of Taman Anggrek Mall's social responsibility after nine years in operation. Our reason to give in the form of physical assistance is because we want to give something that beneficiaries will remember us by," said Dessy.

She said that the 15 orphanages receiving the assistance were selected randomly and had been thoroughly screened.

"We usually just ask them what they really need and check the condition of the place. We brought along a team comprising Taman Anggrek's contractor and other staff, to calculate the costs," said Dessy.

"Every orphanage gets different forms of assistance. For the Al Muharram orphanage, we've given several sets of lockers and a few single and bunk beds," she said.

Mochammad Syarif, 76, founder of Al Muharram, said that the orphanage had 20 boys and 25 girls. The girls, however, live with relatives and receive food allowances and tuition from the orphanage.

"The boys come from nearby areas including Cawang and Kebon Nanas in East Jakarta, and they have lost both of their parents. As for the girls, they are living with their relatives and most of them still have a mother," explained Syarif.