It was a sunny Saturday in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. A nice weather to cheer a day up. It was a perfect afternoon, as perfect as our road trip with a cab to Jodie O’Shea orphanage. There was no huge traffic jam as what always happen at Ngurah Rai bypass, Denpasar, Bali. We were lucky!
We arrived couples of minutes before 1 pm, the time of appointment we made with the orphanage staff. Stopping by in front of this orphanage, I was wowed by a colorful painting this house had. We were also warmly welcomed by Alison Chester, a British origin Indonesian citizen who operates this orphanage. There were some Singaporean students visited this orphanage also in that afternoon. After entering the house, I got more wowed as the interior of this orphanage was very kids friendly. It had a reading room, an art and computer room, a large garden, a small sport court, a vast clean kitchen, some fridges with a lot of dairy products and fresh fruits in, and some clean and neat rooms, each is for around 8 children.
With a lot of curiosity, we asked Alison how come this orphanage was named Jodie O’Shea. Alison explained us that Jodie O’Shea was an Australian victim of 2002 Bali Bombing. Alison was a volunteer in a hospital at that time, in which she accompanied the survivor of the blast. Jodie was burnt due to the explosion. Alison gave her a painkiller pill, and Jodie just refused it politely. She told Alison “give the pill to the girl on next bench, she needs it more than I do”. What a generous and big heart-ed Jodie was! I unconsciously shed my tears. It was so touching and inspiring true story! Jodie was survived until she was sent to Australia afterwards. She passed away couples of times after.
Anyway, this orphanage takes care of 57 Indonesian kids with different social background. Most of them experienced abusive and traumatic life in the past. I met Y ( I put initial here for the sake of her dignity), a beautiful around 7 years old kid who witnessed a murder of her mom that was done by her daddy who committed suicide by drinking poisonous liquid afterwards. I also met a boy whose parents were sent to jail for murdering their boss’ family. There was also a 22 years old boy who previously worked as migrant worker in Singapore, but he wanted to go home to Indonesia, and now he lives in this orphanage.
No other expression I can use to represent the life in this orphanage but love! Yes, this house is a place where the children get love, care, and supports. Even if the kids got those unpleasant experiences before, I saw no more misery on their face. Everyone was smiling and live in a cheerful brotherhood ambiance. I witnessed myself how the kids love Alison and Yanto, Alison’s husband. The image I captured was that, yes, Alison is like a mother of 57! She has lot of love to share with! The staffs were also caring to those children. I’m so proud of this orphanage!
This orphanage depends solely on the donation of the people, because the government of Indonesia doesn’t even give tax compliment or so fort. If you want to donate, get more details, or contact them, please visit this orphanage’s website www.careforkidsbali.com
Well, what I’ve learned from this lovely orphanage is that we are a bunch of human race, regardless where we are from, what ethnic group we belong to, what social background we have, and what religion we do believe. I learned a lot that the universal language of the world is love. Thanks Alison and Yanto for taking care those unfortunate Indonesian kids. I really appreciate that 🙂
Then, we went back to hotel with an irreplaceable feeling. Those kids put smile on my face that day. Those kids made me realize that gratitude is altitude. Can’t wait to come back soon!