East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur/NTT) is the southernmost province in Indonesia, facing the Indian Ocean to the South and the Flores Sea to the North. NTT consists of more than 500 islands with 20 small towns, one of which is called Labuan Bajo.
Located on the west coast of Flores, one of the major Islands in NTT, Labuan Bajo has an area of 2,397km2 and a population of 256,000. It is often mentioned in many travel magazines because it is a gateway to adventure on Komodo Island, home to the famous Komodo dragons.
Labuan Bajo’s Binongko Beach not only requires us to witness its beauty, but also to listen to its stories that need our attention.
Stories from the Panti Asuhan Santo Damian orphanage near Binongko Beach.
Stories about orphans and disabled people.
Established in 1996 by Maria Gisela Borowka, a German nun, this orphanage was originally intended for people affected by leprosy who were banished by their families and surrounding communities for fear of contagion.
As time went by, she expended her services to include orphans and people with disabilities.
Today, there are around 60 orphans and disabled people living in Panti Asuhan Santo Damian.
They laugh, sing, and play cheerfully while supporting and encouraging each other through hardships.
Children born without hands are taught how to write using their feet.
Children who have never known their mother can sleep in the warm embrace of their family.
They are given hope, and learn to never surrender.
InDonation, a charity organization founded by 6 Indonesians here in Vancouver, has designated the Panti Asuhan Santo Damian orphanage as one of the recipients of funds for 2019.
With the mission of promoting social justice as one of Indonesia’s Constitutional mandates, Robert Prasetya, Dr. Thomas Sulaiman, Heryadi Kurnia, Rina Kusumajuda, Mila Chaniago and Jacob Susetya founded InDonation in February 2018.
InDonation organized relief efforts for a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Lombok Island in July 2018 and a magnitude 7.5 earthquake followed by a 7 meter tsunami in Sulawesi in September 2018.
They raised a total of $17,000 and $11,000 towards helping victims recover from those events.
On those occasions, InDonation collaborated with the Indonesian Red Cross and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
For now, InDonation is still giving funds in the form of money.
In the future, that assistance will be provided in other forms for sustainable change, such as providing clean water or renovating school buildings.
The Binongko Beach waves are still vibrant every day giving inspiration to all who see them.
Let us work together to keep the children of the Panti Asuhan Santo Damian orphanage smiling and hopeful.
Invite your wonderful soul.
(Pinky Brotodiningrat – Brevan Sweeney)
This is a translation of http://www.indonation.ca/2019/06/03/menjaga-senyum-di-pantai-binongko-labuan-bajo/