Today we visited Yaysan Sayap Ibu (literal translation: Foundation of Mother’s Care) an orphanage with children with severe medical problems such as cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, hydrocephalus, microcephalous and autism. These children have been abandoned and the orphanage must care for them foe the rest of their lives. they have been here for 11 years and some of their residents have been here since the beginning as their is no hope for any of them to be adopted.
The orphanage has capacity for 40 children and right now has 36. It is so impressive – as we visited with Reno (director) and Tuti (finance) they impressed us with their goal of treating these children with the love and respect God’s children deserve. They do this by teaching their staff patience, to play with the children, to touch them, talk to them and to teach them what they can, when they can. The result is smiling children, in spite of their difficulties! The other impressive thing about the facility is that is VERY clean, neat and tidy – as Reno told us ‘we spend enough time here it is like our second home, so we want it to be like our own home’. Oftentimes these ‘institutions’ can be very depressing, but this was not!
It was a very uplifting day!. I have to admit, the old me would have been very uncomfortable around children with such difficult medical and emotional problems. In fact, one of the children had such a large head (hydrocephalous) in proportion to his body it was shocking, and I struggled a bit. I could not take his picture because I felt like I was gawking and secondly, I didn’t want to subject him to being stared at via a pic on my blog. But, as DeeAnn pointed out on the way home, watching these caregivers love them and respect them as God’s children helped us to see them as Heavenly Father sees them – as His children! They laughed and communicated as best they could and it really was a delight!
YSI is in need of all kinds of things – luckily, they have a list of sponsors, groups and people who, in the past, have donated money and goods, as well as professionals (Dr’s, nurses, psychologists, etc.) who donate their time and expertise. This is the first year they have put together a “wish list” and sent it out to their past donor list and we were the first to respond to come visit and see what they needed and what we could do. As we explained to them, we can’t do everything, but we can perhaps help with some things. LDSC has helped in the past, but not for the last couple of years. Right now, their priorities are for some furnishings/equipment for a rehabilitation area and to put in an aquaculture area (under the hydroponic garden) to grow their own fish to eat and sell. So we will gather our notes and consult with our leaders and see what we can do!