We caught the train this morning to Bandung to attend the Bandung Branch open house on Tuesday, but first to visit a couple of potential partners. (Actually, both have been partners of LDS Charities in the past but it was before our time).
The train is 3.5 hours through the beautiful Indonesian countryside, so I wanted to share a few photos of the view, as seen from the train:
Bina Anugrah School
Our first visit was to Bina Anugrah, a school for handicapped children with a variety of issues that prevent them from going to a regular school – CP, blindness, deafness, artificial limbs, etc. We visited them awhile back to check on the water well LDSC provided (it’s working well) and to see if they had new needs. At that time, they said they needed a new toilet, and we were there to check on the progress of putting together their request. But, today they said what they really need are supplies for the students (books, braille tools for the blind kids, a wheelchair for use around the school, etc.). Really more basic stuff than a new toilet – which they still need, but not yet.
Our next visit was to meet with Augustini, program director at the Bandung Autism House
They had also received some help from LDSC a few years ago – in this case it was equipment and pads for their activity room:
Of course, any school that serves the handicapped or underprivileged (in their case, both) never has enough money to do what they would like to do. They have 50 students in the school (from 8:00 am to 12:00), then provide therapy for kids in the afternoon. There are 10 students per class and each class has 3 teachers, who are paid very little. Only 40% of the students’ parents are able to pay, so the costs for the other 60% are covered by donors and sponsors. (Cost is about 500,000 Rp per month or $37.50). Augustini will make up a list of priority needs, but right now she said they needed books, because hyperactive kids are very hard on books. Hopefully, we can do them some good as well.