Catholic young workers lead a game for poor children at Rumah Kerang
Catholic youth workers in Indonesia have celebrated Valentine’s Day by visiting a home for children from poor families managed by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. More than 20 members of the Catholic Young Workers’ Community of St. James Church in Kelapa Gading played games and watched a cartoon with 30 elementary school children aged 8-9 years at Rumah Kerang (House of Scallops) in the coastal district of Cilincing, North Jakarta.
These children’s parents shell scallops for a living, with an average daily wage of around 12,000 rupiah (US$1.30).
We think Valentine’s Day is the right moment (to organize the program). On this day, we want to celebrate love and affection with those in need,” said Ermelinda Liberty Tara, who coordinates the community.
The purpose was to share love and give what the youth workers have to others, she said. “We want to thank God for giving us more, and to share this with our brothers and sisters. The reason why we want to give is that we want them to know that they are loved,” she added, stressing the importance of the value of love.
Besides playing games and watching the movie, the young workers distributed daily necessities such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, peas and instant noodles as well as stationery, toys and used clothes. They also donated 5,500,000 rupiah for the home’s scholarship program.
“We hope we can organize similar program next time. We will find some other places like a day care center and a home for the elderly,” Tara continued.
Sister Aurelia, who heads the congregation’s community house in the area, welcomed the program and praised the young workers for being able to choose such important value of love. “By having this in mind, I am optimistic with them,” she acknowledged.
According to the children, the program was beneficial. One of them, Galang, acknowledged that he felt happy. “I am glad to be around my friends. We can play games together,” he said.
Youths reach out to poor children during Lent