UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News


Indonesian Catholic starts crowdfunding portal to build churches

Fundraiser says he wants to expand the number of churches in remote areas of the country

Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Indonesian Catholic starts crowdfunding portal to build churches

Yenny Barlian strikes a gong to mark the launch of crowdfunding platform jalakasih.com in Jakarta to help church building in remote areas of Indonesia. (Photo supplied)

Share this article :
An Indonesian Catholic has launched a church crowdfunding portal to support the construction of churches and chapels in remote areas and to help the education of children from poor families throughout the archipelago.

Jalakasih.com was launched on March 14 at Our Lady of Carmel Church in Jakarta by the Vinea Dei Foundation, a church-based non-profit organization established by Albertus Tan, a 29-year-old Catholic, in 2017.

Tan is helped by 29 other young Catholic volunteers in running various church outreach programs.

“The purpose of the site as a crowdfunding platform is to enable more people of goodwill to share and donate for the construction of more Catholic churches in Indonesia,” Tan told UCA News.

His church-building endeavors began when he established the Catholic Church Care Program in 2010 while he was still a university student in Jakarta.

As support for his project grew, he established the foundation, which has helped build 126 churches and chapels in remote areas, “enabling 115,000 Catholics to have places to pray comfortably.”

Tan said the new site adds more transparency to his fundraising efforts as donors can access information more easily showing how their money is spent and the progress of projects.

As well as building churches, Tan and the Vinea Dei Foundation, in cooperation with various parishes, provide scholarships for 34 Catholic children from poor families from across Indonesia.

They are usually student dropouts who want to continue their education in junior or senior high schools and colleges.

“This is a solidarity movement that exists because of the commitment and dedication of young Catholics who want to use digital platforms to help their friends feel the presence of the merciful God,” Tan said.

Divine Word Father Ferdinandus Fahik, parish priest of Maria Magdalena Church in Weetabula Diocese in East Nusa Tenggara province, said Catholics in his parish have benefited from Tan’s charity work and welcomed the latest initiative. 

“The launching of jalakasih.com will help Catholics in remote areas develop their faith,” he told UCA News.

He said Tan has helped with the construction of three mission station chapels in his parish. For the construction of the first 50-square-meter chapel he donated 350 million rupiah (US$23,000).

“His program is very helpful for Catholics, particularly in regions that are facing economic challenges,” he said.

Through the new portal, Tan wants to encourage more Catholics to donate. “I hope this program can help Catholics in villages because they need to develop their faith and education,” he said.

Yenny Barlian, who has made several donations to the cause, said what Tan has done over the years is an inspiration to others. “I hope Vinea Dei Foundation will grow and more people who care will help through the site,” said Barlian.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution