It all started in 2015 with Ingky, a boy from Kupang that had been seriously mutilated by burns. At Kolewa, we had never experienced something like this before, and we called this teenager the ‘living dead boy’. It was truly shocking. For Syta Plantinga, it was clear that she was going to help this boy: she only had to think about a way how. By using and showing photographs and film material of Ingky, Syta discussed her plans with Nestor John Fawcett from Australia, who was also a field partner for people with eye problems on Bali. Deeply moved, John promised his cooperation and so the story starts. John made it possible to arrange a doctor and a hospital in Perth. Syta arranged all paperwork for Inkgy and his accompanying family, made sure Ingky and his family could stay at another family in Australia and also raised funds for travel costs and accommodation costs among other things. [Read more…]
Alor, our first mission is done!
Alhor, our first mission is done and enough work is waiting for us!
On October the 28th a Kolewa delegation traveled to the Island Alor for the first time. From Denpasar(Bali) we had a short stop in Kupang (Timor) and flew to Mali-airport. It was a thrilling flight because of the hard wind and a short landing strip. Especially the Indonesian team members didn’t feel well, but luckily they recovered fast.
We managed to get the help of one our local contacts, Zarus and driver Frenky, who were waiting fur us near the exit. Zarus arranged a car, made reservations at a hotel and already made some other preperations to locate children with a cleft lip.
Alor is a beautiful Island that is barely noticed by tourists yet and has a wonderful coast, seven gorgeous diving spots and has a pearl industry. The people are friendly, approachable, live in simpel conditions and have restricted medical healthcare (not to mention plastic surgery). Alor has a relaxt atmosphere and looks some way Jamaican, because of the many rasta hairstyles we saw during our stay. Approximately 15 diffrent languages are spoken, called: ‘Papuan’. Luckily, Zarus speaks Bahasa Indonesia and a little bit English.
We went to local accomodations and restaurants. Sleeping, showering en toilet-use were not pleasant. However the food was very good (in Indonesian: ‘enak’). Our stay was at Hotel Kenari, which we cannot recommend for western people, but it was (sort of) acceptable (as other options were not availabe).
Our new scout prepared very well for our visit. We visited many consultation clinics and scouted multiple cleft lip children. Three of them we took with us to Bali for an operation. Next, we sailed to the Island Kepa and visited in Alor-Kecil a traditional village.
Soon it became clear to us that we are one of the first NGO’s with a focus on children with congentinal physical impairments. Posters and other information were happily received and hung up on the walls. Many people know potential patients we can help and therefore we decided to add Alor to our region we provide care to in Indonesia.
On the fourth day of our journey, we said goodbye to Zarus and offered him to continue ase a scout for our Indonesian organisation Yayasan Kolewa Harapan Indonesia. This young man, with background in architecture and without any current job or income, has pleasantly surprised us during our journey. He accepted our offer with big enthusiasm. Shortly, we will try to visit Alor again to pick up the next delegation of children we scouted. Two are on the wating list: a boy with a open palate and a girl with hydrocephalus.
The school project is successful, already 7 children in the bus!
In Indonesia summer break takes place from approximately June to July. The first group of 4 children (from Karangasem) in the school project took their trial period in separate classes. From now on they take classes on their own level within the school for deaf and hearing impaired children of field partner Yayasan Corti. They find it amazing and learn a lot!
After the holiday 3 new children were able to join the school bus project: now 7 children are participating in total. Komang the driver drives the children back and forth to their class on a daily base. Recently audicien Monique Wetting from Drachten went to visit them and also checked their hearing aids.
The newest children are participating already 2 months and they are very dedicated tot their classes. Soon we will evaluate their progress and will also discuss their level of study that is achievable. When you lived in isolation for years, it will take time to let your guards down. Especially for one of the older boys.
A few times per week the children visit our shelter home ‘Ruma Bicara’ after school, for a healthy lunch some extra lessons and game activities. Most are still very loyal in visiting the lessons in Karangasem.
The school project is an incredible big step forward in their development and also for the family they are living in. In the bus only one spot is left for a new student… after that we have to think about buying a bigger bus, what we will definitely consider in the future. We will continue taking action: there is no doubt that more children deserve a chance on education and the possibility to communicate
Outreach: So much more than merely visiting patiënts…
Kolewa’s staff goes on outreach on a regular base. For example, house visits, handing out milk powder, distributing filters for water and also to aim for brand awareness.
Midwife Putu told us four babies were born in the surroundings of Culik. They are all born in poor families and have a cleft lip. Every family got the chance to get acquainted with Kolewa. They got first aid tips to obtain healthy food in order for the babies to gain the right amount of weight during their first months of being alive. These children are now on our waitinglist for plastic surgery. When they are 3 months old and weigh 5 kilograms, we will pick up mother and child for an operation in Denpasar, the big city!
At the request of initiators “Friends for clean water Bali” we combine our outreaches with distributing water filters. With an easy sytem poor families can convert dirty water into clean drinking water. Meanwhile, 40 families got a water filter from the Kolewa Foundation (which consists of a set of buckets with a filter).
According to plan, this will be 60 filters in august! A part of the filters are a gift by the ‘Friends’, the remaining filters were donated by the ASN Foundation.
On the 17th of July , information was spread about the water filters by Kolewa. Staff members Ana and Uttari visited 7 consultation agencies on this day and spoke with board members en midwives. Flyers and posters were hung up. These might help the local population to get to know Kolewa and the opportunities we can offer: free plastic surgery for children with cleft lip and help for clubfeet, burn wounds, anus atresia and more.
Family Gathering 2017
Every year, Kolewa organizes a Family Gathering for family of children which where helped by Kolewa. The children can enjoy active and creative activities during the day. Parents can talk about their experiences with other parents and get valuable information for the future. The gathering this year was sponsored by the ASN foundation.
Watch the video of the Family Gathering this year: