Indonesia was in an economic crisis in 1998 – 1999 when a violent social conflict took place in Ambon, the capital city of Maluku province in Eastern part of Indonesia.
It spread to North Maluku and to Poso, a city in another province Central Sulawesi. The riots in Maluku province were not isolated incidents. Many other outbreaks took place in other parts of Indonesia. Behind the widespread riots in many parts of Indonesia are the tensions produced by the economic collapse in Indonesia.
News at that time was in many versions, unrealistic and incomplete – becoming a part of the justification of my visit to the conflict areas.
The purpose of the visit was not to verify anything, but to see how I might support some of the most needy children of the victims. My first journey to Indonesia’s conflict zones was in summer of 2000 – but as the Maluku islands were beyond my reach at that time, it was suggested to visit Poso – which I did.
Conflicts were getting worse in May 2002, which motivated my decision to find ways of supporting some of Indonesia’s very many, vulnerable children. I suppose it is fair to say that this is where my absolute commitment began.
After several visits, it became strongly apparent that the children needed tremendous support to continue their lives. They needed support so that they may survive with their basic needs fulfilled and their dignity intact. It is a huge task.
Back from my visit, I generated reports on what I saw. Using the report and photographs documenting the situation in affected areas, I mobilised a group of supporters through personal contacts and existing organisations, such as the City Circle and Indonesian community in UK.
I first founded Indonesian Children’s Relief in 2002. When ICR started there were very few charities working with orphans and needy children in Indonesia.
Now there are quite a few operating in the region, particularly since the Tsunami of December 2004. ICR contributed positively to the welfare of orphans in Indonesia over the years and we believe that our activities reached a stage where it would be more effective to allow the local charities, as well as larger international organisations, to build on those achievements.
Our local partners have matured and developed to a level where they are now capable of managing their own activities competently and efficiently. ICR closed on 3 June 2008.
Then continue I to found Chariots For Children – whose focus is to help orphaned children, wherever they may be.
The reports, together with numerous photographs, became the nucleus of a catalyst for positive change, utilizing whatever resources available. This huge task’s starts were only made possible by the passionate generosity extended by members of London’s City Circle.
Chariots For Children became a UK registered charity in June 8, 2008, accepting the responsibility of facilitating project work in which we are a professional and transparent partner.
As a UK Registered Charity, we also choose to be guided by the Children’s Act 1989 and all its addenda; Every Child Matters 2004 and the Children Plan 2008 – believing these parts of English Legislation to inform us about all ‘best practice policies’ while developing appropriate, workable systems for children and young people we support wherever they may be. Chariots for Children’s trustees, are all volunteers and form the governing body of our organisation, legally responsible for the organisations activities, under the Charities Act
My private, spiritual faith has always been important to me, and I sincerely believe that this has helped me to endure many struggles on this bumpy road. This, together with smiles from the children we cared for, has maintained my motivation throughout.