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Day-Care Centre Yerachmeel

Marikoi, Indonesia | 4008

For nearly 40 years Christusträger sisters have been active in the medical sector in particular in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island Borneo. In 1982 a medical station was founded in Tumbang Marikoi, a small jungle village at the upper reaches of the river Kahayan. Soon it became clear that medical help was not enough and that there were great spiritual needs and a lack of educational possibilities too. So Christusträger sisters started a day-care centre for children with the name “Yerachmeel” (God has mercy).

In this centre children are looked after in different age groups and prepared for elementary school. There is a garden with play equipment and a roofed sandpit for the children to play outside. An additional small building was supplied by the Indonesian state some years ago. This building is used by the group of the smallest children, so so-called play-group.

Due to active family planning in Indonesia the number of children attending our day care centre decreased by half over the years. However, the awareness of the parents for the importance of pre-school education has grown at the same time. Today they take every effort to pay the very low “day-care fee”. As this fee does not even cover 10 % of the expenses Christusträger-Waisendienst steps in to help.

The children are educated according to the curriculum of the Indonesian state. They are also taught a basic knowledge of hygiene and social behaviour based on Christian values. They get milk and vitamin tablets every day and a regular deworming treatment. Children are familiarized with the Bible by biblical stories or films. Every day in the day care centre starts with singing and praying and again ends with a song and a prayer.

Over the years there is a good cooperation with the Indonesian society “Christopherus” which is supporting the day care centre and responsible for it since the sisters left the country. The society’s centre is in Semarang, but there is a close communication via internet and telephone (as long as technology functions!). Members and friends of the society regularly organize workshops which are not only attended by people from Marikoi, but also from the surrounding villages. They are about practical topics like the Christian way of life, the education of children etc. So the light of Marikoi is shed in a wide radius.

Technical progress has also reached the small jungle village Marikoi. Today a dirt road through the jungle connects the village with the neighbouring towns. Sometimes this road can hardly be used because of rain and floods, but then it is still possible to go by boat on the river. Today there is not only an elementary school, but also a public secondary and high school, and patients can get treatment in a medical centre.

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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1 : 27 | The Bible