February 6, 2012

My birthday project

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. - Dalai Lama


It all started a week ago, when I (true to my attention seeking self) told my friends that my birthday's coming up.
Most of them answered,"So, what do you want for your birthday present?" or "Let's go grab some food and drinks. My treat." Some of them answered,"So what?" :D
I was lying on my bed 2 days before my birthday and started thinking, what do I want? And it struck me, I am lucky enough to have everything I need and I don't want anything anymore. I'm content :) And I realized how lucky I am to have friends who would spend more than 50 euros to buy me presents, treat me to dinner in posh lounges, how we're able to spend hundred euros in one night just for food and beverage.

So I decided to share my birthday celebration with 70 children in an orphanage near Jakarta on Feb 19th. At first I wanted to pay the food and cake from my friend's fund, the money they're going to spend on me will go to those children's burgers instead. But then I found out that this orphanage is an independent orphanage, which means they do not have any trust fund. So, at this point I decided I would personally pay for the food expense, and my friend's money will go as cash donation.

I broadcasted my project to the people on my contact list, posted it on facebook, shamelessly extorting my friends and cousins. And I got very positive responses from them. Some offered to help, some are willing to donate and share the words. This is going bigger :)

Of course there're some friends who got suspicious and thought that this is a plan to scam their money. Well, they have good reasons to doubt, I don't blame them either. So I won't be focusing on this minority :)

At first I only planned on food and balloons for the kids, now I have a photographer setting up a photo booth for the kids, cake donation from a bakery owner, a musician offering to perform for the kids, some friends who are coordinating clothes donation. Cash donation is also pouring in. Some friends are eager to drive me to the orphanage, they are even more excited than me about this project :)

The words spread and I got friends from Australia, Germany, Austria, Sweden asking me how they could donate. I got the Australians covered, as they can wire their donation to my brother's Brisbane account and he'll give me the cash in our currency.
The Swedish guy wanted to send his donation per post, how cute is that..
I am still arranging with an Indonesian friend in Berlin, whether people in Germany can transfer the money into her German account, and I'll get the money from her dad in Jakarta.

To be honest, there's a selfish satisfaction in all of this.. I always believe in the good in people, and this project affirms me of people's warmheartedness and goodness, how enthusiastic people are in helping others. We are all one after all.
Someone told me before that people are evil in the first place and no one can do good without believing in God. I'm glad that he's wrong. My donators aren't religious people who go to church every week, but they know compassion and they believe in humanity.

I remembered the head-sister of the orphanage thanked me wholeheartedly when I was talking to her on the phone, and it made me realize, I should be the one thanking her and the children. They are the ones who give me the chance, the possibility to try making a change, they taught me about love and warmth. The givers should be thankful indeed.

"Many small people who in many small places, do many small things can alter the face of the world"
-excerpt from the Berlin wall.

* I still have 2 weeks to extort and beg and I am thanking all of those, who make it possible, as I can't do this all alone. Together we can make a difference :)

Info on http://nodongdana.blogspot.com/

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