JAKARTA, 11 December 2013 –Eleven-year-old pupils from an Indonesian school came to the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) this morning and handed-over their cash donation for typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines. A Filipino staff of ASEC received the equivalent of USD1,200 raised by pupils from Sekolah Global Mandiri in Jakarta.
“It is so kind of you to make this gesture,” Romeo Arca Jr. told the Indonesian kids when he accepted the donation on behalf of the Haiyan survivors. “This means a lot for the Philippines. Your donation will make those kids who were affected by the typhoon happy. Bless you!” the visibly touched Arca said.
The pupils raised the money by collecting and selling recyclable materials. The Year-6 pupils also asked other classes to donate while the teachers pitched in as well. According to one of the teachers, some of the kids broke their piggy banks and gave their savings to the campaign. “We are also ASEAN and this is the time to show our solidarity,” this teacher said.
Ms. Ramadhini, Academic Coordinator of the school explained that the response to their campaign was overwhelming and they were glad to be able to help.
During the hand-over, student representatives brought the cash they raised plus two jars full of coins collected from the pupils. Dr. Ferdinal M. Fernando of the ASEAN Secretariat has agreed to transmit this extraordinary gift to bring smiles to some of the children in the affected areas—in time for their year-end holiday celebration.
In addition, the kids from Sekolah Global Mandiri also presented a painting drawn by one of the students that says “Help and Pray for the Philippines.” The pupils visited ASEC as part of their educational tour.
Meanwhile, a similar gesture was undertaken by some youth leaders from Lao PDR who attended the LEAD (Link, Engage, Activate, Develop) ASEAN Youth Summit in Manila last week. They brought the amount of nine million kips (roughly USD,1150) to help survivors of typhoon Yolanda, and handed over the donation to a Philippine foundation.