Unforgettable IWitness experience in Indonesia

9
IWitness team from IKEA Taiwan and IKEA Indonesia – By Save the Children
Ting, little Christina and her mother during home visit - By David Yen
Ting, little Christina and her mother during home visit – By David Yen

Ting Liao

From this trip to Indonesia, I as an ambassador actually am the one who benefit the most, instead of the children with disabilities. With my own eyes, there were moments that I believe we collectively could make things better and there were times that I think development and growth of a child waits for no one. I personally would like to pay respects to all the parents who have children with special needs. They are the real-life heroes, ones of the strongest people I’ve ever known.

We cannot change things over night but I believe we always have the abilities to help and influence others. By sharing my experience with the children with disabilities in Indonesia, I hope that coworkers in the store would understand what impact IKEA Foundation has made to the local communities via global partners (UNICEF & Save the Children) and how powerful the Soft Toy Campaign could do to change lives across the ocean. True stories.

Caroline played Lego with Children - By David Yen
Caroline played Lego with Children – By David Yen

Caroline

I joined this trip with high expectation. High expectation to witness, give and share stories.
And this is my experience:

  • To witness children with disabilities living in less fortunate condition, to witness parents struggle to face their everyday lives, and yet deeply touched by their commitment to love and care without expecting anything in return.
  • To give: time, attention, dedication, gesture, or even a simple smile, but receiving so much more in return.
  • To share stories, with our colleagues, our customers, our friends and families, and finally keeping the story alive in our hearts.

For me, it was a rollercoaster ride. Sad and emotional to see the lack of knowledge for children with special needs, at the same time feeling grateful and having tears of joy, to see more and more people are holding hands, doing something for a change.
It was definitely a rewarding experience. I went with high expectation, and came back with higher purpose of actions: to always be thankful for your life, and to love others unconditionally.

Roxy had great time with children in the class - By Amber Tzeng
Roxy had great time with children in the class – By Amber Tzeng

Roxy Cheng
“Why can’t you stay with me to celebrate my birthday this year?” while my son asked before my IWitness trip, I know this is the “Q&A moment” that I’ve rehearsed for several times.
“It’s more than ‘just a business trip’, James.” I tried to elaborate further about the importance of IWitness program which completes the Soft Toy for Education campaign.
“Is that the 1-EUR-dollor children activity we joined for years?” He interrupted into my long-prepared story.
“A-ha, now you recall why you have so many soft toys around your bed?” I saw smile on his face. “Do you literally understand why on your birthday I cannot be with you but those children with disabilities?”
“Of course! I am a grow-up, my dear daddy!”
On his birthday, the Day 2 during our IWitness trip, I wished him a very happy birthday through an online video app. “Are children over there as happy as I am?” He asked.
At that moment I realized, “Sharing Is Caring” is probably the most precious birthday gift that he just received.

David met happy faces in the school - By Amber Tzeng
David met happy faces in the school – By Amber Tzeng

David Yen
During the IWitness program I visited 3 families with disable children, several schools and CBRs(Community Based Rehabilitation). It’s good to meet and understand those children with different disabilities, to witness that through the help from Save the Children, they can enjoy the life and education just like any other children. I do hope that through the Soft Toy campaign, more support will be given to help these children get the knowledge, skills and confidence through education, to enjoy a better daily life and a future full of possibilities.

Connie danced with the little angel - By David Yen
Connie danced with the little angel – By David Yen

Connie Liu
By having this chance to see the children with disabilities gave me so the valuable learning and unique experience.
Parents are every day hero – without any expectation in return, you can see they are truly focus on helping their children getting better by daily physically training and truly happy and thankful while their children are getting better even it was a very little improvement.
Together, we can do better – without volunteer who dedicate themselves to let the parents know the importance of education, without co-worker who trying so hard to make government, school and community work together, without the parent who take care of their children carefully, without YOU who really show the passion about children education, the soft toy for education campaign wouldn’t be that successful.

 

Amber and her little basketball opponent - By David Yen
Amber and her little basketball opponent – By David Yen

Amber Tzeng

168 hours during 7 days in Indonesia, I’ve experienced the impact of different culture, language, and life situations which are so different from where I live. But I also found one thing in common which is LOVE.
It’s hard to describe all my feelings during the trip but it definitely an unforgettable experience in my life. To me, It’s a cold fact to realize the disparity between rich and poor and different social classes. I truly hope that everyone in the world could live with happiness and good health although it is somehow like a fairy tale.

Back to the stores and the Soft Toy campaign on going, I encouraged my colleagues to hang up small soft Toys on their uniform, when customers feel interesting and ask about it, we will introduce the meaningful Soft Toy campaign to them. A small action can make things different. Let’s share the LOVE around the world !

Stanley holds the little hand - By Amber Tzeng
Stanley holds the little hand – By Amber Tzeng

Stanley Lin
Seeing is more than believing. My heart is really been touched by what I see. I hope everyone around me could raise the fund with their one-day salary to support the Soft toy campaign. We will feel satisfied because we could give.

The trip to Bandung for the IWitness program has been very emotional for me because most of the children with disabilities come from low income families where they themselves are having hard times in fulfilling their daily needs. Moreover, these families, especially the disabled children, are seconded by their relatives, friends and the community in general. They use to “hide” their children at home to avoid people mocking them as well as to protect their children’s feelings. With the help from IKEA Foundation through Save the Children, these families began to come out of their safe haven and bring their children to the community-based rehabilitation services for therapy. During the trip, I could see that the parents are very proud of themselves because they can attend and take special care of their disabled children without shame, through the help from the case workers from Save the Children.

Ririn shared the photos with children in Community Based Rehabilitation - By David Yen
Ririn shared the photos with children in Community Based Rehabilitation – By David Yen

Ririn Basuki
This trip has not only helped me to grow better understanding about children with disabilities and their parents, but also gained my motivation to further develop and increase people’s awareness on the Soft Toy Campaign. Thus, many more people would participate in the campaign by purchasing soft toys from IKEA and lesser children with disabilities would suffer emotionally and physically. Let’s make a better and safer place for the future generation…

English
    Juli Riegler