(Photo courtesy of Komunitas Taufan)

Count Me In: Helping Out Our Kids in Tough Times

BY :DIVYA PRIDHNANI

FEBRUARY 11, 2015

Friends and families together at Komunitas Tafun where support is given to children battling illnesses. (Photo courtesy of Komunitas Taufan)

One in every 600 children in the world is likely to be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 16. In 2012, 4.7 percent, or 601 cases, of the total number of reported cases in Indonesia were children. Despairingly, many more are omitted from the statistics while they do not seek treatment.

Cancer is a long, grim and costly tale, which often breaks the spirit of the patients as well as their families. It has been scientifically proven though, that a person’s healing process can be greatly improved with a strong positive mentality.

This is why communities such as Komunitas Taufan (Taufan’s Community) are essential in aiding the recovery of these young soldiers battling with cancer and/other fatal diseases.

Yeni Dewi Mulyaningsih, or commonly known as Bu Yanie, founded Komunitas Taufan after losing her 7-year-old son Taufan to leukemia in April 2013.

Established in order to provide moral support to those in tough situations, Komunitas Taufan focuses on supporting the children and their families through regular visits at hospitals and their homes.

The group also assists by covering numerous hidden and vital expenses that are often not covered by subsidies.

Additionally, Komunitas Taufan financially aids certain families to establish small or temporary businesses in Jakarta as a means to survive while their children undergo treatment.

Since its establishment in late 2014, over 350 families have been supported, financially and morally by Komunitas Taufan; both short and long term.

In tribute to International Children’s Cancer Day this Sunday, Komunitas Taufan is organizing a fundraising event called Hand-in-Hand Charity Art Festival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Taman Perdamaian, BSD Sector 1,3, Serpong, Banten (near YPK Ora et Labora).

“It has been said that creativity cures the soul,” said Bu Yanie, who volunteers at Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusomo, the same hospital where her son passed away. “We are bringing 20 children from the hospital for a fun day out and also inviting people to get creative while being charitable together with us.”

“Our aim is not only fund raising but also to spread awareness of cancer in children and our community,” said Nana Andriana, the secretary of Komunitas Taufan. She added that all the proceeds from the event would be used to cover the essential needs of patients that are not subsidized and often neglected — such as milk, diapers, certain medicines, travel costs, strollers, toiletries and other necessities.

During the event, children will be able to participate in organized classes; noodle making with chef Lucky, cello graffiti art classes with Indonesian Walls, wewo tie dye and ganara art totebag painting at Rp 150,000 ($12) each.

In addition to a door prizes and a food bazaar, children and families can enjoy dongeng kejutan by Ayo Dongeng Indonesia, stand-up comedy, yoga for kids by Kids Yoga Jakarta, beatboxing by the BeatBox Community, performances by the HappyTunes Band, Gema Luhur Choir and Indonesian Walls, just to name a few. Visitors can also donate items such as diapers, second hand baby strollers, milk and more to Komunitas Taufan.

(Photo courtesy of Komunitas Taufan)

“We are collaborating with four artists to teach the children graffiti arts and also conduct live painting, which then will be sold to the audience. All of our proceeds will be donated to the kids of Komunitas Taufan,” said 27-year-old Razi, the founder of Indonesian Walls — a media platform for graffiti and street art communities in Indonesia.

Aside from the classes and entertainment at the event, Komunitas Taufan, together with B1 Health, have invited a doctor from Siloam Hospital to discuss cancer in children; including early detection, prevention, treatment, uncovering myths and the importance of being proactive.

“Many people are still in the dark about cancer,” said Nana, also a close friend of Bu Yanie. “They need to understand that when and cancer is detected early, it may be cured. But, many people still go to witchdoctors and traditional massage therapists first, delaying a trip to the hospital — generally due to financial constraints.”

She added however that finances should no longer be an excuse to not seek treatment, considering Indonesia’s new BPJS Kesehatan health-care subsidy program and donors or communities willing to aid patients.

Komunitas Taufan is also committed to educating society on dealing with every aspect of cancer; not only the poor.

“We would like to continue helping families like this for the long term” Bu Yanie said. “What we do may seem small but we know it has a great impact.”

Komunitas Taufan Join Komunitas Taufan for a fun-filled day, in giving back to the community at Hand-in-Hand Charity Art Festival this Sunday, Feb. 15. For more information on the event, contact Nana at 0896 6301 1842 or visit their website at komunitastaufan.org.

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