Bringing Ramadan Happiness to Veterans

In their old age, the Indonesian war veterans have stories to tell about their struggle for Indonesia’s independence. Sadly, many of them are now living in poverty despite everything they have sacrificed for their nation.

An ACT volunteer talks with a veteran in Bandung.
An ACT volunteer (right) talks with a veteran in Bandung. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, BANDUNG - If we watch a movie about the Indonesian war of independence, or pass by a monument or a statue that commemorated the heroism of the country’s soldier, we might feel a sense of pride. Many of these statues depict a soldier pointing their weapons at the enemies, riding a horse, or raising their hand with their fist clenched as a symbol of resistance. These statues serve as a reminder that many Indonesian soldiers have indeed sacrificed everything for Indonesia’s independence.

Faqih (103) is one of the war veterans who fought in the Indonesian war of independence in 1945. Now, he spends his days accompanied by an old radio that has entertained him for years. Despite his old age, he keeps many stories about his fight through some mementos, including a notebook and some black and white photos.

Sadly, despite his struggle for the country, Faqih doesn’t live in prosperity. He now lives alone in a corner of Bandung City in a house that is unfit for habitation. However, he’s not the only war veteran living in such a dire condition. Around 25% of over 27 thousand Indonesian war veterans in West Java live in poverty. Some even live in simple wooden or bamboo huts because they can’t afford proper houses.

Responding to this, in the moment of Ramadan, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) tries to bring vest gifts to Indonesian war veterans. In Bandung, in collaboration with 45 Volunteers, ACT visited war veterans who live in poverty. They came not only to hear about their stories during the war but also to hand over gifts as an appreciation for the veterans. The distribution was carried out for veterans living across parts of Bandung City, such as Cilengkrang, Mandalajati, Rancasari, and Cibiru Districts.

“We have presented the Ramadan packages as a manifestation of our respect and gratitude to war veterans. Through the Bandung Lautan Dermawan program, this gift distribution was able to be carried out thanks to the support from the community," said ACT Bandung Branch Manager Trisna Adi Permana, Tuesday (4/5/2021).

Prayers and appreciations were expressed by the war veterans. Until the end of Ramadan, ACT will continue to reach out to the war veterans. The wider community can also take part in this program with ACT. []