Paying a Visit to Kampung Per, Distributing Food Aid

Paying a Visit to Kampung Per, Distributing Food Aid

ACTNews, ASMAT – We arrived at Kampung Per, Agats District on Sunday (11/2). Twenty sacks of rice, that had arrived few hours before, was being unloaded. A number of local villagers helped to carry it to Rumah Bujang in Kampung Per. Meanwhile, a man invited us to get inside the Rumah Bujang.

His name was Umar Tew, a local villager of Asmat ethnicity. Umar, along with 97 other people in Kampung Per, became Muslims many years ago. Umar and other Muslims in Kampung Per lives harmoniously with the Catholic-majority population. They coexist, creating a simple yet diverse society.

Inside the Rumah Bujang, Umar welcomed and talked with us. Dozens of other male villagers, including the custom leader Lasarus Senpai, sat and joined the conversation.

Rumah Bujang is a traditional house for Asmat men. Here, we welcome guests, discuss about village and custom matters, perform tifa-playing ceremony, etc,” said Senpai.

Umar then mentioned that when measles and malnutrition were spreading in Asmat, the children in Kampung Per were also affected. Many of them suffered from measles and malaria. The auxiliary clinic there never stopped treating malaria patients every day and night.

 

Umar’s toddlers, Abdullah and Fitri, were also treated in Agats Regional Hospital (RSUD Agats) for malaria. “I for two hours, I rushed to Agats hospital carrying my children on a boat. Since late January, many children in Kampung Per have been suffering for malaria,” said Umar.  

We then looked outside when tons of sacks of rice had been unloaded from the boat. Several rice sacks were carried inside the Rumah Bujang. Syuhelmaidi Syukur then symbolically hand over the donation for the recovery of malnutrition, measles and malaria for Kampung Per. The aid consisting of 20 sacks of rice (approximately 500 kilograms) was directly received by Senpai.

 

“If we have money, we will buy rice. Our children also eat sago. If the food is scarce, we will eat coconuts and bananas. Alhamdulillah, Allah blesses this village with coconuts and bananas,” said Umar.

As the sun began to set, the tide started to rise. Umar and Lasarus allowed our team to go back to Agats before nightfall.

The ACT team, led by Syukur, prepared to go back to Agats. The speedboat engine was turned on, and we asked for permission to leave the Rumah Bujang.

 

“Alhamdulillah, gradually, the donation trust of Humanitarian Ship for Papua is being distributed. In total, there are of 4.000 kilograms of rice, thousands of biscuits, and mineral water that have been brought by ACT through the Humanitarian Ship to recover Asmat. They will be distributed evenly, collaborating with Asmat Department of Social Welfare,” concluded Syukur on the speedboat on the way back to Agats.

On Sunday (11/2), we didn’t just pay a visit to our fellow Indonesians thousands of kilometers away from Jakarta. On that day, we also shared stories and food, an expression of care and kindness from the people of Indonesia. []        

 

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