The Islamic Garden
Helping Indonesian Tsunami
Scoffield is the founder and director of Chariots for
Children. She has been involved in charity work for years but after
plight of the orphans after the tsunami in 2006 she decided to sell her
The orphanage has two buildings: one for boys and one for girls. It can house up to 50 girls and 50 boys but at the moment there are only 20 children there because sponsors are needed. It costs 20 British pounds a month to pay for one orphan, including food, education, clothing, and medicine. After the recent earthquake, there are more children who have been left helpless. The orphanage is ready to take them if sponsors can be found.
there was a fundraising event that was held in a
small school in
Scoffield was also at the fundraising event, selling
hand made bags, mats, and purses from
Stevenson helped organize the event and found that
many non-Muslims as well as Muslims were extremely helpful in the
and in giving donations. They wanted to attract a lot of Muslims to the
so they decided on a venue in
The orphanage is built on 8000 square meters of land. Scoffield recalled, “We bought the land empty in 2007 and it took a year to build. We were busy raising money and donors gave some money and bit by bit the building was completed. Strangely, after the tsunami the land is very fertile. Now the children have started to plant chilies and tomatoes but wild animals come down from the mountains to eat the vegetables so we are in the process of building a wall to keep them out.”
The entire complex
cost 85,000 British pounds. There are plenty of children who need help
sponsors are needed. “We raise money through collections in mosques,
fundraising events, and in small gatherings. Last Friday, I took four
with me to a mosque in
The school is a ten minute walk from the compound but the charity would also like to make classes in the compound for teenagers to teach them the many skills they need. The children get up early and each child has a turn to do housework. There are three married couples looking after the children and they are all local Indonesians. “We need more people who can speak Indonesian to help,” said Scoffield. Some children were orphaned by the tsunami in 2006, some were street children, some came from broken families, some lost their parents in armed conflict, and others were abandoned. Our motto is that we look after the most vulnerable children; they could be victims of natural or man made disasters.”
Sometimes there are orphans who have relatives they can stay with. However, these people are usually poor, so Chariots for Children gives the family a monthly stipend to pay for the orphans they care for. They also send people in regularly to check up on the orphans and ensure they are being taken care of properly and sent to school. From time to time they are given parcels and gifts and they are very grateful.
Life on the Streets Young people end up living on the streets for many reasons but the result is that the youth are forced to become someone other than their real selves in order to survive.
UK Girls’ Clubs The coordinator of one such club, Um Abdullah, along with her friend, Naima Anniche, focus on girls between the ages of 13 and 16 but she will accept any girl who would like to attend.