On Balangen Island, there is a small children's shelter. Currently, 26 children aged 6 to 14 live there. Five adults handle all the organizational matters. In total, there are 31 people. The founder of the shelter is Sister Erwin, a Catholic who, with her savings and donations from kind-hearted individuals, created a home for orphans and children from poor families. Erwin is a very pleasant and positive person who radiates goodness, love, and care.
The shelter has a very positive atmosphere. It's like one big, close-knit family where the older children help the younger ones, where everyone shares everything they have with each other, where everyone has the right to speak up and be heard, and where all decisions are made together and harmoniously. When you ask Erwin what needs to be brought next time, she always says that she needs to consult with the kids.
The children live modestly and do everything themselves. They clean up, wash their clothes by hand, cook their meals, and tuck themselves in at night. There are times when they run out of basic necessities like soap or toothpaste for several days. There are even very difficult days when there's nothing to eat at all. Absolutely nothing.
However, there are always people who are willing to share and support these children. Some bring groceries, some bring toys, some bring clothing, and others simply donate money. Not long ago, a kind-hearted individual donated a significant sum of money, which is now being used to construct a new building for the shelter. The children themselves also raise money to buy a washing machine.
Approximately every two weeks, Russian children gather and visit the shelter's residents. They bring gifts and essential items. Most often, items like rice, hygiene products, clothing, and bedding are needed, as well as school supplies (all the children attend school). They are always happy to receive toys, sweets, and other children's items as well.
All the children are very excited to have guests. They hug everyone and are thrilled to see them. Each child will definitely come up to you, greet you, and then say goodbye. They organize concerts for the guests. The children know many songs in English. Many of them have already started learning English in school, but the credit for the songs goes to Erwin. The children love to draw. Every time guests visit, they give the children a task. This time, the task was to draw what they want to become in the future. It resulted in a mountain of children's drawings.
The shelter is located directly opposite the Kafein cafe (Kafein - Jalan Pantai Balangan - http://4sq.com/18qPGln). The construction site opposite this cafe is the future home for the children.