Jakarta – “This is very good program for children. It’s lively and amusing. Thanks for coming, but do please come back and make children here ever more enthusiastic”, said Miss Yuli. These words of gratitude and hope of hers were addressed to members of Anand Ashram (AA) community who visited Panti Asuhan St. Vinsensius Putri (PA Vitri) orphanage and gave Laughter Therapy to children there.
Yuli and her fellow caretakers have been fairly grateful for the invaluable “donation” they receive through the visit of AA community. Indeed, on Sunday (May 5th, 2012), Dr. Lili and friends did bring joy gift to children at PA Vitri. The visit to the orphanage, which specially homes orphaned and abandoned girls, was part of AA’s social service program or Program Bhakti sosial.
That Sunday’s event, commenced shortly after holy mass, was preceded by a presentation about profile of AA. Mr. Rudi and Miss Afni, who were taking charge of the presentation, touched on the history of the center for Meditation and Holistic Health. They explained that Anand Krishna, the founder, has survived from acute leukemia thanks to meditation exercises. Anand, who was in narrow escape, empowers himself through meditation. As a result, he recuperates and his emotion is fully cultured.
Laughter Therapy is a special gift AA presents whenever it holds the Bhakti Sosial, and goes the way of AA’s dynamic meditation. It detoxifies and expels toxins from human body, thus enhancing immunity. It also produces endorphin giving relaxation and increasing self-confidence. So to say, it proves to account for healthy body, mind, feeling and emotion. The therapy brings about holistic health.
And, that was the main menu of the day in PA Vitri—similar to what has been presented in other places before. At first, participants sang religious songs reminding us about the Lord’s Glory. Then, in circle formation, they started the therapy. Girls of Junior and Senior High School students were shy yet reluctant to follow the instructions of facilitators. It seemed they were rather inadaptable to new situation which they might regard as bizarre. In contrast, kids of kindergarten and elementary school were very enthusiastically doing what they were supposed to. After few minutes gone, the ice broke and those teens could no longer resist joining their juniors.
‘I’m very happy to have your coming here. Indeed, our fostered kids are lack of self-confidence and sense of responsibility,” said Mrs. Elys.
“Elementary school girls are somewhat troubled with excessive energy that makes them disorganized and hard for us to deal with. Meanwhile, Junior High School girls tend to be isolating themselves, lack of self-confidence, indifferent and paying no heed to team-work”, added Elys.
She hopes AA’s visit was not the last, for, she said, she has felt the benefit of the therapy. “This therapy can eject out negative energies in children. They were gloomy and inferior, but now are very cheerful and excited. It really has infused positive energy to them. We’re looking forward to having your visit again in near future”
Miss Ires agrees with her colleague’s opinion, “Program as such is good. We hope you will come again and inspire teens here. I can see it is positive, especially games that require team-work and togetherness”.
What AA has carried out to those children is the implementation of its motto “Be Joyful and Share Your Joy with Others”. Training programs pertaining to the motto are ways to make it reach far to the public. And, laughter therapy is one of the effective techniques to share joy with them.
The program was or rather, is, proven to be very encouraging for kids and teens. They were bold to speak up their mind. “This program brings happiness and very beautiful and motivating that fetching everyone to smile. You guys are nice people”, admitted Yayu Supriati. Eka said, “It’s fun really. I have a suggestion, next time you should put name tags so that you can remember everybody’s name”. A Junior High School girl, Fransiska, added, “It feels that the program needs much, much longer time to do. Please…”
Panti Asuhan St. Vinsensius Putri—St. Vincent’s Girls Orphanage—is managed by OSU, a Catholic nun congregation. It shelters school-aged girls, from kindergarten to senior high school. Current head of the orphanage is Sister Maria Paul Sesang, OSU.
(Reporter: Selamet Jr and Iresh Hasibuan, Photographer: Prabu Dennaga, Editor: T. Nugroho, Translator: Dominggus Koro)