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Cablegate: Ntt: Cnn Hero's Orphanage Faces Funding Problems

VZCZCXRO6273
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0092 2820527
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090527Z OCT 09
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0469
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0458
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0175
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0208
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0481

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000092

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/PD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI ECON PGOV ID
SUBJECT: NTT: CNN HERO'S ORPHANAGE FACES FUNDING PROBLEMS

1. (U) SUMMARY: CNN hero Soehardi Budi operates and funds the
Roslin Orphanage in Kupang, the capital of Nusa Tenggara Timor
(NTT). This orphanage provides refuge for 46 children, operates
a farm and provides mobile library services to surrounding
villages. Mr. Budi was recently fired from his employment
putting the future of the orphanage at risk until new funding is
identified. END SUMMARY

Roslin Orphanage Operations
---------------------------------------

2. (U) CNN named Soehardi Budi one of its "Heroes" in 2009 for
his sponsorship of the Roslin Orphanage. The orphanage is
located just outside the city of Kupang, the largest city in
West Timor and capital of the Nusa Tenggara Timor province, one
of the poorest in Indonesia. This orphanage houses 47 children
ranging in age from 1 to 19 years old, from both local villages
and refugees from Timor Leste. Budi, a native of Jogjakarta,
and his wife Peggy, originally from Ambon, established the
orphanage in 2002 and fund its operations entirely from Budi's
salary as a pilot for Singapore Airlines.

3. (U) During an October 1 visit, Budi outlined the orphanage's
operation to Surabaya Pol/Econ Officer. The orphanage occupies
a 1.5 acre lot and includes several buildings. The main
building has play rooms and an eating area. The library is well
stocked with both Indonesian and English language books and
several computers with internet access. The dormitory has a bed
and dresser for each child. Other buildings include a garage,
storage areas, and a small chapel.

4. (U) The Roslin Orphanage also runs its own farm. Located 40
km away from the orphanage itself, the farm produces rice, corn,
and peanuts. The older children help on the farm. Budi says
that this helps them learn valuable lessons about agriculture
while helping the orphanage feed itself. Indeed, the orphanage
produces enough rice to meet its needs and even has a surplus
most years. They donate their surplus rice to the poor
residents of nearby villages. The Orphanage also owns two
mobile libraries -- vans stocked with books -- that provide
library service to surrounding villages. In most cases, these
libraries provide the only reading material available to
children in the villages they visit. Surabaya donated eight
copies of the Indonesian translation of "The Lorax" to the
orphanage's library.

Funding Challenges
--------------------------

5. (U) The Roslin Orphanage accomplishes all this with minimal
outside assistance. They receive no funding from any level of
government, and while outside charitable organizations have
donated specific items such as the vans for the mobile
libraries, Budi funds the regular operation of the orphanage
himself. However, Singapore Airlines recently informed Budi
that he would be laid off effective the end of October 2009.
This represents a significant challenge to the future viability
of the orphanage. In light of this dismissal, he is seeking
alternate sources of funding.

6. (U) One possible funding source is outside donations. Since
he was named a CNN hero earlier this year, Budi has received
several donations from individuals in the United States. These
donations have been made via the online money transfer system
Paypal. Budi told Surabaya's Pol/Econ Officer that
unfortunately Paypal will not release donations to an Indonesian
entity, citing concerns about fraud. Budi is currently
investigating the possibility of establishing a Non-Profit
Organization in the United States that could accept these
donations, allowing the orphanage to utilize them.

7. (U) Budi also hopes to earn sufficient money from selling
his property in Jakarta and renting his family's property in
Jogjakarta to pay for a few months' worth of operating costs at
the orphanage. In the end though, Budi does not anticipate that
these donations or the potential rental income will be
sufficient to cover operating costs for long. When asked what
would happen if he were unable to find another job soon, Budi
replied that "the children will suffer."

MCCLELLAND

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