We could all learn great things from Ustad Junaedi, that being physically and financially handicapped should never be an obstacle for anyone to conduct good deed and help others in need. Even though Ustad Junaedi is physically incapable due to blindness and also comes with a low income, with the assistance from his family, he has established and been managing the Al-Istiqomah Orphanage in Bantar Gebang, infamously known as Solid Waste Final Disposal Site (“Landfill”) for Jakarta and Bekasi areas.
The majority of people living in the area has very low income and works as waste scavengers, with their kids have to help the parents to work as waste scavengers in order to earn more money or help to pay for their tuitions.
The orphans who stay in the Orphanage came from the poor families around the Landfill. Ustad Junaedi built a ‘house’ made of boards and woods gathered from the surrounding for the boys to live in, whilst the girls shared the house where Ustad Junaedi and his family live in, along with their lack of decent facilities and shabbiness. For everyday life, they all used to consume whatever they had for food. More often, when they did not have enough or no money at all to buy them food, they would gather the leaves and plants which grew or found nearby, and cooked them for food. They rarely had decent (let alone good) meals usually consumed by most people in the suburbs.
In the year 1998, Rahmania Foundation (“RF”) was introduced to the Bantar Gebang area and the Orphanage. Ever since, RF, along with its colleagues, have been assisting Ustad Junaedi and his family in helping and educating the orphans in many forms of charity, i.e.: money, food, building material, and even scholarships.
Today, the Orphanage has already been managing a Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (primary level) for the orphans and also children who lives around the Landfill with very low tuition, or even no charged for some who cannot afford the tuition. At the moment, the MI has more than 150 students. The teens and young adults from the Orphanage, who have the ability to teach, are asked to become the teachers in this Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (“MI”). RF also has help in submitting those teachers to trainings to accelerate their skill and capacity in teaching, so they can give better teaching to their students. The result was quite extraordinary, as for the academic year 2009/2010, the MI had successful 100% graduates and most of them have also successfully enrolled to the favorite junior high school in Bantar Gebang area.
The Orphanage also has built a Mosque, a permanent house for the girls has also been established, and more importantly, the orphans are now able to consume more decent meals, and every year spesifically in Ramadhan (fasting month), RF has always been delivering good quality meals to the orphans and children around the Orphanage.