Some 98 underprivileged children were beaming with pride on Saturday at a graduation ceremony organized by Jakarta archdiocese’s Bureau for Child Welfare Service (BPKA).
The ceremony at the Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park was for children up to eight years old who received free schooling for two years at schools managed by the bureau.
The schools are situated in four community areas – Marunda Kepu, Marunda Epang, Muara Angke Empang and Muara Angke Enceng.
At the free schools, which were founded in 1971, the children learn how to read, write, sing, paint and play.
“I am really happy I graduated today,” said Puji Nirmala, aged seven.
The girl, who studied at a free school in Muara Angke, North Jakarta, said the BPKA and its staff “paid serious attention to me and my family.”
Kurnia Ramadhani thanked the BPKA for giving him the chance to study at its free school in Marunda Kepu, in North Jakarta.
“It helped me to study and assisted my family,” he said.
According to the boy who wants to be a teacher, the graduation ceremony has motivated him to study more.
Gilang, one of the parents at the ceremony, said the BPKA was a great help to poor families.
“We still need assistance to educate our children to make them smart and succeed,” she added.
BPKA’s chief Herman Yosef Marsudi said the graduation ceremony, which has been held annually since 2008, is always a delight.
“We want to help lessen poverty through education,” he said.