A visit to Lestari Sayang Anak (Forever Loving Children) Orphanage

It’s a strange thing to live in Jakarta as an expat.  You live here, and you take advantage of all the great things that Jakarta has to offer you; you can eat in great restaurants and have someone do your laundry for you, someone to care for your kids, a driver to take you to work, live in a house that you could never afford if you were back home, explore Indonesia on your holidays, and the big shopping malls on the weekend.  The world seems to open for you.

But forever niggling in the corner of your mind (hopefully) is the feeling that something is not quite right.  Here you are enjoying the high life in the bulebubble but when you open your eyes to what is happening on the street you see poverty everywhere.  Little children begging at the lights, families living in garbage carts, hungry faces everywhere.  People from all over Indonesia come to Jakarta to make their fortunes and end up with very little.  In order to live in a city you have to open your eyes and get out of the bubble and take the trouble to see what is going on.

We met one such lady on the weekend who started an orphanage called “Lestari Sayang Anak” which means “forever loving children”.  Her name is Ingrid van der Mark and she started the orphanage 2 years ago in Cipete, Jakarta.  She currently has 5 little boys being loved and cared for at her place.  They are adorable and melt your heart when you look at their big, brown, Indonesian eyes.  And you feel happy that someone took the trouble to find a home for these boys for as long as they need it.

It was a great feeling to be there, we were welcomed and shown around, and got lots of cuddles from the little boys.  There are lots of things that this place needs to continue to be able to look after the boys.  Of course they need all the things that babies need to be grow and be healthy and clean, but they also need financial help for the endless round of bills that show up every month.

If you are a bule living in Jakarta, or an Indonesian who thinks that they want to give something back to this city and its future generation, please look for “Lestari Sayang Anak” on Facebook or contact us for further information on how you can help.  If you have a spare $5, well, it goes a long way here and it will go straight to the kids which is an amazing feeling.  If you are living in another country and are appalled by the third world conditions that people are living in around the world and don’t know how to help, well this could be a start for you.  It’s time for people to wake up to the realities of the world.  The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.  Sometimes too much reality drags you down and you don’t know how to move amongst it, and then you meet someone who inspires you and who got off their butt and instead of saying “Well, what can I do about it?”, actually did something, and you realise that it is not hard to make a difference.

Wake up!!  16,000 children die every day from hunger.  It’s not right.  Make a difference.

Beautiful Benny xx

Little Harry... xx

Jimmy xx

Jimmy playing xx

Treen and gorgeous Martin xx

Erin and Martin... pure happiness xx

Roby having his bottle xx

Treen and Roby... careful or she'll never let you go! xx

11 Responses to “A visit to Lestari Sayang Anak (Forever Loving Children) Orphanage”

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  1. Bima says:

    No, seriously! I have a son, age two years old, almost three. The one tagged as “Jimmy xx” reminds me so much of him it breaks my heart.

    I’m glad he’s well taking care of. May Allah bless Ms. van der Mark forever and afterwards. No matter how much money a donator could give, it is ultimately her deeds that will remain with the boys till the end of their life.

    Truly a remarkable woman.

    Do they have a website where I could click “PayPal Donation” to? I’m not rich, but I would be happy and ikhlas to send my humble $5 or even more.

    Another great writing and photos, Treen! And Tasya, too!

    • welovejakarta says:

      Hi Bima,
      Thanks again so much for reading our blog. I am still in jakarta (Treen) and Tash unfortunately went home a couple of weeks ago which is a bummer as I will miss her photos and she was the true inspiration for the blog.

      I think that Ms Van Der Mark will certainly be blessed forever as are other people who devote their lives selflessly for the good of others. Those boys are very lucky to have her in their lives. I am sure that she would appreciate anything you have to offer her and the boys. Here are the details:

      “For friends of Lestari Sayang Anak who want to make a donation, our BCA account number is: 2181653355, A/N Ingrid Louise van der Mark. Thanks!”

      It is so good of you to offer, and again thanks for your replies to our blog.

      Take care,

      • Bima says:

        Hi Treen,

        That’s indeed a bummer for Tash to had to go. But I wish her well, nonetheless. I mean, when ye gotta go, ye gotta go, right? 🙂

        I have made a note of the bank account for Ingrid Louise van der Mark and will make the transfer ASAP. Too bad it ain’t a Mandiri number or PayPal so I could send it right now. They deserve it. And more.

        And on another news: you’re still in Jakarta! This I like! (my favorite quote from the Witcher 2 game). 🙂

        Hope to see more of your “Jakarta reports”, Treen. I will devour them hungrily.

        • welovejakarta says:

          Ya Tash didn’t want to go, and I didn’t want her to go, but I loved having her here and that she loved jakarta as much as me. Thanks so much for donating to the orphanage, that’s so kind of you.

          I will have to explore now and write more. Thanks Bima 🙂

  2. Bima says:

    I think this will help the orphanage, Treen. Please have a look:


    Do notice though, I do not have any connection with them. It’s honestly a suggestion that I think will greatly help them to survive, as it will enable people to easily find them and provide donations through PayPal.

    Quoting directly, “Set up, hosting, and support are all free. You simply pay a transaction fee of 4.95% and $0.30 per transaction for all online donations.”

    What do you think?

    • welovejakarta says:

      Thanks so much for your suggestion. I have forwarded your information onto Ingrid and I will see what she says. I am sure that, as many people have paypal accounts, this may make it easier for them to donate. Thanks Bima!

  3. Dina says:

    Hi Treen/Tasya
    I went to SOS a couple of months ago and saw the lestari brochure, i lost it and thankfully I found your blog. Can you please let me know if you have their address or phone? I’d like to visit them personally and give baby stuff and hopefully it’ll help at the least


    • welovejakarta says:

      Hi Dina,

      Thanks so much for your message. I am sure Ingrid would love for you to visit all the boys at Lestari – they are all absolutely adorable! Their address is Jalan Cipete Raya, no.42, Jakarta and you can also look them up on Facebook and receive news online from them.

      Thank you for your support and please give all the little angels a big hug from us!

      Much love
      Tasha & Treen x

  4. manoharan says:

    HI My name is Manoharan. I am from India and living in Jakarta for the last 5 years. Of late I heard about your excellent social service to orphans in Jakarta. i am a simple human being and not possessing a big heart like you. But I love to be part of your organisation and augment your efforts. i would like to visit your orphanage and do something I could do. Please let me know how to go about it. I am available on manoharan51@gmail.com and handphone +6281380680791 always. I love to hear from you so that we can meet with each other and I would offer my modest support to your efforts. God bless us. Best regards Manoharan

    • welovejakarta says:

      Hi Manoharan – Thank you so much for your lovely email and I am so sorry for my late reply but I have been away from Jakarta and not checking my email here too often. I have just returned to life in this crazy city 🙂

      You can contact Lestari Sayang Anak orphanage via Facebook or their website and I am sure they would absolutely love to hear from you – even if you would like to visit the children some day and say hello 🙂