Fajar Baru




Sister Gaudentia and Koen Vondenbusch in Bali, 2015

Sister Gaudentia collecting money, 2012

Origins and aims of Fajar Baru

In 2011, the Belgian Sister Gaudentia stayed in a monastery in Cimanggis, a suburb of Jakarta (Indonesia). She saw a lot of poverty in Indonesia and noticed how the monastery had to make an effort with few resources to take care of orphans and abandoned children. According to Sister Gaudentia, this problem urgently needed to be solved. Back in Belgium, Sister Gaudentia founded the non-profit organization Fajar Baru in June 2012 with the help of the Belgian Koen Vondenbusch. Fajar Baru is Indonesian and means "New Dawn".

Sister Gaudentia also sought support in Indonesia and was able to set up another npo (non-profit organization) there in 2012 with the name Yayasan Fajar Baru (Yayasan is Indonesian for non-profit organization). Both associations aim to improve the fate of the children who are taken care of in the monastery in Cimanggis. Their first concern was to provide a decent place to live for the children. While the girls and toddlers initially stayed in the convent, a house was soon rented for the boys in the vicinity of the convent.

For the development of a shelter, Fajar Baru immediately started collecting money in Belgium to go directly to the project in Indonesia. In this way there would be no unnecessary expenses and all the money raised could be fully spent on the project. Even today, all the members of Fajar Baru work entirely on a voluntary basis without any compensation or fee.

Gradually, Fajar Baru also got attention for Bekasi. Bekasi is another suburb of Jakarta, is located about fifty kilometers from Cimanggis and there is also another monastery of the same Sister order. A school is connected to that monastery where the children of Fajar Baru receive their primary education. Unfortunately, the children stay in uncomfortable and unhealthy buildings. There, too, Fajar Baru wants to work on better housing for the children.

‍ Achievements 

In 2015, Fajar Baru bought a house in Cimanggis, about 200 meters from the monastery, which was converted into a shelter for the girls. In June 2017, the girls were able to move into a brand-new building.

Fajar Baru bought another house right in front of the girls' house. This too was thoroughly renovated and was put into use as a service building at the end of 2017. There is a large kitchen that can serve the different living groups and it has storage rooms and rooms for the sisters.

In 2017, Fajar Baru bought another house barely 100 meters from the monastery. Renovation work started in 2018 and the boys were able to move in the shelter in 2020.

Fajar Baru not only offers financial assistance for the construction of homes for the children. It also wants to invest in supporting equipment. For example, in 2015 a van was purchased to transport the children to and from school. A special aspect is the drinking water supply. To ensure this, the sisters wanted to install a water pump. They also hoped to pump enough water to make some profit from selling it. With the financial help of Fajar Baru, a water pump could be installed in Cimanggis and in Bekasi.

Water pump in Bekasi, 2024

Zezy and Mario

Zezy Maria Gracillia. Zezy was born on February 22, 2009 in Bogor (Java). Her father passed away and she has been living in the shelter since 2019.

Mario Ferrer Cipto Mangun Kusumo. Mario was born in Depok (Java) on April 5, 2015. He has been living in the shelter since 2018. His parents are still alive, but are unable to support their children.

‍ The Children 

At the time of the foundation of the Belgian npo Fajar Baru (2012), there were about forty children in the convent of Cimanggis. In 2016 there were about eighty children, in June 2022 their number had risen to 102 and in August 2022 even to 134.

Not all children, who are taken care of by Fajar Baru in the monastery of Cimanggis, are orphans. Most children come from poor families whose parents are unable to support their children themselves. Most of the children are Catholic, but there are also children of other religions.

Children and members of Fajar Baru in Jakarta, 2017

VZW Fajar Baru© 2024 v1.