SE Asia

Headquartered in Bali, A heart for Children ministry reaches the needs of children and their distress calls throughout the Indonesian islands and abroad.  

More than 150,000 people died in the tsunami of 2004 and over half a million were displaced whose living conditions were already considered impoverished. Today, poor sanitation, deadly outbreaks of polio, avian influenza, malnutrition, religious persecution and many other life threatening risks still face many of these children, offering little hope for a future. Although Indonesia, like much of SE Asia, has abundant natural resources, the average man’s daily wage is equivalent to approximately one American dollar. Poverty remains widespread. 

Issues Facing the Children of Indonesia

  • Vaccine scarcity
  • HIV/AIDS threatens to become an epidemic
  • Nearly 3 million children are in the labor force, often in a very dangerous capacity
  • More than 100 million people are without adequate sanitation
  • More than 40 million people are without access to clean drinking water
  • About 28% of children under 5 years old are malnourished
  • Malaria continues to strike up to 20% of the population
  • Human traffickers send thousands of women and children into the commercial sex trade
  • Religious persecution
  • Indonesia - at a Glance
    Comprised of approximately 17,508 Islands, Indonesia has 33 provinces with over 238 million people and is the world's fourth
    most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta on the Island of Java. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Indonesian economy is the world's sixteenth largest by nominal GDP.

    Since the 7th century, local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Over centuries, Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources including Muslim and European Christian traders who battled for control. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption and periods of rapid economic change.

    Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest—and politically dominant—ethnic group is the Javanese. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national ethnic and religious diversity within a majority Muslim population. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity.

    Although Indonesia as a whole is predominantly Muslim, over 90% of Bali’s 3 million people are Hindu or Buddhist.

    In 2002 Muslim terrorists bombed one of Bali’s tourist towns, Kuta, where one of the orphanages we support felt the blast just down the road.  They again bombed the towns of Jimbaran and Kuta in 2005.
    The temperament of the Balinese, however, is generally friendly and exuberant. There are over 9000 gods in the Hindu religion but there is a hunger there for the truth and an experience with their true Creator.

    Just east of Bali, Lombok is a neighboring island of over 3 million people. Some 92% of the population there is Muslim, mostly belonging to the Sasak ethnic group. Thousands fled religious and ethnic violence in early 2000 as mobs of Muslim extremists targeted Christians across the island. All the children and staff from an orphanage we support fled during the night by small boats, escaped persecution and lived among caring people in neighboring islands for six months before returning to Lombok.

    Thailand - at a glance
    The Thai people originated in southern China and around the 10th century migrated to form their own state. They survived the constant threats from neighboring countries and later European colonialism. Despite several years of rapid economic development the Thai people are still largely impoverished. Children here are often neglected and even denied their right to survival and protection. Over 85% of Thailand’s 70 million people are Buddhist and over a third of the workforce is unemployed.

    Issues facing the children of Thailand

    • Statistics show over 540 children are being trafficked and sexually exploited daily
    • More than 1 million children are estimated to be in need of special protection
    • An estimated 290,000 children have been orphaned because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and 2,000 born with HIV each year
    • Illiteracy among 6 to 24 year olds is over 44%

    Chiang Mai
    AHFC is supportive of Christ-centered orphanages in Chiang Mai that offer loving homes to children who in many cases have lost any hope of finding foster parents. Child prostitution and trafficking is epidemic most often because of severe poverty. In some cases these children are handed over by their parents who are promised a better life for the child. Many Buddhists believe these children, whatever the outcome, are getting what they deserve because of evil committed in a former life. These little ones live the dark reality of childhood without parents or a loving home and then are terrorized by the worst kinds of abuse.

    The ministry of AHFC is a life altering intervention in the lives and destiny of these children, enabling them to move from sorrow and hopelessness to joy and purpose.

    The children of SE Asia deserve to live healthy, purposeful lives. With your help we can make a difference. Join our commitment and efforts in sharing God’s unconditional love by example.

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