Whistler children raise funds to help earthquake victim 

Myrtle Philip kids hope to make a difference

This Myrtle Phillip Grade two class is collecting pennies to send to UNICEF for Indonesia quake relief. Photo by Clare Ogilvie
  • This Myrtle Phillip Grade two class is collecting pennies to send to UNICEF for Indonesia quake relief. Photo by Clare Ogilvie

The children in Myrtle Philip’s Grade 2 class are putting their pennies together to help those affected by the quake in Indonesia.

"It’s important to help the poor children there," said Kayley Turner, 7.

"They have no homes, no food and no schools. So I thought if those children could be helped by other children who are richer than they are that would be a good thing.

"I think other people should help. One dime would help, just one dime."

The class, taught by Irene Makelke-Way and Susan Hamersley, will be collecting the kids’ donations for the next two weeks. The money will then be given to local businessman Jay Wahono who will send off a cheque to UNICEF. The United Nations children’s agency is providing relief for the tens of thousands of youth affected by the quake, which happened on Saturday, May 27.

The agency said:

• $100 can provide a basic family water kit for ten households, with detergent, soap, wash basin, towels, bucket and water purification tablets.

•$250 can provide one "School-in-a-Box" kit containing basic education supplies for 80 children during times of crisis. $500 can provide emergency health kits with medical supplies and drugs to cover the basic health needs of 50 people for three months.

"I am quite happy because the children are taking the initiative," said Wahono, who along with wife Julie owns and operates the Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa in Whistler.

"I was quite surprised in the morning when I came into the class last (week) and (a student) came up to me and gave me their change. I was touched."

Wahono’s son Pandu is in the class and just days before the quake both had told the class all about their Indonesian homeland.

"In their minds Indonesia is a beautiful place that they would love to go for a vacation," said Wahono.

" Then a week later there is a disaster and so there is a connection there and they now feel it is close to their minds and their hearts.

"I am hoping that the children in Whistler and all across Canada can see how other children live across the world and they will grow up as citizens of the world. We live in a very small world after all and we are all connected.

"Indonesia is not a far away land anymore. That culture is close to the children now, the people they know from there are close to them."

Fortunately none of Wahono’s family were killed or injured but the 6.3 magnitude quake has closed the family’s spa in the Sheraton Mustika Hotel in Yogyakarta.

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