Leaving a lasting imprint on lives in Aceh

150328 Nazirah

Two years after watching her father get shot dead by separatists during an outbreak of civil unrest in Banda Aceh, eight-year-old Nazirah lost her mother to the Dec 26 tsunami in 2004.

With nowhere else to go, Nazirah and her three siblings could seek refuge only in the Fajar Hidayah orphanage cum boarding school in Banda Aceh, the capital city of Aceh province, and figure out what to do next.

Her siblings left after a few years to live with relatives and friends but Nazirah stayed on.

Today, Nazirah is 18 and waiting to take up a diploma course in horticulture at the local polytechnic. She is among hundreds of children who have grown up in the orphanage cum school funded and built by Singapore, after losing their parents in the tsunami.

While Nazirah has been to Singapore only once in 2008 to meet her Singaporean foster parents who paid for her education, she said she will never forget the 10 days she spent in the city.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support from the teachers and my foster parents,” she said in Indonesian language. 

These are the “permanent imprints” Singaporeans have made on the lives of many Acehnese affected by the 9.2 magnitude quake and the giant waves that followed back in 2004, said manpower minister Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday during a visit to Fajar Hidayah.


Excerpt taken from the following source:

Jermyn Chow, The Strait Times/ANN, Banda Aceh  | Thu, November 27 2014, 10:57 AM




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