INDONESIA Indonesian Catholics donate blood for remote areas of Papua


Simon, a member of the Christ the King parish in Pejompongan (central Jakarta), is behind this initiative. During Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer, donations plummet, creating supply shortages. Veronica and Simon of Cyrene on the way of the cross are at the origin of the initiative for the benefit of the diocese of Agats, one of the poorest regions of the country.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – An Indonesian Christian from Christ the King Parish in Pejompongan (Central Jakarta) has launched a campaign to collect blood donations for remote and distressed areas of Papua, in particular the Diocese of Agats.

This is a particularly urgent time during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer, as blood supplies and donations to the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia) tend to drop drastically, creating shortages.

The Diocese of Agats is located in one of the most remote regions of the country, an area characterized by muddy soil, which does not allow agriculture, except for a few mangroves and saltwater trees.

To reach it from Jakarta, it takes a long journey by various means of transport, including large planes, ultralights and speedboats.

Faced with these difficulties, Simon (the Christian promoter of the initiative) launched the project “Blood donation for the diocese of Agats”.

His inspiration comes from the Stations of the Cross and the actions of Simone di Cyrene and Veronica at stations 5 and 6. He chose the diocese because it is “among the most unhappy areas” of the country where it is difficult to find natural resources.

Donating blood during Ramadan is one of the most important ways to “exercise the spirit of compassion”.

Simon will donate 10,000 Indonesian rupees (about a dollar) of his own money to those who join the initiative, scheduled for May 4-22. About fifty people have already donated blood in exchange for the symbolic royalty, a very significant and valuable gesture.

Recently, Simon presented his project to young people and media related to the Archdiocese of Jakarta in order to reach more potential donors, but this did not elicit any positive response.

Nevertheless, after the initiative was presented last night on the Sesawi Interest in the Catholic information portal increased and the first anonymous benefactors arrived.

“Make a blood donation,” said Simon to AsiaNews, “Is an act of deep humanity, which goes beyond social status and race.” It is “a humanitarian response to emergencies that transcend borders and save other lives”.

During Ramadan, when the blood supply “runs out”, this is especially important. “For non-Muslims, now is the right time to act.”

Finally, Simon notes: “As Catholics, we are all Veronica and Simon in contemplation in the face of the sufferings of Jesus.”

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