Voices of the Students of STT SETIA

The following is translated from

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Voices of the Students of STT SETIA from the Evacuation Camp at Cibubur, 6 August 2008

– Driven from their own home, in their own motherland, in the capital of Republic of Indonesia
– Is there freedom in this republic?

Today we, the students of SETIA, were finally evacuated to the camp at Cibubur. Ten days have passed since we were driven from our residence hall and campus, and we have not studied ever since. The government promised to bring us back to the campus and our residence hall, but in fact we are now living in tents. Till when?

“For me it is only this school that can cater for us, villagers. Our parents are poor, but this school creates an opportunity for us to study in the tertiary level. We look at our future with hope, but because of this incident, our hopes may end here. Now we are living in evacuation, because our campus and residence hall cannot be occupied. Mother asks me to go home, but father asks me to endure. We urge the government to uphold justice, and to take prompt actions so that we can return to our campus and residence hall to continue our studies,” the voice of Silpa Mau, Semester 7, from the village of Mawar, Alor, East Nusa Tenggara.

“My heart is broken to see our beloved place destroyed. We are disappointed and hurt. We are educated here to serve those people living in unreached villages. I plead for the prayers from the churches of God, that we, who are villagers, underprivileged, and have nothing, be given a chance to continue our studies. For those in the government, who actually knows our condition, how should they feel if they have daughters who stay in an evacuation camp like us? Surely they would be sad. But they do not feel it, for they do not experience it,” the voice of Seprianti Datu, Semester 3, from the village of Simbuang, Toraja, South Sulawesi.

“Initially I thought of being able to study well, being proud of wearing the uniform. But after the orientation, I was perplexed that suddenly all this happened. I am afraid but I will stay. I have spent much to come here. I plead for the prayers of our brothers and sisters so that we can return to our campus and residence hall. I also plead for the governor of Papua to speak out. Please give your attention to us. The governor of West Kalimantan came to visit his people at the evacuation,” the voice of Merince, from Wamena, Jayawijaya. She has been staying for only two months in Jakarta.

“I hope for students from other universities to continue supporting and praying for us. If all this happened, we do not blame God but we examine ourselves, seeking to know what God’s plan is, for we know that He has a purpose for all this. Father wants me to go home. But mother asks me to persevere,” the voice of a simple Sundanese girl, Ratna Ningrum, Semester 7, from the village of Darmareja, Sukabumi.

“I am deeply saddened. Why are we driven from our own home? I plead for the government to respond and give their attention to us so that we can go back to the campus and residence hall to continue our studies. But I am learning to give thanks to God for I believe there must be a plan of His that is better for the future of SETIA,” the voice of Mesrawati Zega, Semester 7, from the village of Luahabouse, Nias.

These are the voices and heart cries from a few of our colleagues. This represents the heart cries of us all, the students of SETIA. Support and uphold us in your prayers so that we can go through these difficult times.

We also plead for the government, especially the government of Jakarta, who have promised to bring us back, to keep their promise. We are sons and daughters of this land, village children who are seeking for a better future through the education in SETIA. Where is the truth of our constitution that says that the government shall protect every citizen of this republic? What is the meaning of our freedom for 63 years?

Cibubur, 6 August 2008
From the students who are evacuated at Cibubur, East Jakarta.

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