Cancer Kids Get Private Screening Of ‘Madagascar 3’
Count Me In
Forty children from Rumah Kita were given a private screening of DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar 3” on Saturday at Djakarta Theater XXI.
The children of Rumah Kita, where boys and girls from across Indonesia stay when they travel to the capital while undergoing cancer treatment, are fighters and have already written the end to their story: they beat cancer and live happily ever after.
“We’re here for the kids, and making them happy makes us smile,” said Putu Kusumawardhani, one of 20 Count Me In volunteers who spent the morning getting to know the kids and learning a little more about Rumah Kita. “This is my first volunteer event. I’m here because I know if we all do our part we can help spread a little happiness in the world.”
On Saturday, the children, who are all currently battling or have recently recovered from cancer, were given a chance to forgot about their story for the day and focus on being kids.
The residents of Rumah Kita, anywhere from 2 to 15 years old, enjoyed a bit of circus courtesy of Yayasan Hidung Merah, the Red Nose Foundation, and a theater all to themselves to enjoy DreamWorks’ box-office smash before departing on a bus tour of Monas. All of this was made possible by the generous support of Blue Bird and Cinema 21 as part of a joint effort to give the kids of Rumah Kita a day out on the town.
The festivities got under way early when five Blue Birds 25-seater Golden Bird buses picked up 40 children and their families from Rumah Kita in Percetakan Negara, Central Jakarta, shortly before 8:30a.m.
Thirty minutes later the buses arrived at the famed Djakarta Theater where the smell of popcorn and children’s laughter filled the cinema.
“Just a little effort can make these kids smile … that’s one of the most beautiful things on earth,” said Cinema 21 corporate secretary Catherine Keng. “For Cinema 21, since it’s our 25th anniversary, we’d like to bring joy into the lives of these young children, if only for a little while, to help them forget their difficult fight against cancer.”
The opening circus act featured 16 up-and-coming young performers from Red Nose Foundation, an arts and education outreach program to empower underprivileged youth through the circus. The Red Nose performers, 10 to 16 year olds from Cilincing, North Jakarta, performed for 15 minutes before the reels started rolling for “Madagascar 3.”
“The kids from Red Nose were a little nervous at the beginning, they’ve never performed for a crowd this big before,” said Nino Rianditya, Red Nose’s field manager. “But once things got under way everyone had a great time.”
Volunteers signed up to spend the morning with the children and ended up learning about how fragile life can be. “I felt happy and sad at the same time,” said Atika Suri Fanani, a volunteer who spent the morning with Jessen, a 2-year-old boy with leukemia. “Happy to spend time with the kids, but sad to see them sick at such a very young age. I hope Count Me In has more activities like this to help give the kids hope. The kids have their whole future ahead of them. Having supportive people around them will only help them fight and recover quicker.”
After the movie the children were treated to a quick snack and a bus tour around Monas before being dropped off at Rumah Kita. “Blue Bird is committed to supporting social action through the Blue Bird Peduli Program,” said Noni Purnomo, the vice president of Blue Bird Group. “The focus of Blue Bird Peduli is internal and external. Along with the Jakarta Globe, Cinema 21 we were glad to help entertain the young cancer patients from Rumah Kita and help give them a chance to enjoy ‘Madagascar 3.’ ”
Count Me In teamed up with Cinema XXI, Blue Bird, the Red Nose Foundation and Rumah Kita to make sure it was a day to remember for the kids.
“Volunteering is all about giving our time willingly to something, focusing on others for a while,” said Count Me In volunteer and the chairwoman of Perhumas Muda, Sirly Widyaningrum Nasir.
“What matters most in volunteering is how to create the connection between ourselves and people in it, not only lending our hands.
“Just like what Count Me In has done today, taking the kids to watch a movie and on a tour. Seeing those kids with cancer smiling just made me want to volunteer more and make a difference.”