Jakarta Komodos Rugby Club Offer Support to Mama Sayang Orphanage after Devastating Fire

Members, supporters and sponsors the Jakarta Komodos Rugby Club are rallying around the Mama Sayang Orphanage after a fire tore through the complex, which serves as a school and home to more than 100 Indonesian children.

The Mama Sayang Orphanage is an integral part of the Jakarta Komodos Junior Rugby Club (JKJRC), with about 20 young women making up one of the few women’s teams in Indonesia, while about a dozen young men play in the club’s age-group sides. The Komodos have a total of about 100 junior players.

Jess Djamhoer, chairwoman of the Jakarta Komodos Junior Rugby Club, confirmed that a fire had destroyed a large part of the orphanage in Jonggol, Bogor, West Java, on Monday night but that there had been no loss of life or injuries.

Police are understood to be investigating the cause of the fire but have yet to release a statement.

“Initial reports that the boys’ dormitory had gone up were incorrect and we understand that it has been saved,” said Jess, who has worked closely with the orphanage for a number of years. “The warehouse and computer lab have been razed, however.”

Agus Djamhoer, who heads up the Komodos’ community outreach programme that aims to develop rugby among marginalised groups in Indonesia, including the Mama Sayang players and local children from Kranggan near the club’s training fields, said the support from past and present players, club supporters and sponsors had been “uplifting.”

A number of people associated with the club had already visited the orphanage, with others already offering their time, services, expertise or money to help Mama Sayang rebuild. A touch rugby competition to raise funds was also under consideration, among other initiatives.

“We may not be the biggest club in Southeast Asia but we look after our own,” said Agus. “Our thoughts are very much with Mama Sayang and we hope to see them bounce back stronger than ever before.”

The Mama Sayang Orphanage has been a priority cause for a number of expatriate-based groups and charities in recent years, and has featured in articles published by BBC Indonesia, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Jakarta Globe, among others. Members of the young women’s team can often be spotted at rugby-friendly bars around Jakarta raffling off meat packs to raise money for their sporting endeavours.

Stephen Barber, a Komodos’ stalwart, first visited the Mama Sayang Orphanage during the official opening of the girls’ and boys’ dormitories in early 2005. The accommodation facilities were respectively named the Priscilla Hall and Willy Ellison Dormitories in honour of the pair who lost their lives in a light plane crash in June 2004.

Other major supports have and continue to include Indonesian Rugby, the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation (PHMF), the ISCI Rugby Club (now known as the Jakarta Komodos), Indonesia-based mining services company Britmindo, the British Chamber of Commerce (Britcham), as well as many other groups and individuals.

Under coaches Barber and Aaron Meadows, the JKJRC Women’s Rugby Team won Indonesia’s premiere women’s tournament, the Kartini Cup, in 2016.

In late 2015, Aaron Meadows joined Stephen Barber coaching the JKJR PHMF and Britcham Women’s Rugby Team. In February 2016, the duo coached the team to win the inaugural Kartini Cup, to hold the title of the premiere Women’s Rugby Team in Indonesia.

Further details will be announced as they come to hand.