The biggest hoshiZora forum ever was held on Sunday, Sept 26th, 2010. 108 Adik Bintangs (hoshiZora children), 8 Kakak Bintangs (sponsors), volunteers, and several media participated, for a total of 170 participants. The event started at 8:30 am. The hoshiZora forum was started with an opening video and continued with a welcome speech from the hoshiZora representative, Megarini Puspasari. She mentioned the excellent growth of the hoshiZora Community, from supporting 30 Adik Bintangs at the beginning in 2006, to 139 Adik Bintangs in 4 months as a result of recruiting 55 new Adik Bintangs. This excellent work could not be done without the support of our main funding organization, Nippon Foundation.
The 2nd speech was delivered by the advisor of the Bantul City Mayor, Mr. Yahya, who expressed his gratitude to the hoshiZora Community and his hopes to the hoshiZora children. He promised to set a meeting for us with the City Mayor for further cooperation. At 9 am, we entered our first program, which featured Mr. Seitaka Yoshida. He introduced himself and also introduced Japan. The children were very excited and they asked many questions about Japan.
Some of them were very eager to ask questions in English. Ifatul Khasanah, one of our newAdik Bintang, volunteered to act as Mr. Seitaka’s translator. Mr. Seitaka also introduced Japanese games such as the Janken game and played it with all participants. The Janken game sparked the event and cheered up all participants.
After Mr. Seitaka’s session, we entered the second program, which was a drawing competition and motivational talk show. The drawing competition was for the elementary students, while the motivational talks were aimed for Junior and Senior High School Students. Mr. Transtoto Handhadari, the ex-director of the governmental forestry institute gave an inspiring talk about his journey toward success. He was raised in a poor family with 12 children, who only could eat once a day, but regardless, he successfully graduated from university, did his post graduate in the USA, and reached a top position in a government institution.
The success story and journey of Mr Transtoto gave great motivation to the hoshiZora children. After his talk, the children had a lot of excellent questions. Some of the questions were how to create chances and opportunity in life, what was his dream when he was a child, how to cope with laziness and many other interesting questions.
The drawing competition was also very exciting. We had 18 beautiful drawings from the children. These drawings were later brought back to Japan by Mr. Seitaka, and will be donated to the Kids Earth Funds. This organization is collecting drawings and paintings from children around the world to then be used as designs for CSR products of companies. Mr. Seitaka was very pleased with the drawings.
In the afternoon session, the new Adik Bintangs were introduced to their Kakak Bintangs by an introduction slideshow, and then they received a letter from their Kakak Bintangs. The communication and interactions between Kakak Bintangs and Adik Bintangs is one of the special features of the hoshiZora foster siblings program. After receiving the letter, the Adik Bintangs wrote a reply letter, and made a video letter. hoshiZora also got some letters from an orphanage in Tokyo, and books from a foster home in Osaka. As a reply, hoshiZora children made 2 flags, which later were brought to Japan by Mr. Seitaka. To close the forum, all participants took a photo in front of the venue. It was such an inspiring and happy day for all of the participants.
Some comments from Adik Bintangs are:
- “Greaaat… it boosted my spirits and motivation. We got new knowledge from the country of cherry blossoms (Sakura), Japan, and then the greatest part was getting motivation from Mr. Transtoto. I got motivated hearing about his spirit and successfull journey. I am looking forward to the next forum so we can be motivated again to achieve our dreams”. (Indira, SMK 1 Bantul)
- “I am very much motivated! The forum was fun, and I am happy with Kakak Seitaka’s visit. I hope that there will be more guests from Japan and kakak bintang next time, so we can talk more to them. I believe that despite the limitations that we have we can succeed. Keep the spirit, all!” (Ifatul, SMA 1 Bantul)
- “I liked the theme, “Despite the limitations we have, together we can succeed”. I know we have a lot of limitations, but I also believe that we are special! Why? First, because we got assistance from hoshiZora, and second, if children who have many limitations like us make some achievements, it will be more amazing and special than other students who have everything!” (Puji, SMA 1 Bantul)
The hoshiZora Forum 7 crafted beautiful and inspiring memories for the participants. The lessons and motivation from this event will walk us through our days, until we meet again in the next inspiring hoshiZora Forum. Looking forward to having you all at the hoshiZora Forum 8!!