12/07/2015, 00.00
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Jakarta, a Christmas concert to raise funds in favor of needy

by Mathias Hariyadi
The Pukat Kaj initiative focused on theme of love (in action), peace and harmony. It was attended by hundreds of professionals, artists and faithful. The proceeds go to charity projects for the diocese of Agats-Asmat (Papua), focused on the education sector.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - "Love can be effective only when it is expressed in action, rather than remain just empty words. Regardless of the amount raised, this type of initiative is taken up with the aim of helping those in need" says Evy Tjahjono, introducing the traditional Christmas concert sponsored by Catholic entrepreneurs and professionals  of the Archdiocese of Jakarta (Pukat Kaj). Since 1990 the event has been held on 21 occasions and this year focused on the themes of love, peace and harmony.

The Christmas concert (pictured), was held on the evening of 3 December, attended by hundreds of faithful, including music lovers, entrepreneurs and artists. Moreover, compared to previous years the 2015 event was characterized by “pop" music, differentiating it from the more traditional and classical performances of the past.

Regardless of the musical connotation, the great efforts made by the members of Pukat Kaj to raise money and funds to invest in projects for the needy should be emphazied. In particular, in recent years it has decided to support education programs and development in the diocese of Agats-Asmat, in the province of Papua, at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, among the poorest and most backward of the whole country.

Most of the houses in the region are built on wooden platforms high above the ground; the soil is mainly silt and they are still striving to build roads and highways. There are no cars in the area, but only small electric motor bikes which, quite often don’t run because of the lack of electric power to supply them. Boats remain the main modes of transport.

Speaking to AsiaNews Alex Paul Budiman, president of Pukat Kaj says the fundraising and the concert part in the initiatives of the association in support of operations in the diocese of Agats-Asmat and in other dioceses of the provinces of Papua and East Nusa Tenggara ( NTT).

Particular emphasis is given to programs aimed at strengthening education for the youth of the area. The peculiarity of the educational projects of Agats-Asmat is that they are targeted to the creation of so-called " forest schools", where children learn to read and count. "It is through these programs - said Budiman - that the quality of life of these citizens of Papua can be strengthened, so that today's students will become tomorrow's teachers."

Speaking to AsiaNews at the conclusion of the concert Msgr. Aloysius Murwito, bishop of Agats-Asmat, said he was enthusiastic about the initiative and showed great appreciation for the activities promoted by Pukat Kaj in the diocese. Activities that have received the blessing of the Archbishop of Jakarta Msgr. Suharyo Ignatius, who applauds the charity work of entrepreneurs and local professionals.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. Christians represent 5.7 per cent of the population with Catholics just over 3.6 per cent.

The latter are an active part of society. Over the years, they have contributed to the nation's development and played a major role in emergency operations, as was the case during the devastating floods of January 2013.

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