In 2016, I visited the Pondok si Boncel Orphanage in Indonesia, and to my surprise, the place has wonderful facilities and comes off like a prestigious Catholic school in Jakarta. Babies have hardy metal cribs and many of the rooms are air-conditioned; a good portion of the institution is private, which promotes the safety of the kids inside. Taking the kids’ interests into account, the orphanage also holds fun events from time to time and has a mounted radio that plays fun upbeat tunes that the youngsters can dance to.

Impressive as the property is, what I found even more remarkable is the genuine kindness and understanding exhibited by Boncel’s staff. They treat the kids as if they were their own, and that really struck me. These kids are fortunate that institutions like this give them the proper care, which probably was not present or the conditions were harsh in their previous homes.

How did they end up in an orphanage? Were they not wanted by their parents? Who would they become after spending much of their years in the facility? Many of them were abandoned due to the parents’ selfishness and utter refusal to take responsibility. The life of a child is precious for kids hold the future. In lieu of this, I documented their lives in Boncel and empathized with their personal accounts.

© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’
© Susan Litaay (Indonesia), from ‘How Did They Get Here’

Leonora Marthina Zusan Litaay, born in May 1983, is an Indonesian photographer who runs Cerita Sagu, a website dedicated to discussing the photography as both a hobby and a profession. She used to be a university professor, systems analyst, and entrepreneur.

Having a penchant for writing and street photography, Susan decided to take up the lens in 2014 using a digital camera and her work has gradually evolved ever since. Her favorite subject is human activity; she does not mind having smudged make-up as long as she can capture her intended shots.