Please Help Lom­bok – Part One

Indonesia Expat - - CONTENT -

Sin­ga­pore Na­tional Academy is run­ning a fundrais­ing pro­gram for the vic­tims of Lom­bok’s dev­as­tat­ing earth­quakes. Our Me­dia Club has con­ducted in­ter­views with Lom­bok earth­quake vic­tims and heads of or­gan­i­sa­tions of­fer­ing as­sis­tance, such as World Vi­sion In­done­sia (Wa­hana Visi In­done­sia) and Gema Inti. Mas­sive earth­quakes have been strik­ing Lom­bok, specif­i­cally the north­ern part of the is­land, for nearly two months. The first earth­quake hap­pened on July 29, with a strength of 6.4 on the Richter scale. The earth­quake was so strong that tremors were felt on the is­land of Bali. On Au­gust 5 the sec­ond earth­quake with mag­ni­tude 6.9 on the Richter scale hit the same area. Lom­bok suf­fered dam­age amount­ing to more than Rp5 tril­lion ru­piah (US$469 mil­lion). The cur­rent death toll is at more than 556. More than 417,529 peo­ple fled their homes or were evac­u­ated af­ter the earth­quake to seek shel­ter in gov­ern­ment-pro­vided tents or makeshift struc­tures in open fields. Ap­prox­i­mately 71,937 homes were dam­aged. Au­thor­i­ties said that aid was slow in get­ting to some of the hard­est-hit ar­eas as they are re­mote. Mr Sai­ful Hanan, a Lom­bok local who is a vic­tim-turned­vol­un­teer, shared with us “Ev­ery­one was run­ning to the moun­tains for safety, all tele­phone lines, wa­ter and elec­tric­ity were cut off, it was hard to con­tact my fam­ily mem­bers. Lom­bok now shakes all the time. We slept in tents for al­most three weeks. We are afraid to go back home be­cause all the walls are cracked.” For­tu­nately for Mr Sai­ful, his vil­lage suf­fered less dam­age than neigh­bour­ing vil­lages in North Lom­bok. Lom­bok is cur­rently in a state of dis­tress, and de­spite the gen­er­ous help from var­i­ous vol­un­teer groups and the In­done­sian gov­ern­ment, lo­cals are still liv­ing in fear. They worry for their fam­ily mem­bers and for their own safety. In fact, many lo­cals are still liv­ing in tents, still fear­ful of the next strike. On Au­gust 30 at 7am an­other earth­quake struck Lom­bok. Al­though it was of a smaller mag­ni­tude than pre­vi­ous earth­quakes, it was enough to shake the vil­lagers who were pre­vi­ously mov­ing back into their homes. “I work in the tour and travel in­dus­try and we have had no busi­ness ever since. On Au­gust 29 I was in a car with a client and a driver, it was very tense” said Mr Sai­ful. He and his col­leagues de­cided to cre­ate a team of vol­un­teers and went to all ar­eas of Lom­bok aid­ing oth­ers and tak­ing note of what each of them needed, and then re­turned to give them the re­quired help. He in­formed us that many of the chil­dren were trau­ma­tised by the dis­as­ter and his team of­fered heal­ing ther­a­pies, such as sto­ry­telling and ed­u­ca­tional games. Mr Ronny Ich­wan, Head of World Vi­sion In­done­sia (Wa­hana Visi In­done­sia), Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Spe­cial­ist, shared that he has 12 vol­un­teers in Lom­bok to give psy­cho­log­i­cal aid through a pro­gram called Child Friendly Space. These ser­vices are of­fered to vic­tims of the earth­quake, es­pe­cially chil­dren. The pro­gram in­cludes coun­selling, sto­ry­telling, car li­brary and do­na­tions of books, sta­tionery and toys. In ad­di­tion, they also built a wa­ter reser­voir and re­built dam­aged wa­ter pipes to chan­nel the wa­ter to ar­eas in need. Pub­lic toi­lets were also built to en­sure proper san­i­ta­tion. Fam­i­lies were given tar­pau­lins, and ba­sic daily ne­ces­si­ties such as rice, cook­ing oil and sugar. Mr Krista Wi­jaya, Na­tional Head of Gema Inti, shared that his or­gan­i­sa­tion had col­lab­o­rated with Mama Chew Restau­rant, Pe­langi Restau­rant, Ro­tary Dis­as­ter Re­lief In­done­sia and ten in­ter­na­tional chefs, to cook one ton of rice for the vic­tims of the earth­quake. Mr Bernard Chew and his wife, Mrs Figie Subrata of Mama Chew restau­rant, gath­ered the chefs to cook for this al­tru­is­tic event. The chefs paid for their own flights to be a part of this pro­gram which was called the “48 Hour Cook­ing Marathon for Lom­bok”. They cooked for 48 hours, sleep­ing in tents be­tween shifts. The food was dis­trib­uted to Is­lamic board­ing schools (pe­santren) with the as­sis­tance of the In­done­sian army. Mr Wi­jaya also calls for any in­di­vid­u­als or com­pa­nies who are in­ter­ested to col­lab­o­rate with them to pro­vide help to the Lom­bok vic­tims. All the help given by these or­gan­i­sa­tions and vol­un­teers was made pos­si­ble through the gen­er­ous fund­ing from mem­bers of our com­mu­nity and ex­pats in In­done­sia. This time, we are specif­i­cally seek­ing do­na­tions to fund the build­ing of houses for the vic­tims and to pur­chase sta­ple foods such as rice. There is also a huge need for tar­pau­lins to use as tents for tem­po­rary hous­ing and schools and thick blan­kets to shel­ter from the harsh weather. The peo­ple in Lom­bok are un­able to work yet due to the con­di­tion of the is­land and sadly the econ­omy is at a stand­still as most of the lo­cals sur­vive on tourism. We hope that you will join us in help­ing the vic­tims of the Lom­bok earth­quakes. If you have any queries, please feel free to con­tact us at Sin­ga­pore Na­tional Academy on 031 853 1920. Do­na­tion of goods can be de­liv­ered to Sin­ga­pore Na­tional Academy, Raya Pe­pelegi Pon­dok Mas­pion IV Blok GH no. 1- 6, Waru 61256 Si­doarjo, In­done­sia. Mon­e­tary do­na­tions can be trans­ferred di­rectly to Sin­ga­pore Pi­aget Academy, Mas­pion bank ac­count num­ber 106.2.00388.6. Any sup­port will be highly ap­pre­ci­ated by us and the Lom­bok earth­quake vic­tims. We will be writ­ing a part two of this “Help Lom­bok” ar­ti­cle to share with you how we used your do­na­tions.

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