What We Can do to Enrich the Life of Others
School Backpacks Delivery to Lombok
Collaboration with Bonito Jewelry & Rotary Club of Bali Canggu
On 5 August 2018, a destructive and shallow earthquake measuring Mw 6.9 (ML 7.0, according to BMKG) struck the island of Lombok, Indonesia. It was the main shock following its foreshock, a nearby Mw 6.4 earthquake on 29 July. A nearby 6.9 earthquake followed it on 19 August 2018.
Casualties: 563 dead, +1,000 injured, countless homeless.
As our closed neighbor to the east of Bali, many persons and organizations shot into action.
In our small way, we wanted to help the schools, teachers, and students get back on their feet. In December of 2018, I, Tricia Kim, and Julia Guimaraes formed a plan to deliver backpacks to Lombok in March 2019. As the founder of Bonito jewelry, Julia Guimaraes collected $10 from every $100 purchased on her jewelry website. I gained collaboration with the Rotary Club of Bali Canggu, where she was Vice-president at the time.
The plan was to find donations from interested parties. Owner of Tugu Hotels, Lucienne Anhar, has already been on the ground since the first earthquake rebuilding upwards of 800 bamboo homes. There was an urgency to get everyone housed before the rainy season. Tugu Hotel Lombok was home base, and the staff reached out to three schools in Northwest Lombok and orchestrated our visit.
The schools were Yayasan Al Fruqon NW Bayan with 93 students.
SD 4 Tegal Maja Siswa with 145 students.
SD 5 Sigar Penjalin Siswa with 114 students.
With a budget of $10 per backpack, we received sponsorship from:
Bags from Easy Tees.
Water Bottles from Bali Tidak Plastik and Mod Lov Salon.
Bamboo straws and toothbrushes from Bali Boo.
Water Filters from Nazava.
School materials of rulers, drawing books, lined books, sharpeners, erasers, and pencils were purchased from a stationary store owned by a Rotarian in Denpasar.
BlueWater Express offered complimentary transport for all 8 of us.
1. Tricia Kim (American) Organizer and VP- RCBC
2. Julia Sousa (Brazilian) - founder Bonito Jewelry
3. Sebastian Resnekov (Australian) - assistant
4. Adam Weiszewski (Sweden) - Videographer
5. Jordi Varel (Spanish) - filmmaker of film you can see here
6. Nuria Berenjeno (spanish) - assistant
7. Hugo Berenjeno (Spanish) - assistant
8. Mary Joe Olejniczak (American) - Rotarian
Upon arrival at Lombok, we spent 5 hours to pack all the bags with supplies.
The first day we visited two schools, the early 2 hours' drive. The second up in the mountains, a dangerous road to reach, was a Buddhist school. We could see that new school buildings were going up, and in the meantime, they had to make do with shacks for lessons.
All the children were quite eager to participate in games and receive gifts. The adolescent females were quite keen to practice their English with me and yelled with glee when I said I knew who the famous Korean celebrity Min Ho was. I joked that he was my brother, and they were delighted and asked when I would return to visit with my son.
The second morning we delivered to a grade school. We had to catch our noon boat back to Bali for the Rotary fundraiser I had organized.
My only wish is that we had more time to spend with the children and teachers. I look forward to going back, seeing how they have progressed with rebuilding their lives and living the saying 'No To Plastic'!
*** We could not have done this without the Manager and staff of Hotel Tugu Lombok who were the key organizers on the ground in Lombok ***