Relief for families in Lombok

$8,030 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 128 people in 7 months
On 5 August, north Lombok was rocked by a major earthquake - one of three major earthquakes to hit the region in a fortnight. The impact of these earthquakes on the impoverished coastal villages of Setangi and Lendang Luar - the research site for my current PhD study on poor, young Sasak fathers - has been devastating, with almost every home destroyed and at least one fatality (a three-year-old boy).

Setangi, Lendang Luar and surrounding villages are comprised of mostly low income households, 42% of which are living in absolute poverty. The area records the lowest education levels, literacy rates and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Lombok and, at just 61.72 years, the shortest average life expectancy in all of Indonesia. It is also critically food insecure. Despite efforts at the provincial level to promote "quality" tourism in the area, the local Sasaks (the indigenous people of Lombok whom make up 99% of the populations of Setangi and Lendang Luar) have benefitted very little from the tourism industry, which is dominated by foreign-owned enterprises.

Despite such low levels of development, the people of Setangi and Lendang Luar are some of the friendliest, kind-hearted, most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. And now they desperately need our help!

This here is Jainudin, one of the young fathers whose lives are the foci of my research project. We are standing at the front of what was once his home which he shared with his three-year-old son. Jainudin's young wife passed away two months before I first interviewed him in January and so he is raising his son alone with the help of family. Like most of the young fathers at the centre of my research, he earns a monthly salary of less than 500,000rp (au$47), which is less than a third of the minimum wage in Lombok. Even before the earthquake, daily life was a struggle.

This is his home right now, following the earthquake....

And below are photos of what is now the home of one of the other young fathers, Awal, who holds down two jobs as a labourer and supermarket assistant (earning a combined income of around 500,000rp) to support his wife and 13-month-old son...

Villagers are currently camped outside of the ruins of their homes. They have now started to receive government assistance but, of course, there are now over 350,000 people currently homeless in north Lombok and so resources are spread thin.

Donations from this page have, to date, funded the purchase of the following items for over 400 families (approx. 1,600 individuals) living in these villages :
30 large tarpaulins and 214 plywood panels for temporary shelter, as well as timber framing for 6 houses.
2,612kg of rice
1,020 eggs
435 litres of cooking oil
40kg of dried fish
1,695 packets of noodles
21 large crates of drinking water

Donations from this page have also funded:
Diapers, baby soaps, towels and anti-mosquito oils for 52 infants
Soap, toothpaste and shampoo
for 46 elderly men and women
Eid al-Adha gifts (shoes and sarongs) for 30 elderly men and women
Over-the-counter medications for those who have fallen ill
Crutches for two homeless villagers with paraplegia
Sleeping mats, blankets, and soap, buckets and dippers (for bathing) for 16 villagers with disabilities
4 large tarpaulins for the local schools to offer students a safe place for learning
School supplies for all school-aged children in the villages
Activity packs for all preschool-aged children in the villages

Two large water tanks with a combined capacity of 750 litres was also provided to the remote mountainous hamlet of Gunung Setangi, which is home to 60 families, to enable the collection and storage of freshwater from a spring 2km away (the exisiting reservoir was damaged during the earthquake and so the water in it had become contaminated).

Beyond the provision of supplies, cash grants totalling 7 million rupiah (AU$655) have been provided to Jainudin, Awal, and other young fathers at the centre of my research for the purchase of water filters, temporary shelter and other necessities.

After smashing my initial fundraising goal thanks to the generosity of friends from around the world, I am hoping to continue raising as much money as possible to continue providing support for these 400 families in Setangi and Lendang Luar. Beyond the emergency relief currently being provided to these families, funds are required to assist with rebuilding and/or repairing damage to their homes. There is no way they can afford to do it alone!

Please please please help by giving whatever you can. Even a donation of $20, which is the equivalent of a fortnight's  wage for Jainudin, Awal and many others in these villages, will go a long way towards rebuilding their lives. That is just a few coffees for the rest of us! 

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart and on behalf of the families which will benefit from your support xx
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From an initial goal of $1,000, we have managed to raise over $7,800 for families devastated by the earthquakes in north Lombok! $7,720 of these funds have now been exhausted.

Thanks to the generosity of our recent donors and with cash which my husband and I received as gifts for our recent wedding, we have been able to purchase building materials and fund the labour costs to help rebuild homes in Lendang Luar and Setangi. Because of limited funds, however, only six of the 400+ local families can be housed through this fund (unless, of course, we receive more donations!)

Since we opened this fund on 6 August, the day following the main shock, we have been able to provide 2,612kg of rice, 1,020 eggs, 435 litres of cooking oil, 40kg of fish, 1,695 packets of noodles, and 21 large crates of drinking water to over 400 families (around 1,600 individuals). We have also purchased 40 large tarpaulins and 214 plywood panels to serves as temporary shelter for residents.

Diapers, baby soaps, towels and anti-mosquito oils were provided for 52 infants, while soap, toothpaste and shampoo were offered to 46 elderly folks. Over-the-counter medications were given to those who have been ill. Crutches were granted to two villagers with paraplegia. 16 other villagers with disabilities were afforded sleeping mats, blankets and soap, buckets and dippers (for bathing). And, Eid al-Adha gifts were given to 30 elderly and widowed villagers whose faith has served as a vital protective resource.

We supplied tarpaulins to the local schools so that the children could resume lessons, and equipped all school-aged children with school supplies, while all preschool-aged children received activity packs. We also purchased two large water tanks with a combined capacity of 750 litres for the 60 families of Gungung Setangi to enable the collection and storage of freshwater from a spring 2km away.

Beyond the provision of supplies and building materials, we also offered cash grants totalling 7 million rupiah (au$655) to the young fathers at the centre of my PhD research for the purchase of water filters and other necessities.

Together with the families who have benefited from your support, I thank you so very much for having contributed to this. You have helped the suffering folks of Lendang Luar and Setangi survive these past two months. Just knowing that there are people in Australia and elsewhere who have cared enough about them to assist them in their time of need has made a huge difference.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of working-aged residents are now unemployed and unable to support their families. With Lombok all but forgotten by the rest of the world, and tourism very slow to bounce back, their medium-term future looks bleak. I will therefore keep this fund open until I return to the villages in December/January, so please continue sharing this page and encouraging others to donate. A little more help will go a very long way.

Thanks again, Lisa xx
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Here is a detailed update on our activities over the past fortnight. Thank you so much for contributing to these efforts!

21 August
To mark the beginning of Eid al-Adha on 21 August (Eid al-Adha is the holiest celebration in the Islamic calendar,) we gifted 30 elderly and widowed villagers with shoes and sarongs for prayer. For this particularly vulnerable group, their faith is a vital protective resource, offering them a sense of hope and meaning in this time of crisis. They were very appreciative of these simple but incredibly important gifts and expressed their gratitude for your support.

22-28 August
We provided baby soaps, anti-mosquito oils and nappies for 52 infants in Lendang Luar and Setangi, 100kg of rice for 60 families in the remote mountainous hamlet of Gunung Setangi, and 400kg of rice and 360 packets of noodles for 250 families in low-land Setangi. Toothpaste, shampoo and soap were provided for 46 elderly men and women in Setangi village, while books, pens, pencils and erasers (plus a little snack!) were given to every primary school-aged child in the village. A further 2 million rupiah ($187) was also provided in the way of cash grants to families in these villages. Additionally, two water tanks with a combined maximum capacity of 750 litres were purchased for Gunung Setangi, as the reservoir here was damaged during the earthquakes and the water had become contaminated. Now the villagers are able to store water collected from the nearest freshwater spring, which is 2km away, meaning they are no longer dependent on continuous donations of bottled drinking water. This is especially useful right now given that donations are drying up.

30 August
We provided crutches for two homeless villagers with paraplegia who have been immobile since carried from their homes during the 5 August earthquake. We also provided these two villagers, as well as 14 other homeless villagers with sensory disabilities (vision impairment, deafness) with mats to sleep on, blankets to keep warm at night, and soap, buckets and dippers for bathing. This is in addition to the food and water which we are providing to villagers on a regular basis.
People with disabilities such as these are hit particularly hard by a natural disaster, especially in contexts of pervasive poverty. They face greater barriers to accessing aid and greater difficulty remaining safe in the aftermath of a disaster.

2 September
We had the great honour of providing 31 of the most vulnerable families in Lendang Luar and Setangi with four light timber wall panels each so that they are able to board up their temporary shelters. These families included those with infant children, elderly parents and family members with severe disabilities or chronic health conditions. Like everyone else in the villages, they had been living under tarpaulins, in open-air bamboo huts, or under makeshift corrugated iron roofs - all without walls - for a whole month now! Because of this, they were falling very ill and becoming increasingly distressed.
Even if these families could afford to rebuild their homes now (which they can't), they are not able to until the daily aftershocks have ceased, and nobody knows when this might happen - it could be weeks or months away! This is why it is so important we make their current, temporary living arrangements as comfortable as possible. With walls to now protect these vulnerable families from the rain, wind and cold, while also affording them the dignity of privacy, these families should sleep better at night and their physical and mental wellbeing should start to improve.

All of the above came to a total cost of $3,126 bringing the total expenditure to date to $5,846. This equates to around just 13 cents per day for every person supported in Lendang Luar and Setangi. Clearly, a little money goes a very long way in north Lombok! Unfortunately, however, we have just $344 left in the fund. So, please please please keep spreading the word and sharing the link to donate so that we can continue supporting these people beyond the week ahead.

Thanks again for your generous support!
Love Lisa xxx
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Last night, north Lombok was jolted by more strong earthquakes and numerous aftershocks, which have caused landslides and further damaged buildings across the region. People are understandably very anxious and scared for their lives right now, the children especially.

So, today the focus of our relief efforts was wholly on the children. Notebooks, erasers, pens and pencils were provided for all school-aged children, and picture books and pencils for pre-school aged children. Each child also received yummy chocolate wafer treats and participated in drawing competitions, all of which helped to distract them from the destruction, uncertainty and fear surrounding them.

Tomorrow, it is expected that they will resume their lessons under tarpaulins as makeshift classrooms, which we provided to the local school last week. We can only hope that they are able to sleep peacefully and safely tonight.

To date, and because of your generous support, we have been able to fund the purchase of 30 large tarpaulins for temporary shelter, 1177kg of rice, 1020 eggs, 290 litres of cooking oil, 40kg of dried fish, 540 packets of noodles and 21 large crates of drinking water for over 400 families (approx. 1,600 individuals) living in Setangi and Lendang Luar villages, plus diapers for babies and small children and a variety of over-the-counter medications for those who have fallen ill as a result of their current living conditions. Additionally, cash grants totalling 3 million rupiah (AU$284) have been provided to Jainudin, Awal, and other young fathers at the centre of my research for the purchase of water filters, temporary shelter and other necessities.

The good news is that all of the above has cost just $2,720 (roughly $1.70 per person!) The bad news is this means just $2,440 remain in the fund. Once the aftershocks have ceased, these families will need to be housed, and hopefully before the rainy season hits! This is, of course, going to require much more than what remains in the fund.

It costs a little over 30 million rupiah ($2,827) to build a small, traditional Sasak bamboo and wood house, which can better withstand an earthquake than a brick house. A larger house for a larger family would obviously cost more. The people in the villages have been advised that the Indonesian government will provide up to 25 million rupiah to each household to assist with rebuilding their homes, which means families must themselves fund the 5+ million rupiah ($472+) difference. For many of these families whom have household incomes of less than $50 a month – barely enough to feed their families – it will take years to save up this sort of money, that is if they even have work to go back to. They and their families (including small children) may, therefore, be homeless and living under tarpaulins in cramped and unsanitary conditions for a long time to come. [Remember, these people do not have access to anything remotely similar to Centrelink. They would normally rely on the support of friends, family and neighbours in times of need – but, right now, they are ALL in need!]

So, if you are yet to, please share this page with your friends and family, encouraging them to help as well. As you can see, a little money goes a very long way in Lombok, and every single dollar makes a huge difference!

Lisa xx
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Another update on our earthquake relief efforts... 50kg of rice, 20kg of dried fish and 20kg of cooking oil has now been delivered to 60 families living in the remote mountainous communities of Gunung Setangi. These extremely poor farming families were yet to receive any assistance following the 5 August earthquake. Cash grants totalling 3 million rupiah (AU$284) have also been provided to families residing in lower land Setangi to purchase food, a water filter, temporary shelter and other necessities, while an additional 3kg of rice has been delivered to each of the 144 families in Lendang Luar. Thank you once again, from the very bottom of my heart, to all of you who have contributed to these efforts!
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$8,030 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 128 people in 7 months
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