Winda (12) and Pia (8), at Nipah Village, Lombok

My plan to visit one of the orphanages in Lombok didn’t quite go as planned. I underestimated the travel time around Lombok and also, since I was officially in vacation with my family, I had to prioritise what my family wanted to do and see on the island. Besides, the orphanages have actually opening hours, so by the time we had done with our leisure plans, it was already too late to visit one.

Nevertheless, I still managed to make the donation to someone who really needs it. And let me say thank you for all of you who are very kind to make this donation possible.

Meet Sahabudin. He was our driver from the hotel we stayed in. He is around 46 years old, and has three children: a son Pandi (10th grade) and two daughters Winda (7th grade) and Pia (2nd grade). Along with them and his wife, he lives in a small village called Nipah, only around 500 meters away from our hotel.

The village, like many other villages in the northwest area of Lombok, was heavily destructed by the big 2018 earthquake. “It was the darkest time of my life”, he said. Figuratively and literally. In the first few days, there was no electricity at all. At nights it was pitch dark, and they were afraid to sleep under a roof, if there was a roof at all. No clean water, no food supplies. Example of such stories can be read here and here.

Some photos I took when I was there at the beginning of March 2020:

Reconstruction has been started since, both from the government and private sectors. Financially speaking, however, the healing has been slow. With the tourism hasn’t reached back to the way it was before the quake, Sahabudin and people who work in tourism industry do not make enough income to make ends meet. Let alone the school material needed by his children.

In the spirit of Bulan Project, I told him, that the donation is meant for buying the school needs for his daughters. He can of course use the donation however he sees it fit. I just have to trust him in this case. I hope he is wise with the money so it can support his children’s school needs for the next 3 to 6 months.

Next time, I should try to avoid cash donation to avoid misuse. It is not that I don’t trust the benefitor, but knowing that the cash is well spent always gives us a good feeling and a peace of mind.