Hope emerges from earthquake disaster in Indonesia

Oct 18, 2010

While we launch a new disaster relief program for children in Haiti, we can look at another partnership that emerged out of a similar disaster in Indonesia. Indonesian-born Sri Soekarmoen from the Amway Public Relations team shares how a partnership has emerged from the ashes of a similar disaster.

I went home to Indonesia a few years ago to attend the Amway Indonesia 15th anniversary celebration. During that trip, I visited a school in Bantul, Jogjakarta in Central Java that Amway helped rebuild after a devastating earthquake that destroyed the village.

Amway made it possible for the children in Bantul to return to the class room quickly. Yet rebuilding the school was not the end of Amway involvement in Bantul.

A couple years later, Amway began a program that allowed Amway Business Owners (ABOs) and employees to become sponsor parents.

Sponsor parents donate small portion of their income to pay for students’ education. They meet students at least once a year to get acquainted and learn about their school progress.

On a bright Saturday morning in July, the students from Sompok and Kedungmiri Elementary Schools dressed in crisps uniform, smiles on their faces, and welcomed their sponsor parents with open arms, proudly showing them the progress they had made in school. 

Amway invited Dr. Edi Setiawan Tetuheru, a pediatrician, and Didi Nini Towok, a famous local entertainer, to provide an “edu-tainment” experience for the group, as well as for parents from the surrounding community.

After a presentation healthy lifestyles, they group was led in singing and dancing, which brought laughter and joy to the event. At the end of the day, each student received a bag of school supplies from their sponsor parents.

And the partnership continues. My friends from Amway Indonesia tell me that today there are 117 sponsor parents for 160 students from elementary schools in Bentul, Jogjakarta.

And I’m sure that will continue to grow, one by one.

Thanks to Sri Soekarmoen and Rossy Waworuntu for contributing to this post.

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