FOOD & LITERACY RELIEF FOR LEMBONGAN
COVID has now been with us for nearly 12 months, it has impacted every corner of the globe.
For the Lembongan locals it is likely to be the biggest and most far reaching challenge of their lifetime. With tourism responsible for majority of income and driving private enterprise, the island has been at a standstill since March 2020.
We (Mal & Tania Walker) returned to Lembongan in early January this year and have spent the last 6 weeks seeing first hand the enormous impact the pandemic has had here and will continue to have until international travel resumes.
The personal struggles and closure of 95% of businesses is heartbreaking: there is no government support or safety net, for the few that have remained employed they are on reduced base salaries and with no service which often makes up 50% of their income.
The ability to put food on the table has become challenging for so many. Our aim is to deliver food packages of staples ( rice, oil, sugar, noodles) to as many families as possible. We can assure you, your contributions to this fundraising effort will be received with the greatest of gratitude by the Lembongan community.
The landscape has changed dramatically, the most cost effective staple for families are tempeh, tofu, eggs and rice which they also mix with corn and cassava to bulk up rice supplies.
For most of the population consumption of chicken and fish has decreased considerably. Fishing by boat is now not an option for many simply because they can not afford the fuel. Therefore many people are only using canoes, SUP boards and even tyre rings to fish, which impacts where they can fish (only inside the reef) and consequently resulting in smaller varieties and quantities.
We will work with the 10 Banjars (villages) across both Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan to facilitate distribution to those most in need.
On our return to Lembongan, after spending time with both friends and our staff, who all have school age children, it became apparent to us very quickly that education was another area that has been hugely impacted. With primary schools having been closed since March 2020 and online learning being conducted via Whats App. We feel the 6 – 8 year olds on the island have missed out on vital learning of basic Indonesian literacy which is crucial during Grades 1, 2 & 3.
We have the commitment of our charity partners, Bali Children Foundation (BCF), to develop an Indonesian Literacy Curriculum for these grades and provide teachers to facilitate the learning in extra after school classes once schools re-open, which is currently planned for July.
Our aim is to raise enough funds to provide the 444 children in Grades 1, 2 & 3 across the 5 primary schools, with a pictorial Indonesian dictionary.
We understand it has been an extremely difficult 12 months for so many people, COVID has not discriminated, this horrendous infectious virus has infiltrated the lives of everyone in every country on the planet.
Its impact on our daily lives has been immense, however our ability to survive with it around us is dependent on where we live in this global space and the industry we are reliant on. If you are in a position to donate as little as $10, this contribution will go a long way to helping the Lembongan locals. To help with the context, $10 will buy a 10kg bag of rice, which is not grown on Nusa Lembongan.
Your donations will go direct to the Lembongan Community. Our first priority is to provide as many food packages as possible, whilst in the background give the team at BCF time to work on the literacy curriculum, ready for implementation in July and, fingers crossed, also have enough funds to provide each child with a dictionary.
As harsh as the situation is currently and will be for some time yet, the local community remain humble, have shown incredible resilience and admirable efforts to pivot their skills where possible.
We are so proud to be a small part of this wonderful community. It is with heavy hearts of the reality here that we have decided to reach out to our networks in an effort to raise money to give them hope and some relief in the journey ahead.
Thank YOU for your ongoing love & support for the Lembongan community.
Mal, Tania & The Lembongan Traveller Team