Dayah Babulilmi Orphanage Shelter Project, Aceh
The project was initiated in February 2006, when Faizah Badeges, Hope 4 Our Children's Co-Founder and Board of Trustee, visited Sigli and identified Dayah Babulilmi Orphanage Boarding School (DB) as a target project based on her assessment of the Dayah and recommendation from local leaders in the area. Even though the Dayah had influx of 87 tsunami children, few reliefs reached the Dayah because of the remote location of the Dayah, which is four hours from Banda Aceh.
As a result of the visit, Hope 4 Our Children disbursed $61,998 for Dayah Babulilmi. The fund was allocated for the construction of 12 rooms and 12 bathrooms to provide shelter for economically disadvantaged children, most of them are tsunami survivors and orphans. Hope 4 Our Children selected Dompet Dhuafa (www.dompetdhuafa.or.id) as the partner to monitor the progress and construction of Dayah Babulilmi dorm project. In addition, Hope 4 Our Children provided the new dorm with bunk beds and mattresses.
In June 2006, Ina Nasution, Hope 4 Our Children's Co-Founder and current President, visited Dayah Babulilmi to monitor the project. The dorm was in the construction phase. During the visit, Hope 4 Our Children provided 150+ new school bags for the live-in children. They were very happy to receive the bag. For some of them, this new bag was the only bag they have.
In September 2006, the dorm construction was completed. The 87 children, victim of tsunami, who came to the Dayah, now have place to stay. They also no longer sleep on a straw mat on top of cement floor since the dorm are furnished with bunk beds and mattresses for them, a luxury they did not have before.
Letter from a Dayah Babulilmi Student
"....On Sunday, December 26, 2004, there was a huge earthquake and what we later discovered as the start of the tsunami in Aceh Besar. I was just finished playing soccer with my friends and in the middle of eating delicious breakfast my mother has prepared for me and my siblings. All of a sudden, we heard people screamed "Water! Water! The tide is so high". I held my younger brother's hand and ran immediately. The water came so close to us and hit us so hard. I lost my brother's grip. I lost him. I can't see him anywhere. I was struggling to keep my head above water. The tide brought me to a wood log. I clinked tight to the wood only to realize that I was completely naked. When the water finally subsided, I searched around to find a cloth to cover me. All of a sudden reality hit me so hard. I have never felt sadder in my life. All I can think about was my family. I wonder where my parents and seven brothers and sister were. I searched the entire day for them only to find nothing. In the middle of my search I found my uncle. We hugged and cried. He and I and several more survivors kept on walking towards Banda Aceh. We walked and walked until it was dark. We found a hill and just collapsed. When the sun set, we woke up only to realize that we were so hungry, we have not eaten anything since the tsunami hit us a day earlier. We kept of walking and found a military base nearby. They have set up a tent for people who came for help. They treated us with basic medications they have. They didn't have enough food supply but they shared what they had with us. We were so hungry that we didn't care as long we can eat something. After a few days at the military camp, my other uncle picked me up and brought me home to his place in Kiran Baroh Kecamatan Jangka Buya Kabupaten Pidie. After staying at his place, I asked him if he can take me to Dayah Babulilmi since I heard this Dayah Orphanage Boarding School took in tsunami survivors. That was my story of tsunami that claimed hundred and thousands of lives, including the lives of my parents and siblings. I'd like to take this opportunity convey my sincere gratitude for all your help, by giving us clothes, food and medication. "
Letter from Khalfawi, a 14 year old boy. He wrote this letter in 2006