Dayah Babulilmi Dorm 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
Dayah Subulussalam Dorm Refurbishment, Aceh
After 2004 tsunami, Hope 4 Our Children sent a team to conduct assessment and teacher trainings in Dayah Subulussalam. Member of the delegations: Faizah Badeges, Co-Founder and Board Member of Hope 4 Our Children; Afeefa Syeed, Hope 4 Our Children Board Member& Al Fatih Academy Director ; Fatima Salaam, Teacher, Al Fatih Academy; Nia Seale, Teacher, Al Fatih Academy.
The delegation concluded that based on numerous interviews and neighborhood visits, the children attending the orphanage boarding school come from highly impoverished families who are not able to afford easily the children’s basic needs. The Dayah serves these low income families who are striving to maintain their cultural identity in the midst of many pressures that would have them compromise their values, heritage, and culture.
The objective of the visiting delegation was also to find out how orphans surviving the tsunami could be served at the Dayah. The surrounding area around Subulusalaam has a great many survivors of the tsunami, many of who did come to the Dayah for education and shelter. But because the structural facilities could not support so many more students, some of the tsunami affected children had to be transferred to other places, leaving only 12 tsunami victims. The delegation found that if the basic needs of water, housing, and staffing are met, the school can accommodate and serve more orphans from the surrounding area. As the infrastructure is improved, those children who otherwise would have to be placed in farther locations can be brought to Dayah Subulusalam.
The physical condition of Dayah
1. No toilets or running water. The dorms do not have running water, toilets. Children and teachers must walk to the river twice a day to fetch water with buckets. The toilets are shared outdoor facilities that also are accessible only by walking. The students have to go to the nearest river to bath.
2. Bunk beds. The bunk beds are only the frames, and children sleep on straw mats instead of mattresses.
3. Electricity. The dorms do not have electricity. The electricity bill is very high, and since the Dayah cannot afford to pay the total amount, the lights are dim in all places. Staff told delegation members that some children graduate the Dayah with worsened eyesight because of this.
4. No ceilings. The buildings that do exist are in need of repair for continued use. In the dorms as well as the classroom buildings, the ceilings are not finished. In the cafeteria, neither the ceilings nor the kitchen is completed.
Hope 4 Our Children refurbished and painted the four existing dorms, funded construction of running water system that can provide necessary water in the dorms and built a bathroom in each dorm. The project made an impact in the lives of 223 children (existing disadvantaged students/orphans as well as tsunami victims), 102 of them are live-in children. In addition, Hope 4 Our Children also provided mattresses for the live- in students in Dayah.
The current condition of the Dayah, both physically and financially, makes it almost impossible to accept more children. Therefore, Hope 4 Our Children is supporting Dayah to be self sufficient by disbursing a capital to start small business of cookie production, and mixed farming.
During the course of this year, Hope 4 Our Children has also allocated: funds to cover food for children for several months, books, towels and sarong and hygienic supplies for the children.
Before the interventions by Hope 4 Our Children, Dayah Subulussalam’s students slept on the floor, they also had to walk to the closest river to bath. With more than half of live-in children live in poverty and fail to pay the Rp 180,000 tuition (equivalent to $20/month), it was very challenging for the administrators of the Dayah to run the boarding school with its nineteen fulltime teachers, four full time support and admin staff, and one principal.
Hope 4 Our Children allocated a total of $12,040 for Dayah Subulussalam (DS) boarding school. The fund was allocated for refurbishment and painting of the existing dorms, procurement of mattresses and beds, the construction of water system, public toilets and place for ablution, and seed money for home industry and mixed farming to provide capital for Dayah Subulussalam to be self sufficient.
In June 2006, Ina Nasution, Hope 4 Our Children’s Co-Founder and Board of Trustee, visited DS to monitor the project. The progress was significant. The constructions of public toilets, water system, and place for ablution were completed. In addition the project to refurbish the dorms was completed already at the time of the visit, the ceilings were installed and painted, and each student was given mattress and bed.
Letters from Dayah Subulussalam Students
“….I want to convey my fond appreciation for your help. I am very touched by your concerns to help us in Aceh. I used to sleep on a straw mats, now I can sleep on a mattress..” – Jujuri
– Jujuri’s letter to Hope 4 Our Children’s donors. Jujuri was a Senior in High School at Dayah Subulussalam
“…I would like to thank you for raising funds for us. It gives me motivation to learn to make cookies for Dayah. May God give friends at Hope 4 Our Children and each donor with many blessings…”- Fatima
Fatima was a HS student at Dayah Subulussalam
“…I am very delighted for the opportunity to correspond with you and to express my sincere gratitude for Hope 4 Our Children’s efforts and Al-Fatih students’ efforts to help us at Dayah Subulussalam Boarding School. With your help, we felt tremendous improvement in our lives at the Dayah. Before the help of the organization (Hope 4 Our Children) and you, the buildings were falling apart and had no ceiling. We are very happy that the buildings were refurbished and now we have running water and bathrooms. Now we no longer have to walk to the river to bath and to have ablution. We also are grateful for the mattress. It feels comfortable to sleep on one” – Siti
Siti’s letter to Al-Fatih’s students thanking them for contributing funds to Dayah by the school’s fundraising effort. Siti, a student at Dayah Subulussalam
Temporary Housing Project, Jogjakarta
The May 2006 Jogjakarta earthquake occurred at 05:54 local time with a magnitude of 6.2. The quake caused 5,782 deaths, while 36,299 people were injured, 135,000 houses damaged, and an estimated 1.5 million left homeless. Hope 4 Our Children see the urgency of immediate intervention to help the victims of the earthquake by building temporary houses for the earthquake victims. With the help and collaboration of a local partner, Dompet Dhuafa, Hope 4 Our Children identified the location of the earthquake victims who needed the most help: the earthquake victims in Kadirojo village, Bantul.
The funds were allocated to build temporary houses for those victims. The cost of construction per temporary house is about Rp 1.2 million or about $145. The size is about 4 meters X 5 meters, located in front of their destroyed houses. The temporary houses were built by local carpenters, employing earthquake survivors who have relevant skills.
All of the victims were widows who were struggling to make ends meet. There were 15 families (or 40 people in total) that were helped by this project. They were very pleased to learn that they now have temporary- houses until they have sufficient savings to build their permanent house.
Letter from from the victims
“…Thank you so much for your help in building a temporary house for us. We are very happy and very grateful. Now we have a place to stay”.
– Dakir, Jogjakarta earthquake victim
“… Thanks so much for providing the temporary house for our family. We no longer need to stay at a tent.. “
– Jimin, Jogjakarta earthquake victim
“… We are touched by the generosity of Hope 4 Our Children. Now my children and I have a place to stay and we can go on with our lives. May you receive alot of blessings for your kindness…”
– Ponirah, Jogjakarta earthquake victim