‘Helping one another in acts of piety and righteousness.’
It has been almost two years since the Covid-19 pandemic spread over beloved Indonesia. The pandemic not only directly affects those who live in urban centers, but also those who reside in villages, mountains, and coastal areas. Everyone has been affected by the endless sorrow, in particular, the many children who were orphaned due to parents being taken by the unrelenting virus.
Montong Ajan Village, Southwest Praya in Central Lombok Regency has a population of 5,452 and is known for its natural beauty spots, namely Torok Beach and Rumpang Remeneng Waterfall – which are both surrounded by beautiful, lush coastal hills. This natural beauty hides the sad situation of many of its residents. Many of them are now living below the poverty line.
Since 2019, Invest Islands Foundation has implemented several projects in the Praya Barat Daya area. They have delivered several holistic and comprehensive programs of sanitation, hygiene and health, clean water distribution, education and environmental studies to residents and school students alike. In implementing this continual program, they are committed to providing new opportunities that are fair to all beneficiaries (who meet the criteria), as well as implementing positive changes for a more decent standard of living, by helping those in need not only in the short-term, but as an aid to positively impact their world in the long term too.
Now in their third year of operating community empowerment and development, Invest Islands Foundation seized the opportunity to collaborate directly with the Mandala Foundation and Islamic Relief Indonesia. Islamic Relief Indonesia is an international humanitarian organization that runs programs for the development and distribution of humanitarian aid. Their commitment to helping others has been carried out over an impressive 20 years in 30 countries. The commitments upheld by Islamic Relief Indonesia are gender equality, strengthening local capacities, protecting the environment, and protecting children.
The first survey Invest Islands Foundation conducted with Islamic Relief Indonesia in Montong Ajan Village concluded that the most suitable program to be implemented in the area was the hunger prevention program, providing 300 families with a cash aid of IDR 1,200,000 (approximately AUS$120). They hope that the beneficiaries will use it to buy nutritionally balanced food to meet the family's necessary intake of fresh fruit, proteins and vegetables. Assistance will also be provided to children in the form of 1,300 orphan scholarships in the Southwest Praya area. It is hoped that these scholarships will aid the learning potential of children at their most productive scholar age.
Aid provided is not only in monetary form but also in the form of community development, as well as all aspects that will influence its ongoing success. The compassion that Invest Islands Foundation dedicates is not just a one-time commitment, but also a practically designed program to meet the needs of each group or individual beneficiary. They are sure that they will be able to aid and solution-solve any future difficulties faced by the communities in the Montong Ajan Village community.