In one of our earlier trips to a village in Alor Island in East Nusa Tenggara province, we saw something that broke our hearts. The village itself could only be reached by a 2-hour drive from the nearest city on a small road through hilly terrain, so this community was quite isolated and underdeveloped. On that visit, we saw that the village’s only school building was nothing more than a simple structure of woven bamboo mats as walls, cracked hard dirt as floor, and filled with dilapidated desks and chairs.
We learned that the original school building was destroyed by a tornado. An Indonesian NGO had stepped in to rebuild the school, and with the donation they collected they were able to build this humble replacement.
Many of the students themselves didn’t have school supplies and proper uniforms. Some even went barefooted. Despite the poverty, the children themselves were still in bright spirits and were eager to learn. To welcome us, they performed a traditional dance called “Tari Lego Lego”, depicting the actions on a battlefield. The props (swords, bows, arrows, etc.) were handmade using natural resources.
One of PMA’s core principles is to help improve the quality of life in farming communities, so we resolved to help these school children in this village.
To accomplish that goal, in April 2018 PMA initiated a ‘student adoption’ charity program with the help of donors from Indonesia and other countries. Through this program we adopted all 50 students in that school and provide full scholarship, new uniforms, textbooks and school supplies. We also provide healthy food twice a month to improve their nutrition, as well as add extra compensation to the teachers. We also plan to build a new library for them.
In addition to individual donors, we also have corporate ones such as Gramedia (Indonesia’s largest bookstore retailer) that supplied the books and Eagle (an Indonesian shoe brand) that donated shoes.
When we equip these children, we are building a better future for them, their families and their community.
“Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.” - Oprah Winfrey