This letter was written by founder Ali Manek 6 months after starting Our Village; An organization that was founded on the bases of direct donations and being the change you want to see in the world!
I haven’t written to anyone in a long time so I’m sending this as an update and I hope you will forward it as much as possible. I finished my exams on Friday and feel good about my performance. I am officially completed at Hong Kong University. My friends and I had been planning a great two week holiday to Mainland China which I was very excited about. It was going to be my first holiday in a long time and also my first time into Mainland China. We were to leave on Monday and come two weeks later. I’m leaving to volunteer in Cambodia for the summer shortly so I have been getting ready for that.
Then on Saturday morning, Indonesia was struck by a devastating earthquake. Over 4600 people have died, thousands injured, and 80% of the houses destroyed. Over two million people were affected. So I canceled my China trip, and booked my flight to Indonesia… It was either go on holiday, or go and help others after a Earthquake?… Was this really an option?
By the time you read this I will already be in Indonesia. I made sure that by me going I wasn’t going to be a burden on anyone and I was very warmly invited by a Student Organization who has set up operations in the affected areas. Over 500,000 people in Yogikarta are students!
One of the biggest mistakes I made before going to the Philippines was that I didn’t make a large plea for donations before leaving and when I was there, I was stuck with very few options on how I could contribute. So this is my plea to you this time… Please help me help those who have been injured by donating as little or as much as you can. Things are very affordable in Indonesia and even small contributions make such a large difference. Indonesia and Pakistan have similar Governments which will limit how much of a donation will actually arrive to the people… This is one of the reasons I’m going there – to make sure that the donations that are made are delivered in FULL to those who have been affected. After seeing for myself what is needed, I’m going to be initiating plans and objectives with the organizations to help those affected. If you can contribute, please do…
To those of you who are concerned about me… Please don’t be… Don’t worry about my safety or health – I’m with a team of youth who are taking great care of me. Please don’t worry about my schooling – I’m finished for the summer. Please don’t worry about anything at all… I will be fine I promise.
Thank you very much for everything and I really hope to keep in touch as much as possible with as much information on the situation in the affected areas, Inshallah (God Willing) starting tomorrow. It’s a 12 hr drive from Jakarta to Yogikarta.