Helping out quake victims one T-shirt at a time

Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

Jakarta, posted: Wed, September 12 2018 | 03:30 am

Constant fear: The silhouettes of people having a conversation are seen at a displaced person shelter in Mataram, West Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara. (JP/Seto Wardhana)" width="780" height="520" border="0">Constant fear: The silhouettes of people having a conversation are seen at a displaced person shelter in Mataram, West Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

A true story tells of how T-shirts in the Netherlands can rebuild a broken school in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

High on the hills behind Senggigi, on Lombok’s west coast, a small primary school clings to the slopes of one of Mount Rinjani’s volcanic foothills.

SD 6 Batu Layar, located in the village of Duduk Atas, began its life 15 years ago on the veranda of the village mosque. Before that, most of the villagers never went to school. Most were destined for life as illiterate, itinerate laborers.

The school has grown since then, now comprising 107 children and 15 teachers.

In the spirit of gotong royong (everyone helping to achieve a shared goal), the whole community built the school.

Inspired by Pak Aini, a community leader, the villagers have supplied workers, land and volunteer teachers. This is a poor community, but rich in spirit; a community with friends.

The government licensed the school and has built some of the classrooms. It now provides operational funds, a principal and two teachers.

The Lombok Rotary Club non-profit organization together with local businesses, such as the nearby The Studio guesthouse, have also contributed. And Face This – a popular Netherlands-based T-shirt brand, popular not only for its unique designs but also its philosophy – has supported the school since 2008.

Face This T-shirts feature trendy designs, based on drawings by children from Duduk Atas. The children’s drawings are sent to the Netherlands where a group of creative illustrators and designers turn them into unique designs. The profit from each T-shirt sold goes back to Duduk Atas to help the school.

Funds from these T-shirts have paid for equipment, books, furniture and teacher training, as well as building classrooms and a playground.

The routine: Students study mathematics at SD 6 Batu Layar in Duduk Atas village in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. (Courtesy of Face This)

Constant fear: The silhouettes of people having a conversation are seen at a displaced person shelter in Mataram, West Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

A true story tells of how T-shirts in the Netherlands can rebuild a broken school in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

High on the hills behind Senggigi, on Lombok’s west coast, a small primary school clings to the slopes...

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