When you live far away from your home country and heard the news that one of the islands from where you came from has been struck with a natural disaster, it is heartbreaking. The distance from where you are currently living to Indonesia has suddenly stretched twice as far, and a sense of loss pours over any Indonesians who are living abroad. However, with sadness comes a call for unity of the people who share the same culture and land that you were born in.
The death toll of the Lombok earthquake in August is over 600 people and estimated 400,00 people are displaced out of their homes (Massola & Rosa, 2018). Recently, the Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami at the end of September caused more than the death of 1000 people, more than 5000 people missing and leaving more than 60,000 people displaced (Kahfi, 2018, Jakarta Post).
With the cumulation of devastations occurring in Indonesia, I collaborated with the Australian Indonesia Youth Association NSW Chapter to unite both Australians and Indonesians, young and old, in a day of Indonesian cultural exchange as a fundraising initiative for the people of Lombok and Palu. All proceeds will go to the Agung Siaga Community, a volunteer logistic and information hub, based in Bali, founded to aid the displaced evacuees of the volcanic activity of Mt Agung. They are now aiding towards the survivors of the Lombok and Central Sulawesi disasters, through the delivery of food, medical supplies, water filters, blankets and solar panels.