Trustees Visit to Indonesia (Bande Ache)

    8th –13th April 2005 – Iqbal Rawat (Trustee)

    Day One

    Myself and Moulana Idrees arrived in Jarkarta on the 8th of April for a 5 days visit following on from our visit to Pakistan relating to the Construction of the Ummah Children Academy. The first day was spent in meetings with local organisations we had worked with. We also visited the Markaz in Jarkarta where representatives had been involved in carrying out relief and Dauwah programmes in Bande Ache. Coincidently at the time of our visit there was a major gathering taking place where brothers had gathered from all over Indonesia. It was remarkable to witness so many brothers many who could speak the Urdu language gathered for the sake of propagating the Deen of Allah Subhanu Wataallah.

    Day Two

    On Saturday the 9th of April we boarded a plane from Jarkara to Bande Ache via Maidaan. The flight time was approximately three hours. On arrival we were received by our local representatives who had organised a tight schedule as per our request. The first day was spent mainly visiting the areas which were affected by the Tsunami. We started our visit by visiting a mass grave on the outskirts of Bande Ache where tens of thousands of Martyrs had been buried.

    We then visited the two main routes by which the Tsunami had entered into the city. These were Ule-Lhee and Lhok-Nga beech. Here we witnessed the greatest devastation caused by the Tsunami. The areas were totally uninhabited and there was debris every where. Although the cleaning up exercise had begun, much more work needed to be done. As we walked amongst the Debris we could see the remains of people’s personal artefacts. We could see slippers and shoes which had been lost due to the rush which had taken place at the time of the Tsunami. Families could no longer identify their properties and they had great difficulty even identifying the land where their homes had once stood.

    About a mile from the coast we were directed towards a large ship which due to the force and strength of the Tsunami had been washed onto the land and had crushed several homes underneath it. Sadly there has been no effort as yet to attempt to move the ship so that the people buried underneath could be identified and given a decent burial.

    As we stood at the edge of the sea the thoughts of the Martyrs were with us and we prayed to Allah to help those who were left behind, the majority of them children who had been orphaned some had lost both parents. Just by the side of the sea we witnessed the last remains of a Masjid which had been made Shaheed by the impact of the Tsunami. Only the remains of the Mimbar was visible where once the Imam had delivered sermons to the congregation.

    Day Three

    This next day we had planned an emergency food relief programme which was organised by our local representatives. Arrangements had been made to visit the remote Island Pulau Nasi (rice). This was a 2 hour journey by boat. This remote Island had a population of about 150 families whom were affected by the Tsunami. Out of the 15000 Islands which make up Indonesia there were many Islands like these which had still not received any aid whatsoever.

    With about 20 local volunteers we arrived at the seaport where the Boat was situated. The goods from the truck first had to be loaded on to the boat. The goods comprised of basic food items, toiletries and water. We assisted the volunteers in loading the boat. We all then climbed on top of the boat to start the journey. During the Journey the volunteers sang Islamic Nasheeds to pass the time. On arrival at Nasi the goods were off loaded and stocked in an orderly fashion. The chief of the island was awaiting our arrival. The representatives informed him of our plans and requested assistance in the distribution of the food parcels to the families most in need. The families who were close to the port started to arrive and we distributed the food parcels. It was amazing to see how the families would organise appropriate transportation for themselves. Some used motorcycles whilst others pushed wheelbarrows or carried the items to their homes on their backs. Later on a truck arrived which would be used to deliver the food packages to the remote part of the Island. The truck was loaded with the goods and we set out on a 20-minute journey on a steep rockery road in order to reach the remaining families. At the top of the Island we arrived at a campsite where families had settled who had lost their homes. We met many children who had been orphaned due to the Tsunami. The food packets were then off loaded and distributed amongst the families. We then made our way back to the bottom of the Island and embarked the boat to return back to Bande Ache.

    Day Four

    We changed the agreed schedule slightly for this day where we decided to visit the Islamic University. Here we met the Rector who informed us of the damage that had been caused by the Tsunami where the accommodation of the teachers had been destroyed. We were asked to provide assistance if possible.

    The rest of the day we visited the temporary villages and permanent housing projects which were currently being implemented by our Turkish Partners IHH. We then decided to carry out a mini project where we wished to provide each orphan with 100,000 Rupias about £8. We purchased some envelopes and prepared the gifts. We then visited 4 orphanages, which comprised of 70 orphans both boys and girls. We found this project much rewarding and it made us appreciate our situation and gave us additional zeal to try and help the orphans in need. We had by now firmly decided that Insha-Allah with the help of Allah we would also embark upon establishing long term orphanages for both boys and girls separately.  We are currently pursuing these projects.

    See Pictures of the Visit

    Two Trustees