Below are the article publication at The Lombok Guide Magazine, about The Great Lombok Walk.
The Lombok Guide – Issue #226, August 2016
Original article can be read at this link.
Many Facebook users will be familiar with the charity organisation “Lombok Forgotten Children – Endri Foundation”.
This foundation was set up in 2014 to help the sick, disabled and dying people – many of them children – who live in Lombok and who are largely ignored or “forgotten” by society.
The initiative for Lombok Forgotten Children originally came from retired New Zealand businessman, Peter Honey, who witnessed the terrible suffering of children in Lombok.
Over two weeks, he met 64 terminally at risk and dying children who no one was helping and he became determined to find a way to help. Using social media and self-made websites, he started recruiting volunteers and donations to fund vital projects for the poor and helpless.
Through his work, Peter was fortunate enough to meet a young local man named Endri Susanto, who had the same vision of bringing change and hope to his people.
Endri was a rare find – a trustworthy man from a humble fishing village who was willing to work for free in order to make a difference. He is degree educated, understands technology, and has worked overseas.
Together with a small team of dedicated volunteers, he now leads the Endri Foundation – Lombok’s first NGO Child Humanitarian Foundation – and works to make Lombok a better place for his people.
Lombok has a population of around 3.7 million people and – although the island is developing as a tourism destination – outside the tourism areas, the majority of its people are only just subsisting. Illness, malnutrition, birth defects and physical handicaps are common and there is little help available to the average villager.
The Endri Foundation believes strongly that the local government and health organisations need to take responsibility for their people and so a large amount of Endri’s work is in lobbying government organisations and connecting those in need with the right people.
However, help is not only limited to securing life-saving surgeries from specialist charities but in finding funds to connect those people, and to transport and house the patients.
More money is needed to feed the poor and hungry, buy medications for the sick, provide artificial limbs and wheelchairs to the crippled, and provide emergency assistance to those who would otherwise die very quickly.
Sponsors and donations are always needed.
Working with very limited funding, Endri and his team have managed to carry out a staggering amount of projects over the past year and a half, including life-saving surgeries for horrific tumours, corrective surgery for deformities, supplied artificial limbs and wheelchairs for children who had never walked or been mobile, given hope to a group of 30 blind children, and too many other benefits to list here (you can find out more at the Foundation’s website: www.endri.org).
Enter Fiona Forrest! Australian expat and mother of two, Fiona has lived in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, for the past 10 years.
She is also the founder of Fiona Unity Foundation, a charity which has supported the two Elisama Orphanages in Bali for the past 4 years.
The Fiona Unity Foundation has organised many fundraisers including the Mt Rinjani Charity Climb (2012), The Kokoda Track (2014), and Walking for Education (2015), raising over $150,000 and enabling them to fund security fencing at the orphanages, drill a water bore, develop a large recreational area, and establish orchards and vegetable gardens.
They have also provided education for the children at both Elisama Orphanages, and sponsored four yayasans (charities) in Jakarta.
Fiona takes on the challenge again this year with a 400km charity walk around the perimeter of Lombok.
Starting on 1 October from Lokok Aur, Karang Bajo Bayan Village in North Lombok she will walk east and follow the coastline of Lombok as closely as possible, trekking down to the south and along the south coast before heading back up the west coast and around to Senaru in the north.
It’s a gruelling trek through isolated places and in some parts the way is barely passable; inaccessible by car. On the north-east coast, Fiona will walk through rocky landslide areas, then down the rugged east coast before tackling the remote cliffs of the south coast, as well as facing the many hills on all sides of the island; most would say this is a crazy challenge!
And yet, at the end of this massive trek, she will then be joined by a group of trekkers to start the second part of this fundraising drive – a climb to the summit of Lombok’s famous 3,726 metre volcano, Mount Rinjani taking place from 13 to 15 October.
“Through this walk I am aiming to raise as much awareness and as much funds as possible for The Lombok Forgotten Children, Endri Foundation,” Fiona said.
“After witnessing first-hand the amazing work Endri Foundation has accomplished so far, The Fiona Unity Foundation has pledged our 100% support to help in whatever way we can,” she continued. “We are hoping that through this fundraising walk and climb we will be able to support Endri and his team, who have already saved many lives, to continue to save many more!”
Fiona Unity Foundation has already donated funds so that Endri Foundation can purchase land in Tanjung, North Lombok.
With the charity walk and climb, they hope to raise funds to build a base for the Foundation that can provide temporary accommodation for needy children and their families awaiting medical care, as well as a centre for training and education for Endri’s team, and storage for equipment such as wheelchairs.
All expenses for the fundraiser are paid by the Forrest Family, therefore there are no administrative charges and 100% of every rupiah or dollar donated will go directly to the Lombok Forgotten Children.
DONATE: Whatever amount you can afford to donate – every little bit helps!
SPONSOR FIONA ON HER WALK: Whether you can give a set amount or sponsor Fiona per kilometre, you will be helping to save lives! Businesses with corporate responsibility programmes – please get involved!
JOIN THE CLIMB UP RINJANI: If you’ve always wanted to trek the volcano, now is the time. You’ll be helping the people of Lombok as well as experiencing the trip of a lifetime!
For more information, visit these websites: http://fionaunity.org and www.endri.org