Assessment of Catherine Fischer’s stay in Nias during the summer of 2006 (for 5 weeks)
Condition of the site : The infrastructure:The road from Teluk Dalam to Sorake (13 kms) is nearly complete, all that remained to be done at the end of September was to remove a temporary log bridge. This will greatly improve people’s lives. Minibuses will be able to circulate normally which was impossible with temporary bridges. All supplies travel along this road (including food) and were mostly arriving by motorbike, which limited the possible size of the loads. The supply of electricity is still very erratic. There are numerous power cuts during the day which sometimes last throughout the day. From 7 pm to 2 am the supply is stable. Telephone connections with the South are virtually impossible. All that remains are postal services.
The refugee camp : The camp remains as it was in February, just a little more run down. The path leading to it is in such a state that in the rainy season it is likely to be inaccessible by car. Only two families have returned to their very damaged houses as they have no hope of aid because the houses were not totally destroyed. All that has changed is that the 68 remaining families no longer suffer from hunger or lack of water.
The fishermen in the 8 sectors affected by the construction project for canoes There has been no change in their situation since February : no boat has yet been constructed. They still await boats and hence work.
PROJECTS FOR 2006
1. CONSTRUCTION OF CANOES At the beginning of July the definitive version of the project was sent to Solidarity Indonesia who transferred it to Franche-Comte Solidarity. This association appears to be interested in our project and will give their response regarding a subsidy by the end of the year. The project translated into English was transmitted by hand to Mr Mansuetus Kapo, the United Nations official in charge of the development programme at Gunung Sitoli. We will make regular checks as to the advancement of this dossier.
4 donors would like to finance the construction of canoes. For the moment it is not possible to consider beginning construction for such a small number of boats. The money is being held, awaiting a further subsidy, and as soon as we have it we will proceed with construction.
II. THE RETURN TO SCHOOL Ennabling schooling in Spring : An assessment in human and financial terms :
Rupawan made a list of young people awaiting schooling in 29 very isolated villages to the North of Teluk Dalam. The 121 young people on the list are all orphans, either without a father or a mother, and as a result lacking in the finance needed to be educated. They live in very precarious circumstances. We made it possible for them to return to school in March or April. In Nias school terms are not adhered to, children return to school whenever they have the means to do so.
9 of these 121 young people attend primary school, 62 are in the first years of secondary education, 24 in the final years of general secondary education and 26 in professional secondary school.
FAOMASI provided all the costs for 52 of these young people (the purchase of educational material, uniforms and payment of fees). These costs were paid for 4 months.
69 young people were given partial help : the purchase of educational material or of uniforms enabled them to return to school.
Funds used in Spring 2006 correspond to the entirety of donations collected between September 2005 and January 2006 and to money from craftwork sold during this period.
Human and Financial projects for the year to come up to summer 2007, the date of my next journey to Nias.
Updating of educational costs : Total cost for a year at primary school : 50 euros Total cost of a year at College (early years secondary) : 75 euros Total cost of a year at Lycee (later years secondary) : 95 euros Total cost of a year at the Lycee professionnel : 105 euros
1) Educating the 17 young people at the refugee camp from September : Rupawan did not organise the education of these young people whom I had met in February as it had been agreed.
After a meeting with the camp officials, I assured them that we would keep our promises and that the young people would be educated starting in September and continuing until June 2007.
8 children are at Primary school, 7 at College and 2 at the general Lycee. We can educate them until December with the funds available to us now. After that we need to raise more funds.
Provisional budget for one year : (8x50 E) + (7x80 E) + (2x95) = 1150 euros
2) Educating 8 young people in specific projects :
Suterlina, Famatoro, Robertus and Sucy : the education of these 4 young people from the village of Hilisalawa whom we have followed for a year is paid for until December. We also supply their needs as regards books, jotters and uniforms. We have engaged ourselves to help them until the end of their Lycee education if that remains necessary.
Elvina : In July Faomasi paid for the education of a young woman who had just had her leg amputated. Before, she was working to pay for her studies but she could no longer go to the Lycee after her operation. She is 17 years old and a very good student. She lives with her mother in a house that was considerably damaged by the earthquake and which is in danger of collapsing. Once her studies at the Lycee are completed she would like to go to university in Teluk Dalam to enable her to acquire a profession to supply her needs and to help her mother. Faomasi will try to help her as long as she is at the Lycee (2 to 3 years) and I promised to try to find her a family to sponsor her till the end of her university studies at Teluk Dalam.
Mustakim : he is a young boy from a very isolated village who is finishing his studies at the Lycee professionnel. Our project is to help him now so that he can act later as guide and translator for Faomasi.
Cindy Ketrin Duha : aged 7, has a French godmother who will take care of her studies until the end of the Lycee.
Firman Kudus Laia : aged 11, also has a French godmother.
3) Continuation of the education of 32 young people from the list drawn up by Rupawan in March. 7 primary school children, 7 college students, 10 general lycee students and 8 students at the lycee professionnel.
I have paid for their education up till October or November. I visited the schools concerned, met the head teachers and engaged myself in the name of Faomasi-Bersama to try to find the necessary funds to allow them to finish a year’s education.
In November we must find the money for the 4 other months in order to complete a year’s aid (400 euros). In Spring 2007 our co-ordinator will draw up a balance sheet of the educational support offered to the 32 students and send it to us. We will then decide how to proceed.
The funds used for educational support this summer correspond to the totality of donations received by Faomasi in June for this purpose.
The RETURN TO SCHOOL project is very important because no aid is provided for these very isolated, very poor people. This means that children remain at home (or in tents) and parents have no work.
We must take action very quickly to find donations or sponsorship.