As you all know there was a massive earthquake and then a devastating Tsunami in December 2004 in Aceh, Indonesia. A bunch of us .NET programmers got together and auctioned ourselves off on eBay. The Microsoft .NET community raised well over $10,000 for IDEP Foundation, a charity based in Ubud, Indonesia. What we liked about this charity, besides that our fearless leader Julie Lerman found them, is that they are based in Indonesia and had instant access to the disaster area and would be around years later when the world would forget about the Tsunami.
Today I visited the IDEP Foundation headquarters and its outstanding founder Petra Schneider in Ubud, Indonesia. (Sadly there was another earthquake in Aceh today, but the damage was not nearly as bad.) It was awesome to learn what IDEP has been up to: they have been up to a lot. For starters, they are *still* in Aceh, more than 5 years on. They are now past disaster relief work and teaching sustainability (farming, hygiene, etc) and disaster readiness. Petra showed me photos of their work not only in Aceh, but all over Indonesia. I saw photos of what the money we raised went to: the “buckets” or a bucket that contained one week’s supply of cooking oil, rice, sugar, all the basic necessities. They were handed out to thousands of people who needed it. I can report back the .NET community and all of those who donated that our contribution made a difference.
Today, IDEP is growing and even training other charities on how to operate. They are making some great games for children that teaches sustainability and disaster readiness. Why not at least join their Facebook page or even consider donating some time or money. :)
A lot of times we give money to a charity and then we never get to see the unsung heroes that do the work behind the scenes. Today I got that chance and it was very special. If you are ever in Indonesia, look them up!
Petra, me, and Avi at IDEP’s training center in Ubud, Indonesia.
IDEP Foundation is an NGO in Indonesia that teaches Permaculture and Disaster Risk Reduction & supports communities in need in times of disaster.http://www.idepfoundation.org
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