It has been one of the longest weeks that the Indonesian island of Lombok and neighbouring Gili islands has ever endured since being plagued by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. In Lombok the devastating consequences have already claimed over 300 lives, left over 270,000 homeless and thousands more in need of basic water, food and medical supplies. But behind the devils back comes small miracles, a resilient fight and a united community.
Indonesia is a region we have called home over the last three years. Since visiting Gili Trawangan to complete our PADI Open Water Course, we have used the island as a home away from home whilst dipping in and out of various social media projects. From the Maldives to the Bahamas, nothing quite has the pull of Indonesia as a region that treats its visitors like one of their own, opening up their homes, inviting us to dinner, all the while remaining hospitably humble, engaged and genuine. This is the spirit of Indonesia.
This is why it is so traumatic to see the people of Lombok struggling and the reason we have set up our gofundme page. They share when they have nothing, so we will share when we have plenty. This has been exactly the response from the dive community of the Gili islands. It is the driven determination of the dive community from the Gili islands who have fought back tenfold from the terrifying grip of the earthquake and are setting a whole new level on the richter scale… Humanity.
The guys from My Mates Place, Seth and Jordan from Tir Na Nog Irish Bar and Jonny of Gili Mansion load trucks destined for Lombok's crisis zones. These guys are moving mountains to save lives. Go help Brendan Muir and make a donation through Paypal:
Ash Embi of Trawangan Dive Centre captures the moment supplies are delivered to the locals of Lombok.
Within hours of the earthquake on the 5th August, donation pages had been set up garnering thousands of dollars, divers were on hand to keep panicked tourists at bay, gathering medical supplies from the dive shops and looking after the welfare of the animals that are so essential to the operation of these islands. In the 24 hours that followed, plans were already in place to provide initial support to where it is needed most; the epicentre in the North of Lombok.
Roos of Dive Central Gili contributes to the Gili Islands clean up
Tec Instructor Philip Christoff (christoff_ccr) worked throughout the night and following days of the earthquake to assist with the injured and clean up of the island
The Gili islands are renowned for their sensational slices of sand, cobalt blue waters and notable dive sites, especially on Trawangan. Whilst the dive shops employ foreign dive instructors from all nationalities, over 70% of the workforce reside in the North of Lombok in the most effected areas. The main focus has been selfless and significant action from all business owners on the three Gilis in supplying these areas with food, drinking water, blankets and medical supplies. Business owners made up of dive shops, hotels/hostels and restaurants are parting with their own takings and savings and working around the clock to load trucks with thousands of dollars worth of food and water, installing water purification machines that make the ground water in Lombok safe to drink, orchestrating drop locations for supply donations and collaborating with airlines in as many worldwide destinations as possible to fly in supplies.
Be the change you want to see in the World and make a donation via Paypal:
We have always admired the community spirit of the divers on the Gili islands and completing our dive master at Dive Central Gili at the time of the earthquake has only made us more proud of our dive family. Despite the strong aftershocks in the aftermath of the earthquake which are now subsiding, a strong crew have remained on the Gili islands, putting own traumas aside and have bound in unity with locals to create an inspirational family spirit like no other that is spreading across to those who need it most in Lombok. Divers have dedicated themselves to sorting through clothes, delivering supplies and have united in force to restore power and water to the Gili Islands, which are recognised as providing crucial tourism and support for almost every family in North Lombok, whether it be locals involved in building projects, resort staff or boat crew.
Mans Olsson, tech instructor at Blue Marlin Dive fixing Trawangan Dives water tower
Dive Central Gili boat crew return to the island a week after the earthquake to help with the clean up.
In the darkness there is light. The character of the #gilistrong team is being matched by nature as one of the protected turtle nests on the north of the island has hatched and the baby turtles have made their way to the ocean to begin their lives. The picture of Gili’s youngest resident born just two weeks before the earthquake and now aptly named “Gempa” meaning earthquake in Bahasa is also a beacon of prosperity for the future of these islands.
Leesa (@a_girl_and_the_ocean) meets Gili's youngest resident, Gempa.
Although normality has largely been restored on the trio of pebble islands floating in the oceans to the West, a national crisis is still looming in Lombok. The spirited effort of the community is nothing short of inspirational but they can only keep providing while vital funding is raised. We have set up several initiatives for people to donate, including a gofundmepage here. We have also been in collaboration with some of our favourite resorts and brands to kindly donated prizes including hotel stays, swimwear pieces and apparel vouchers to a raffle style giveaway. For every £5 donated, you will have one entry into each giveaway. (For example, £20 = 4 entries) Our followers will be given the opportunity to make a donation to win these prizes with all proceeds going to our teams on the ground who are distributing food, water, medical supplies and in time the rebuilding of local homes and infrastructure in Lombok.
Contributors kindly donating to the fundraising efforts so far...
- A 3 night complimentary full board package for two people INCLUDING transfers for 2 people at Pulo Cinta Eco Resort in Indonesia
- $100 gift voucher for Wavebabe Swimwear
- Bali Bag from Lui the label
- Three Swimsuit pieces from Jomie Bikini
- Apparel voucher for Poeme Clothing
- Packs of our Lightroom Mobile Presets
We have also developed 5 BRAND NEW presets which reflect our favourite landmarks in Lombok with all sale proceeds going toward the gofundmepage. 5 presets for just £10! You can shop them right here. Each preset has been given a name to reflect our favourite places in Lombok; Gili Sunset, Kuta, Mawun, Tiu Kelep & Abul.
We are slowly trying to make sense of all of this, but if there is one thing we do know, it is that the community spirit of the locals and the dive industry in Gili is stronger than any earthquake could steal away from them and this is essential in providing vital support to the loving people of Lombok who have shown us such unwavering kindness over the years.
Please please please lets help show the Indonesian people the love that they have given us and so many.
Thank you so much!