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02/11/05 12:00AM
Total Collected:
US$ 69,122.10

Past Updates: February 2005

Frebruary 2005








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read more past updates:
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005

April 2005

» 02/26/05: Fundraising Activities
» 02/24/05: Delivering our promises (5): Donation of school supplies brings smiles to teachers and children in Banda Aceh
» 02/21/05: From Emergency to Recovery
» 02/19/05: Two teachers leave for Aceh today
» 02/17/05: Donation drive for school supplies for Aceh is a huge success
» 02/13/05: How your donation is spent in Aceh: Expenditure Report up to Feb 2nd
» 02/09/05: Delivering our promises (4): A determined village emerges from the rubble.
» 02/06/05: The start of a new level of relationship

Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Saturday, February 26, 2005

Fundraising Activities

The fundraising activities of Aceh Relief Fund are expanding. Besides planning its own fundraising activities, ARF is sending representatives to make presentations at fundraising events organized by other organizations. To date, ARF has been invited to schools, colleges, mosques, and other private events. In most cases, these organizations discover ARF through word of mouth, and later, they often follow-up by visiting the ARF website, www.acehrelief.org. Worth mentioning here are the efforts of students, teachers, and families in Homer High School and Groton High School. The respective schools held fundraising events and donated the proceeds to ARF.

We are now providing another link "Activities and Events" on the menu in this website for you to get further information about fundraising activities. Please do not hesitate to contact us for information on how we can take part in your fundraising activities and vice-versa.

Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Thursday, February 24, 2005, 11:00 PM EST

Delivering our promises:
Donation of school supplies brings smiles to teachers and children in Banda Aceh

There is little time for jet lag for Kari and Kelly. They have been sharing their teaching experiences with the teachers and volunteers at Phi Beta and other schools, and visiting camps and villages to develop meaningful connections with community members in Banda Aceh.

Teachers and volunteers in Banda Aceh have been working with minimal school supplies and thus, your donations have arrived at a time when they are most needed. Everyone is so appreciative. The donations will be placed at the various camps and made available to the children who need them. Once again, ARF is bringing support directly to those in need in Aceh.

On a different note, even though nearly two months have passed, the vastness of the destruction wrought be the tsunami is much more overwhelming than Kelly and Kari had anticipated. As far as they can see, there is only wreckage. [Read more about their daily experience in their journal here]

Volunteers sorted the donated school supplies for distributions to various camps and schools.

Kelly (left) and Kari share their teaching experience with PCC volunteers and teachers.


Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Monday, February 21, 2005, 11:00 PM EST

From Emergency to Recovery

Eight weeks after the tsunami, Aceh, in particular Banda Aceh, is now in transition from an emergency to a recovery period. The situation in Aceh is rapidly changing and the hectic emergency relief work is slowly being phased out. Although life is closer to normalcy in Banda Aceh, but the same is not true for districts outside of this capital city.

According to the most recent assessment by Saiful on the situation in Banda Aceh:

  1. Internally Displaced Persons have enough basic supplies, in some cases even more than enough, and now they prefer CASH aid to assist in re-starting their life.
  2. Most markets have reopened. The markets are becoming more crowded every day and traffic jams are beginning to occur near those markets.
  3. Some stores and restaurants have reopened their businesses.
  4. Prices of items have skyrocketed.
  5. Rents for homes and properties have risen many fold.
  6. PCC and other relief organizations are now adjusting their aid by providing more school supplies and other education related supplies while maintaining small amounts of basic supplies (such as food) for the IDPs it has been assisting.
  7. Medical facilities remain inadequate, although there is a sufficient presence of doctors/medical personnel on the ground.

Rapid changes in the situation in Aceh call for ARF to respond accordingly. In addition to its current relief activities, ARF is preparing to launch a mobile library, a mobile trauma center, and other related activities. Wait for our announcement soon.

PCC volunteers in Aceh are now busy with school uniforms and other school supplies.


A quick response to the situation in Aceh. Seen here are some volunteers at Northeast Elementary school in Ithaca helping pack donated supplies which will be delivered to Aceh.



Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Saturday, February 19, 2005, 09:00 PM EST

Two teachers leave for Aceh today

Kelly Craft and Kari Krakow leave for Aceh today. They will leave Ithaca and travel to NY City to catch a flight to Medan, Indonesia via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Aceh Relief Fund is happy to note that they managed to pack almost all of the donated school supplies and toys in six boxes that will accompany them to Indonesia. We would also like to thank members of the Muslim community in Cornell and in Ithaca who made cash donations which will be used to pay for the anticipated excess luggage fees and other ground travel charges incurred delivering the supplies.

The news about the trip caught the attention of a local TV station, Channel 9 Syracuse, which subsequently sent a reporter to the Northeast Elementary school yesterday to interview the two teachers and their students. The interview was featured on the station’s Nightly News the same day. If you missed the broadcast, please click here to view it. The station also provides a link to Aceh Relief Fund on its website.

Kelly and Kari will be writing a journal to document their trip. We will feature their journal online on our website, so you too can ‘experience’ the journey. Once again, Aceh Relief Fund would like to congratulate both of them for sacrificing their short break to travel to Aceh and help the Acehnese. We hope they will have a safe and productive trip.

With this trip, Aceh Relief Fund is launching a new level of people-to-people relationships that promises to be exciting and rewarding. We anticipate that people from both communities separated across the world from each other will greatly benefit from this endeavor.

Kelly (left) and Kari leaving Ithaca with their car full of donated school supplies and toys. Picture by ARF, Feb 19th, 1:00PM.

Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Tuesday, February 17, 2005, 11:00 PM EST

Donation drive for school supplies for Aceh is a huge success

Aceh Relief Fund would like to thank everyone who has been donating school supplies and toys that will be delivered to Aceh by Kelly Craft and Kari Krakow, two teachers from Northeast Elementary, Ithaca, New York. The donation drive has received an overwhelming response, much to the excitement of everyone involved in the collection. The teachers will spend the next two days packing the items. However, if you still wish to donate, we welcome you to donate CASH, which will be used towards paying for the anticipated excess luggage. Please read below a short note written by Kelly and Keri about their impending trip. 

Kelly (left) and Kari posing with the donated school supplies and toys. Picture by ARF, Feb 17th.

Posters about the donation drive posted on the wall of the Northeast Elementary school. Picture by ARF, Feb 17th.

The collection box at Northeast Elementary has to be emptied every day, as overwhelming donations keep arriving. The box is designed by children in Kari’s class. Picture by ARF, Feb 17th.

Here’s a short note from Kelly and Kari:
Due to the timing of this event and the time in our life, we volunteered to go to Indonesia over the February break to help in any way that would be a benefit. Our reasons for volunteering were mainly to help with this tragedy and also see what kind of connection we could bring back to our classroom as the children are aware of this event and have been talking about it in one way or another.

We know that children learn best through meaningful experiences. One of our main goals in the early childhood curriculum is to help the children develop social and emotional skills, learn about others, come out of their naturally egocentric world, and learn to care about others in a larger community other than their families. Working through this type of event in a way that the children can understand is critical to all of the children. Children can understand that it is important to help others who are in need. At the same, we hope the children in Aceh will be happy to know that they have friends half way across the world who care and are ever willing to support them.

Our trip to Banda Aceh, will bring the outside world into the immediate lives of the children from both communities in a meaningful way. To the children in our school, we can show pictures of the site in Aceh, the people building the school, and the materials that we have delivered. To the children who we will be meeting in Aceh, we will bring messages of hope from our children in our school. We anticipate the children’s letters will begin a connection between them and with that, help to create better understanding with the people of Banda Aceh.

Finally, we would like to thank Aceh Relief Fund (ARF) for helping to organize the trip so we are safe, productive, and efficient. We will deliver much needed school supplies to support the school that ARF is helping to rehabilitate. In addition, this visit will be a way to build relationships and make connections between communities in Aceh and Central New York. The building of a people-to-people connection in a meaningful and respectful manner is an important ingredient for a long-term relationship which is crucial to the process of rebuilding Aceh.


Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Sunday, February 13, 2005, 01:00 PM EST

How your donation is spent in Aceh: Expenditure Report up to Feb 2nd.

As promised, your donation goes straight to Aceh to benefit those victims of the tsunami. For the first month of our operation in Aceh, we used nearly a third of our total collection, with almost 99% being spent in Sumatera (namely Medan and Aceh). As you can see from the chart below, only 1% (actually less than 1%; see narrative 7 below) is spent on overhead during the period.

With emergency relief operation easing, we are moving towards planning and implementing activities for middle and longer term initiatives. And, this also signals the need for us to work harder to garner more funds to support these activities. Move your cursor over the chart to view details about each items.

Move your mouse cursor over the chart!


Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Wednesday, February 9, 2005, 11:58 PM EST

Delivering our promises (4): A determined village emerges from the rubble.

Saiful’s proposal to his village folks to come together to plan their lives and rebuild their battered village, Blang Arafah in Punge Jurong V at Banda Aceh, was met with full enthusiasm by the villagers. They formally gathered on January 25th at their shelter center and elected a new village head. Aceh Relief Fund is currently negotiating through Saiful to adopt Blang Arafah.

Abubakar Ishak (Pak Abu), 40, was officially elected an interim village head of Punge Jurong. Picture by Saiful. Jan 25th.


The historic meeting ended in high note [a detailed description about this activity will be made available in Saiful's journal soon] with the villagers agreeing that:
  1. Pak Abu is democratically elected as our interim new village head;
  2. Everybody wants to go back to Blang Arafah, our destroyed neighborhood in Punge Jurong V.
  3. Next steps and agreements:
    1. Continue village member registration
    2. Property registration, i.e. house and land
    3. No division into smaller neighborhoods is needed in terms of fighting for our rights after tsunami
    4. We need to seek funding to restart our trade activities as a majority of our village members are merchants at Banda Aceh's central market
    5. If relocated, we want to be relocated close to the market as our way to make a living
    6. Single men and women are encouraged to get married among our own villagers (a big laughter follows..)
  4. There is information about some villagers being in Medan that needs to be further clarified.
  5. There is a three month old baby in village custody after being left behind by his/her parents (sex was not mentioned to test anybody claiming to be its parent). Until somebody is determined to be a real parent, the baby will remain in village custody.
  6. All agree to work together to clear the rubble and remove the corpses in Blang Arafah.
  7. The  "gotong royong" that is, working together, will start from the village mosque and move around our village from there.
  8. If temporary shelters are to be provided, the villagers want them built right on Blang Arafah.


Update on Aceh Relief Fund
Sunday, February 6, 2005, 11:58 PM EST

The start of a new level of relationship

I am glad to let everyone know that two teachers from Ithaca, New York, will be traveling to Aceh on February 19th, 2005. Kelly Kraft and Kari Krakow are teachers to Saiful's kids at the Northeast Elementary. They will visit and document the rehabilitation of a school sponsored by Aceh Relief Fund (ARF). They have personally raised funding for their trip, but they will represent ARF when in Aceh. Their trip is important as it help to strengthen people-to-people relation between the two communities as envisioned by ARF. The need for ARF to be doing more than just relief works in Aceh requires strong community support in the US and sincere cooperation by the community in Aceh. This trip will be the first among series of activities being planned to cement meaningful relations between the two communities.

The library of Phi-Beta was badly damaged by the tsunami. Picture by Saiful.

Northeast Elementary (NE) in Ithaca, New York. Two teachers from this school will visit Phi-Beta soon.

I am sharing with you here the announcement about the trip made by the school to its community:

Two Northeast teachers, Kelly Craft and Kari Krakow, are going to the Banda Aceh Province in Indonesian to meet Northeast parent Saiful Mahdi. They will deliver much needed supplies, and visit and document the rebuilding of the village school, Phi-Beta, which was destroyed by the Tsunami. We hope this trip will help create a meaningful partnership between our communities for the long years it will take this area to recover. This is an opportunity for our school to demonstrate how small connections can make a big difference. Please consider donating from the following list. We are asking for new or very good condition items that are well packaged. A collection box will be set up next week in the main hallway of Northeast school. The collection of supplies will end on Wednesday, February 16, 2005.

Art Supplies:
collage materials - paint - glue - glue sticks - colored pencils - crayons - markers - scissors - drawing pads - collage items - stickers - watercolors - colored paper

School supplies:
pencil sharpeners - tape - paper clips - notebooks - staplers/staples - pencils - pens - erasers -
bound journals - lined paper

Toys and games:
legos - tinker toys - cards - checkers - candy land - backgammon - chess - lotto games - puzzles - deflated balls - ball pump - balloons - yo-yos - jump ropes - small blocks - bean bags - counters - pattern blocks - puppets - soft toys - small plastic animals - uno