160 SchoolBags packed by the Piers Simon Appeal have been successfully distributed to children who learn at ‘The Jungle School’ located in the Arimba Rainforest in Indonesia. Shipped to Indonesia last year, the SchoolBags have been on quite a journey to get from the School in a Bag headquarters in Somerset into the hands of the Arimba children.
School in a Bag learned of the need to help ‘The Jungle School’ children through their disaster relief partners Quake Fund located on the island of Java in Indonesia. Luke Simon, Charity Liaison Officer for the Piers Simon Appeal said, “Since 2007 we have made 3 separate donations to Quake Fund totaling £36,500 to support the Indonesian people affected by two earthquakes and a volcano eruption. When Quake Fund learned about the School in a Bag initiative, they were quick to introduce the idea to Butet Manurung, whose non profit organisation, Sokola Rimba runs ‘The Jungle School’”.
Sokola, derived from the Orang Rimba pronunciation of the word sekolah, or school in Indonesian, teaches basic education including reading, writing and life skills that are tailored to the requirements of the indigenous Arimba communities. To accommodate the needs of the Arimba children and to make them culturally specific, the SchoolBags had saris and rain coats added to the contents which include stationery, exercise books and a water bottle. Once the SchoolBags had been restocked, the final leg of their journey was a 3hr boat trip up river to reach the Arimba Community.
“The consignment has been a true international collaboration” said Luke. “The SchoolBags (numbers 2123 – 2282) were primarily funded by 3 International schools in Thailand, The Cayman Islands and Majorca. They were then packed in the UK by volunteers before being shipped to Indonesia and delivered to the children’’. The PSA are very fortunate to have such good relations across all aspects of the School in a Bag process, from donors right through to the distributors……we are extremely grateful to everyone who has combined to make this project happen”.
The Arimba Community consignment to Indonesia is the sxith country to receive SchoolBags. Next week, 224 SchoolBags will be distributed to children who attend Karura School in Nairobi, Kenya whilst in April 50 SchoolBags will be included in a container consignment to H Mount Sinai Senior School in Ghana. A further 250 SchoolBags are packed ready for shipping to the Piers Simon School in Sierra Leone and 190 SchoolBags are packed for Mogkome High School in Soweto. School in a Bag are also in talks to get SchoolBags out to an orphanage in Peru.