Flash flooding disaster inspires local fundraising event

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Palu, Central Sulawesi, after the 2018 tsunami

ONE of Canberra’s most go-ahead cross-cultural organisations, the Australia Indonesia Association (ACT), has joined the Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program to help primary school children in the province of Central Sulawesi whose school was hit by flash flooding in April this year.

The floods hit Bangga village, just 10km from the site of the former Jono Oge village, which was swallowed up by soil liquefaction in the wake of the 2018 tsunami.

Many of the students at SD Madrasah Ibtidaiyah Alkhairaat Bangga, in Bangga village, Palu, are still using tents to study and some sit on mats because of the lack of desks and chairs.

Children in Bangga Village, Palu, Sulawesi.

The two organisations hope to raise enough money to provide funds to buy 150 sets of school chairs and desks at about $15 (AUD) a set and six teachers desks at about $50 each.

The event, to take place at The Social Club in Kingston, will include Indonesian dance performances and songs by youth exchange program participants, and screenings of both Indonesian and Australian short films, which won this year’s Australia Indonesia Short Film Competition.

As well, “CityNews” hears, the AIA Committee will attempt to sing “Waltzing Matilda” in both “Aussie” English and Indonesian.

The fundraiser is seen by the organisers as a chance to mingle and practise language skills and an Indonesian food box will be provided with a drink.

Palu school fundraiser, at The Social Club, 48 Jardine Street, Kingston, 2.30-5.30pm, Sunday, October 20. Bookings and donations to trybooking.com (search for AIA Palu School Fundraising) or tickets at the door.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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