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Sep '06

All about Bruecke Nach Sumatra

THIS project was established soon after the tsunami, which claimed a great number of victims. It was Elke Lies, 56, then a German-language course instructor at the Goethe Institut Bandung, who emerged with her idea to help survivors of the disaster. What struck her at that time was how to find a way of saving children who were orphaned by this calamity.

She was moving between Aceh and Medan for some time before finally meeting Tati Buesing, an Indonesian woman with a German husband, in her residence in Bremen. Elke described her plan to help tsunami victims, particularly children. Tati, hailing from North Sumatra, agreed. With the support of Lions Club Osterholz in Bremen and her daughter Sonya Lies, they launched their social action by providing shelter for children.

Bruecke nach Sumatra (Bridge to Sumatra) was officially set up on June 30, 2005 in Bremen. Now it has 13 members. Its executives in fact happen to have some connections with North Sumatra, such as Vice Chairman Robin Heyd, who works as a pilot and has a wife of Batak origin, or Erwin Silaban, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia currently studying at the University of Bremen.

At first the project was started to take care of children victimized by the tsunami in Aceh and earthquake in Nias. But in the future, said Elke, Bruecke would also undertake several social activities in Indonesia, like the building of decent homes for neglected children or the restoration of orangutans to their forest habitat. “We are grateful for the great sympathy shown to our activities so that we have received a lot of donations,” concluded Elke, the German teacher of foreign citizens in Bremen.

Sumber : (Sri Pudyastuti Baumeister, Braunschweig)  Majalah Tempo via Kabar Irian & INFID

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