BUKIT LAWANG COVID-19 RELIEF
I’m looking to aid my friend Adi, a jungle guide from Bukit Lawang in Sumatra, Indonesia, with providing relief through food aid during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Indonesian Government has banned all tourism to Bukit Lawang, in fear that the Orangutan could become infected with the virus. Whilst this decision is no doubt commendable and necessary, the people who live there, unfortunately, suffer as a result of this. With no tourism coming to the area they have no income which they rely on heavily for basic necessities like food. A woman in Java, unfortunately, lost her life due to starvation, a knock-on effect of the pandemic in less affluent countries to our own.
Adi is looking to provide food aid by working to deliver food to those who need it most. From the second I met Adi 5 years ago to now, all my interactions with him have been him doing what is right and now is no different. It would be great if we could assist him in his efforts.
How I Met Adi
I first met Adi when I visited Bukit Lawang for a jungle trek. He picked me up from the airport, waiting for me for over 2 hours while I was held up by immigration, despite having not eaten since sunrise as it was during Ramadan. Even in spite of this, when I finally left the immigration office, he was hungry but in high spirits and couldn’t have been more friendly and warm. On the way back Adi stopped for food, we ate together and he insisted on paying for mine, despite my best efforts to persuade him otherwise, stating that this is life and that the gesture would come back to him one day. A small gesture that has stuck with me for over 5 years. Due to the hold up in immigration by the time we got back to the jungle, all the hostels were closed with no staff present to take visitors. Adi said that I could stay with him in his son's room as he was staying with a friend that night. Staying with Adi is without a doubt the most humbling experience I’ve ever had. Again in the morning, despite his limited resources and income, he made sure I was well-fed and prepared for the day of trekking ahead. Now, in the face of the pandemic, he is devoting his time to making sure food reaches the people who need it most. From the moment I've met him to now, I’ve never witnessed anything other than kindness and compassion. He has unwavering faith in humanity and I'd love if we could come together to help him in his efforts and, repay the kindness he so consistently shares with others.