Flashbacks: ACT’S Best Nine Global Actions in 2017 (Part 1)

Flashbacks: ACT’S Best Nine Global Actions in 2017 (Part 1)

ACTNews, JAKARTA - Time has passed, but pictures and stories are everlasting. Twelve months have gone in 2017, Alhamdulillah, ACT, along with the people of Indonesia, has recorded thousands of stories from every corner of the earth, locally and globally.

It’s been a year of humanitarian endeavors: taking thousands of pictures, writing new stories, accompanying those stricken by conflicts, greeting our brethren in developing countries. From Palestine, Syria, Yemen, to the baren lands of Africa in Somalia, Nigeria and Sudan. There’s also a story about the full support and the rekindling of hope for the Rohingya, who became the victims of genocide, both in their homeland in Myanmar and their exile in Bangladesh.

Throughout the journey along the year, from one humanitarian action to another in countries thousands of kilometers away from Indonesia, there were humanitarian aids that were distributed, there are wonderful events written in our memories. We, from ACTNews editorial board, tried to summarize nine best stories about the aids that have been successfully delivered by ACT in global scale.

However, due to the extensive length, we will divide the nine stories into three different articles. Today, (18/1) we will write the first three stories chronologically.

1. Bakeries operation

January 2017, right one year ago, another continuous action was commenced. Two bakeries supplying daily bread for the Syrian refugees started operating with the support of the Indonesians.

Two bakeries for the Syrians received operational support from Indonesians, given through ACT. The first bakery was in the city of Kilis, on the edge of Turkey, close to Syria. This bakery produced 120 thousand loaves of bread, eight loaves each package, distributed around the area of Azaz, a rural area close to Aleppo.

The second bakery was located in Syria, close to Idlib, on the western edge of Syria. The products of the bakery in Idlib was distributed to 4.620 refugee families. At the time, this bakery in Idlib used 2.240 sacks of flour (50 kilograms each), 900 kgs of yeast, 520 kgs or salt, 425 kgs of sugar, 156 liters of oil, 1.500 kgs of plastic packaging, and 16.000 gas for the fuel. Every day, this bakery was operated by 12 workers. The quantity of the product was tremendous: from this Indonesian bakery, 36.900 loaves of khubz were produced for the Syrian refugees.

 2. Food Crisis – Humanitarian Ships for Somalia & Rohingya

A Humanitarian Ship in the midst of Somalian food crisis.

The first humanitarian ship supported by the Indonesians was sailed in this moment: the 2017 famine in Africa. At that time, April 2017, there’s an event that became the center of attention for the whole Indonesian country. A great initiative became the first historical record of Indonesian humanitarian action. For the first time, a ship carrying 1.000 tons of rice donation. It's a form of a concrete action of our concern to the famine afflicting the people of Somalia.

After a 35 day of sea travel, 2 transits in Singaporean and Dubai harbor, this massive vessel finally arrived in the port of Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 5th 2017.

After its arrival, the donation of 1.000 tons of rice was welcomed happily. A small but cheerful ceremony was held on the edge of the dock of Mogadishu harbor. A total of 40 containers was unloaded slowly from the ship MSC Capri.

The 1.000 tons of rice from the Indonesians to the people of Somalia was received directly by Mariam Kasim, the Minister for Human Development and Public Services. She led a new ministry formed by the elected government to deal with the famine. This welcoming ceremony was also witnessed by Mohammad Salah as the vice governor of Mogadishu, and Sheikh Bashir, a prominent Muslim preacher in Somalia.

Representing the people of Somalia, Maria Kasim expressed her immense gratitude for the rice that was delivered to Somalia.

“Alhamdulillah, we thank Indonesia for gathering donation for their brethren in Somalia. May Allah reward you all. I will instruct the Somali National Drought Committee to distribute the rice to the most needy families,” said Kasim.

Humanitarian Ship II: 2.000 tons, the biggest rice donation for Rohingya.

Not only once, another Indonesian Humanitarian Ship sailed forth late September 2017, this time to Bangladesh, where the number of Rohingya refugees exploded after 2017's Eid-ul-Adha. After officially released by Khofifah Indar Parawansa, Indonesian Ministry of Social Affair, from Terminal Petikemas Surabaya, the Humanitarian Ship for Rohingya arrived in Chittagong in early November 2017.

Saturday (11/11) night, for the first time, dozens of trucks departed from the same spot in Chittagong harbor. The trucks headed to the same location: a storehouse for food donation administered by Bangladeshi government, Cox’s Bazar Division, around 144 kilometers from the harbor.

That Saturday night became a historical journey for Indonesian humanitarian action. After being held for quite a long time due to unfinished administrative requirements, finally 2.000 tons of rice from Indonesia was finally permitted to reach Cox’s Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of refugees lived in humble makeshift shelters.

On a permit by the Chittagong Division, Indonesia was written as the biggest donor to send food donation to the Rohingya. The name “Indonesia” shone brightly with the approximate weight of the rice reaching 2.077 metric tons! From this number, as much as 2.000 tons was donated under Aksi Cepat Tanggap, representing Indonesians' great trust.

Contacted directly from Cox’s Bazar, Bambang Triyono, Director of Global Humanity Response ACT, explained that until November 1st 2017, 15 countries were recorded as the food donors for Rohingya.

“Alhamdulillah, Indonesia once again becomes a dominant name in the humanitarian field to help Rohingya. Moreover, ACT became the first Indonesian NGO to be fully permitted to distribute food, also to build 1.000 shelters or integrated housings inside Kutupalong Camp, Ukhiya,” he added.

 3. Donation for Rohingya teachers and iftar for Rohingya

Still about Rohingya, just few months before the Rohingya refugees exploded after 2017 Eid-ul-Adha, a concrete action for the Rohingya had started. Ramadan 1438 AH, June 2017. During the last ten days of Ramadan, ACT dispatched SOS X (ten) Rohingya team to Bangladesh. Their plan was to deliver aid from an ACT donor (LAZ Al-Irsyad Purwokerto). This donation was delivered in the form of thousands of iftar packages. It was added with the distribution of food packages for Rohingya refugees, still in late Ramadan. After that, donation was given to dozens of native Arakan teacher, who sincerely taught Rohingya refugee children in several refugee camps in Bangladesh. This humanitarian action for Rohingya in Ramadan 2017 was centered in three points at the same time: Dohazari, Patiya and Cox’s Bazar.

According to Rahadiansyah, during last Ramadan, dozens of teachers were supported by ACT every month, from food to transport. The Indonesians’ care donated through ACT was given so that the teachers could continue teaching Rohingya children and dedicate themselves sincerely, without thinking about fulfilling their daily needs and the transport for teaching.

“The trust that we carried last Ramadan 2017 was to distribute 1.000 packages of iftar dinner to 1.000 refugees, 500 food packages and aid to 75 Rohingya teachers of Arakan origins,” concluded Rahadiansyah, the coordinator of SOS Rohingya X Team. []

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