Lua Lemba Education and Community Development Foundation, Rote
Project established: 2000
Since 2000 indigo foundation has worked with the grassroots Lua Lemba Education and Community Development Foundation to increase opportunities for young people on the remote, arid island of Rote in eastern Indonesia.
Lua Lemba is our oldest partner. Our first initiative together was to establish a senior high school in West Rote Island. Now, many graduates from this school go on to university returning to Rote as administrators, teachers, primary health workers and business people. Many of these students were recipients of grants from the Lua Lemba bursary program.
While education remains at the core of Lua Lemba’s focus, with programs supporting early childhood education through to university level, indigo foundation has supported Lua Lemba to develop programs in women’s empowerment, health, food security and cultural strengthening, through an annual cultural festival.
Over 16 successful years we have contributed to the establishment of two senior high schools, provided education bursaries for children from kindergarten through to senior high school, trained and funding early childhood educators.
Food security has long been a concern for the people living on this arid island. In 2002 indigo foundation and Lua Lemba supported the establishment of market gardens in the village of M’bore. Run as a collective these gardens have had wide reaching impact, the produce provides both nutrition and a cash crop for farmers – mostly women – and their families.
Further, the community has used money raised by the sale of vegetables to build toilets, and has established a community bank which distributes profits to families on a two-year rotational cycle. This money is often enough to buy a motor bike, or even to build a permanent house. M’bore is sharing their knowledge and expertise with other villages enabling them to establish garden enterprises of their own.
In 2016, we are extending this food security program to establish and support five new women run cooperative gardens.
Our health programs have included mother and child health workshops, the development of a healthy schools program and a highly successful festival which focussed on reproductive and sexual health issues.
In 2010, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of indigo foundation’s collaborations in Rote, Lua Lemba founded an annual Arts and Culture festival. Now in its fifth year, it is both a hugely popular event and an important vehicle for perpetuating cultural transmission.