Student - August 14, 2018

Lombok struck by earthquake; Indonesian students reach out to help

Luuk Zegers

Indonesian students are raising money for emergency relief in Lombok, which was recently struck by a heavy earthquake. They have already raised around 2400 euros. The students are also collecting items such as blankets, clothing and kitchenware.

Indonesian WUR students from Lombok and its vicinity. Sausan Nafisah is second from the right. © Sausan Nafisah

The death toll of the heavy earthquake on Lombok has already reached 436, according to the NOS (website in Dutch). Sausan Nafisah (28) follows the Bioinformatics programme in Wageningen on a grant she receives from the Indonesian government. She read what was happening in her home country on WhatsApp. ‘I was in shock. I tried to reach my family, but I could not reach my father right away, because the network was down. Once I knew that my family and friends were okay, I started to help the people in Lombok.’ Nafisah’s family and friends are uninjured, but the houses of several of her friends were partially destroyed. ‘Some houses are fine; others are collapsed, partly collapsed or fractured.’

According to Nafisah, at least nine WUR students are from the stricken area. ‘In our group chat, we initiated an open donation campaign and spread it out with the help of PPI Wageningen, the Indonesian student association.’

I was in shock. I tried to reach my family, but I could not reach my father right away, because the network was down.
Indonesian student Sausan Nafisah

Online aid
Nafisah keeps updated on the situation in Indonesia through WhatsApp and social media. ‘The messages that circulate in WhatsApp groups are crazy. People are sending information that they are trapped; they are reaching out for help.’ The Indonesian WUR students use WhatsApp for more than just gathering information: last Saturday, they organised an online discussion via WhatsApp to teach volunteers in Lombok about psychological recovery following disasters. This way, they try to inform aid workers in the stricken area.

Besides raising money, the students are also collecting clothing, kitchenware, blankets and other useful items. They will send everything to Lombok at the end of August.

If you want to donate money:
IBAN:                 NL57ABNA0548619409
In the name of:   K Pahmi Rahmawati
Note:                  ‘Pray for Lombok’

If you want to donate items:
Contact Nafisah by e-mail or by phone (, +316-30630148).