The Sumba Foundation has been created by Claude Graves and Sean Downs in 2001. The main goals of this foundation was to help Sumbanese people in essential matters such as education, health, and water. Since Sumba remains one of the poorest island in Indonesia, probably due to its geographical remoteness amongst other things (it is located in East Nusa Tenggara), people have always been confronted to many issues such as of Malaria, malnutrition and lack of education. The 690 000 inhabitants of Sumba with their authentic way of life and such rich culture urgently needed to get help to improve their standard of living. They had to get a chance to offer future generations to grow in a better environment. This is what the Sumba Foundation endeavour to achieve by its many ongoing actions and fundraisings.
Education The School Lunch Program: to fight anemia and poor diet, healthy food is distributed by volunteers at some schools during lunch, to give children the strength to study correctly, and improve their intellectual development. The furniture supply helped learning condition for Sumba students. Many of them were still recently sitting on the floor whilst attending school. The foundation brought desk, table, chairs, pencils, books, sanitary… to improve these conditions. Health The foundation asked Australian surgeons to come treat patients with eye problems. Cataract disease is particularly widespread, but hopefully it can be treated in many cases compliments to the doctors’ help.
By 2010 more than a hundred operations had already been conducted. Thousands of glasses were also distributed.
Increasing the number of clinics is also an ongoing goal, as well as bringing more medical tools, offering a solid training for nurses, medical assistants and Indonesian doctors. The Malaria Microscopy Center created by The Sumba Foundation is training more and more staff to detect malaria. Infection rate has been reduced by 85% as of now, saving hundred of lives. The ultimate goal being to eradicate malaria in the whole of Sumba island. A Malnutrition Program has been set up, distributing food for people suffering of malnutrition, healing them, teaching what is necessary to eat to fulfill their needs in vitamins.
Water In West Sumba 240 water stations have been built to give drinkable water to people. Installation of water tanks were made possible thanks to generous donations. 19 000 people are now able to receive clean water on a daily basis. These water tanks are traceable on Google maps, to ensure total transparency to the donors. Farmland irrigation is now possible thanks to new wells and tap water which will considerably increase the quality of work for farmer, and improve their sources of income. Some key numbers and facts from The Sumba Foundation:
Want to be part of the Sumba Foundation volunteers team ? You can send them an email or make a donation. You can also get more informations about The Sumba Foundation by visiting their website as well as their Facebook Page.
If you are interested in Sumba development, feel free to check out this article about Hivos, another great non-profit in Sumba.
Photos: The Sumba Foundation