Students host Indonesian dinner to raise relief funds November 24, 2009
Back in September, an earthquake caused significant destruction across Indonesia. Five Calvin students—four of whom grew up in Indonesia—found a creative way to help the country from Calvin’s campus.
Chairs, tables and traditional cuisine filled Commons Lecture Hall on Friday evening, November 13, 2009, for an Indonesian fundraising buffet. With the taste of Telur Balado (a spicy egg dish) on everyone’s tongues and a cake waiting to be cut, the diners focused their attention on a brief presentation about the culture and current condition of Indonesia.
The dinner was held to raise funds for disaster relief aid in Indonesia, which was struck by another earthquake in November. “I think it’s time for us to do something about it,” said Calvin junior Jemira Budijanto, one of the students responsible for organizing the event. The buffet, co-sponsored by Calvin’s Asia Club, brought in over $1,300. “When people can eat for 50 cents a meal,” Budijanto said, “that’s a big deal.”
In addition to raising funds, she said, the dinner was meant to introduce some common Indonesian dishes, share some aspects of Indonesian culture, and explain how Indonesia has been affected by the earthquake.
"Over 1,000 people died and thousand others were displaced with their homes destroyed,” said sophomore Emily Granger, who was also on the committee."Many people were buried in the rubble suffering serious injury.”
The relief funds will be sent to a Christian organization in Indonesia called PESAT (which does not translate properly into English). “That’s the best way we can help out from half way around the world,” Budijanto said. The organization, started by her father, Bambang Budijanto, seeks to aid in development through education, relief, microfinance and ministry.
Guests of the dinner included faculty, staff, family and students, filling 140 seats total. “We were blown away at people's interest and it warms our hearts to know that it just takes a little spark to make a fire,” Granger said. Several students even donated money after all tickets had been sold, she said: “We were so impressed with everyone's generosity!”
The student committee that planned the event is called “Kilometer Kasih” (Kasih means love in Bahasa Indonesia.) They originally planned to do a benefit run—postponed due to the cold weather.
Though no date has been set, the committee is planning on going through with the run in spring, 2010. "Indonesia is in need of prayers and more relief aid,” Granger said. “It would be much appreciated if concerned students can keep up-to-date with the happenings in Indonesia and contribute to any relief funds if they feel led to.”
"There's a phrase they say in Indonesia,” Granger added, “Sedikit-sedikit, lama-lama menjadi bukit. This means ‘A little bit for a long time becomes a hill.’ This dinner was a great step to carry out long term support for Indonesia, and I truly believe that we can continue with actions to help the relief effort.”
~ Cloud Cray, communications and marketing