It has been another hectic week at the Aceh center, mainly due to a fundraising event that we started to organise on Monday. We had the idea to hold a fundraising event and within 2 hours we had found a venue that we could use for free and had arranged an ‘open stage’ style event where performers of all types such as musicians, actors and stand up comedians could all perform. This led to many late nights creating banners and fliers for the event, encouraging volunteers to contact their friends to find performers and advertising using our radio and ILOVEACEH twitter connections. Putting on an event is a lot of hard work and can be stressful sometimes, but we will be able to promote IHF and encourage the audience to donate to the center so that we can fix our leaking roof. The event itself went really well although the rain concerned us for a while as it was hosted at an outside venue. There were many acts including a blind guitarist, beat boxers and a traditional pantomime performance. A lot of people came despite the weather and the fact that there was another concert in Aceh with two famous musicians playing for free. The owner has asked us to put on the event twice a month so hopefully we will continue to have fun and raise some money doing this.
We have also welcomed many new volunteers this week who have been very helpful already and have some valuable skills and connections for the center. Melissa is a trained psychologist and works at some schools in Aceh, her skills will be incredibly beneficial when the center has live-in orphans as she is willing to help with counseling. Eri is another new volunteer who works at a center for blind people and runs a blind massage business. She is extremely helpful and has already been involved in our orphan and student recruitment campaigns. Her friend has also joined our center to set up a football club. He is a player on the Aceh team and many students have already signed up to take part.
We did some recruitment campaigns this week and found another poor area, Lambaru Skep where we can set up outside classes just like at Blang Krueng. There is already a building that we can use and the Geucik was very keen for the classes to start up soon. This is great as we will be doing four outside classes a week, which is all that we can handle, and also be running our in-center classes six days a week. This means that we will be teaching as many classes as possible and therefore reaching a wider group of children who all deserve a good education.
Overall, it has been a busy but productive week here, hopefully we will continue to progress at this rate in all our projects. I only have one more week left here and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone.