Sasak Warriors – Rinjani Dawn Adventures’ community projects initiative. Rinjani Dawn Adventures prides itself on being a socially conscious operator, giving back to the community and promoting equality and fairness. We believe in minimal impact sustainable tourism and environmental responsibility. The following sections outline some of the work our Sasak Warriors have done in the past few years. By choosing Rinjani Dawn Adventures you will be helping us grow this program.
Since it was established Rinjani Dawn Adventures has been involved with many charitable and community projects. This began with covering the medical costs of our new and very young member of staff Aef, who at the time had a life-threatening illness. Following an operation and many months of treatment, Aef regained his health and has been happily working with us ever since. Aef is currently RDA’s Operations Manager and deals with the day-to-day running of our business.
Youth Development & Education
Rinjani Dawn Adventures was proud to sponsor a 4-day trip for The Pelita Foundation in 2017, which involved a group of Lombok children climbing Mt Rinjani to raise money for a new school. The trip was a tremendous success and had a profound impact on the lives of all the children involved. A short video titled “Mount Rinjani Epic Adventure, Pelita Foundation, Lombok” can be found on our YouTube channel. More recently we have committed resources to sponsoring higher education for a promising young man from the village, who will be going to the capital, Mataram, to study English.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures is at the forefront of keeping Mount Rinjani pristine. Sadly, many unlicensed operators and individuals leave rubbish at rest-stops on the mountain, which accumulates over time. We’ve reduced the amount of plastic packaging we use on our treks, and have committed to removing pre-existing rubbish from the mountain (left by unscrupulous operators and lazy individuals). RDA frequently donates the use of its truck and staff to help the National Park authority keep Rinjani clean. We hope to expand our environmental initiatives in the future.
2018 Lombok Earthquakes
2018 was a hard year for Lombok, especially for the small community of Senaru where we are based. A series of devastating earthquakes resulted in the destruction of 80-90% of homes, scarcity of food and water, and the complete loss of income for most people. The area is highly dependent on tourism, especially Mt Rinjani trekking.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures Earthquake Relief – “Sasak Warriors”
In the wake of the 2018 Lombok earthquakes Rinjani Dawn Adventures set-about re-deploying all of our resources to helping people affected by the disaster. We raised money through friends and family, and by reaching-out to past customers. Our efforts started in Senaru with the construction of a medical and logistics post. Later we focused on providing materials and labour for the construction of shelters, and the establishment of a local ambulance service. Please read-on for further details about our “Sasak Warriors” earthquake relief program.
Medical & Logistics Post
The first project we did was constructing a medical and logistics post in Senaru. At this point in time some aid was coming to the area, but storage and distribution was an issue. Our manager and his wife kindly allowed us to use the land of a ruined building (their family shop) as the location for the new medical and logistics post. We set-about knocking down cracked walls and clearing away rubble, assisted by family, friends and other volunteers within this close-knit community. Using money from our fund we built a simple but strong structure using wood and salvaged material. In the aftermath of a traumatizing experience, this first project served as a much-needed morale booster, bringing life into our earthquake relief mission. The medical and logistics post was used by visiting Dr’s and aid groups, as well as by the village chief (Kudus) for the fair distribution of food, blankets, tarpaulins and other essentials.
Senaru Village is dependent on Mount Rinjani for its water. A pipe runs from a mountain stream catchment in Gunung Rinjani National Park, 3km down the mountain to Senaru. It traverses cliffs, passes through dense jungle and contours around wooded hillside before reaching the village. The pipe is made from a fairly lightweight PVC material, as the villagers maintain their water supply themselves and can’t afford a more durable, long-term option. During the 2018 Lombok earthquakes parts of the pipe were destroyed and Senaru’s water trickled to a stop.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures transformed our small “Grand Max” truck (which is usually used for transporting porters and equipment to and from Sembalun) into a water truck. By placing two large water tanks in the back of the truck we could effectively supply the village with this essential resource. RDA’s manager, Aef drove this truck to an irrigation stream 7km away, filling the tanks using a motorised pump we had in storage. He then returned to the village, filling-up smaller tanks in different locations. This was repeated 10-12 times a day for many weeks following the earthquakes.
As well as supplying the village with mountain stream water, we also set-up drinking water stations at the logistics post, using bucket filters that had been donated.
Food, Hygiene & Shelter
Many people lost their homes and incomes in the 2018 Lombok earthquakes. The government response was inadequate to meet the scale of the disaster and foreign aid was refused (no state of emergency was declared, despite an estimated 350,000 people being displaced or homeless). Camps were set up in certain parts of the island, but sadly government aid did not reach more remote communities such as Senaru in the quantities that were needed. Most of the aid that came through was delivered by proactive groups of volunteers.
Using money from our fundraising campaign, Rinjnai Dawn Adventures contributed food, hygiene products and other essential supplies to the villagers of Senaru. Wishing to be as impartial as possible, we worked with the Kudus (village chief) to ensure fair allocation of aid. Over the months we contributed many tonnes of rice, as well as vegetables, soap, sanitary towels and other essential items. With the onset of rainy season threatening, promoting good hygiene practises was a priority.
Re-building a community
House insurance is either rare or non-existent in Senaru. People are poor, and what little money they have usually goes towards staples such as rice and vegetables. In the wake of the earthquakes many people were made homeless, the estimated figure of 350,000 was widely reported by the world’s media. But the news cycle is short and the plight of the destitute was soon forgotten.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures and our team of Sasak Warriors (which had grown to 20+ volunteers) allocated money and resources to assist with re-building houses. Although simple, these buildings have provided much needed shelter during the rainy season. We have managed to help approximately 10 families re-build so far.
Our efforts have focused mainly on the village where we are based, Senaru. We have, however, conducted a series of outreach programs to other communities. The first of these was to one of our guide’s villages, on the other side of the mountain. Located in the remote forest village of Bilok Petung near Sembalun, we supplied Josi with money, water tanks and food. We are currently trying to incorporate the village into a sightseeing/camping package as a means of generating income for Josi’s community.
Aef, the team leader and main organiser behind the “Sasak Warriors” team worked tirelessly in the months following the earthquakes, helping people wherever he could. Being a very humble and unassuming fellow, he never mentioned the plight of his own family, especially his mother who had lost her home and was living in a tent. Supplying building materials and labour, the Sasak Warriors built a simple but sturdy house for Ibu Nuraini in Lendang Berora village.
Mr Ung was another individual the Sasak Warriors helped as part of our outreach program. With a young family, sick father in law and a house destroyed in the 2018 Lombok Earthquakes, Mr Ung was definitely in need of some assistance. By providing materials and labour, Rinjani Dawn Adventures was able to provide shelter for Mr Ung and his family.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures has been operating a community ambulance following the 2018 earthquakes, utilising our multi-purpose “Grand Max” truck (which also doubles as a water-truck). Thankfully there wasn’t an outbreak of contagious disease in the wake of the earthquakes, so most of these ambulance services have involved taking the old and infirm to hospital. It occurs on an informal, ad hoc basis, when someone approaches the village chief Jeri, or our manager Aef and asks for help. We have recently decked-out the truck with a portable bed and tarpaulin cover, so patients are more comfortable.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures “Sasak Warriors” have conducted many other outreach projects. Once our business gets back on its feet and starts generating much needed income we hope to expand the scope of the projects, but the above are some good examples of the work we’ve been doing to date.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures genuinely believes in helping people and in being part of our community. Throughout this recent disaster we have operated at a loss to keep our staff employed and deployed them in earthquake relief activities for the benefit of the community at large. In the future we hope to expand the “social enterprise” side of our business to sponsor education and environmental initiatives, but we need customers to help achieve this mission. By booking with us, you will be supporting a greater cause. We warmly welcome you in joining us in rebuilding our precious community.