When we designed our latest T-shirt collection, our aim was to help renovate a school on Lombok. But then the pandemic came in – including a total lockdown. This resulted in a myriad of families getting from a small income into absolutely nothing at all. That’s why we changed our plan about how we spend the proceeds of our charity T-shirts.
It was April 2019 when we visited the SDN1 Senggigi school on Lombok, Indonesia. The school building was badly affected by the biggest earthquake Lombok had to deal with in the history of the island. That’s why we set out to support the school with our T-shirt concept: we asked the kids of the school to make some drawings, asked internationally renowned designers, (street)artists and illustrators to design T-shirts using the kids’ drawings and with the proceeds we wanted to rebuild the school building.
In July 2019 we sold our first T-shirts and in February 2020 American actor/singer Jack Black endorsed us on his Instagram account which let us reach his 6 million followers. This put us right on track to support the school on Lombok. But then the pandemic spread around the globe…
COVID-19 turned everything upside down. Including our organisation. Our operation in The Netherlands, where we are located, came to a halt because of the lockdown. But as we in the West can rely on government support to continue our daily lives, the lockdown in Lombok resulted in a myriad of families losing their incomes. Most people on Lombok work in tourism. But without any tourists coming to the island, almost all local people got out of work. This made the pandemic an economic crisis instantly.
That’s why we decided to use parts of the proceeds of our tees to support the people on Lombok. At first we sent out budgets to our volunteers who help us operate. But soon after we transferred budgets to get the kids (and their families) food packages, including rice, eggs, oil, soap and masks. This enabled the families to feed themselves for a month.
Last weekend a new budget to finance new food packages arrived. Thanks to our local managers Ata and Tomi the packages were handed out immediately in order to help the local people of Lombok. They’re great, because without their help we were unable to support the kids of the school this fast.
Photo: Ayu (9), who is wearing the T-shirt she designed together with Dutch artist Hedof, is showing the food package she just received.
What about the school renovation?
Currently all kids are staying at home. And all building activities are cancelled. So at this moment we feel it’s better to use our budgets to help the kids and the teachers of the school survive in this lockdown. Once the pandemic will fade away, we will re-focus on the renovation. But when this will take place is something we cannot foresee at this point.
Feel free to support us
If you want to help the kids and their families during this lockdown and you are on the lookout for uniquely designed T-shirts with an even more unique story behind it? Then we definitely suggest going to our webshop right now. Because wearing is caring. And know that all proceeds are being used to support the families in Lombok!