Rebuild Nipah Campaign

Nipah, Lombok, Indonesia – Americans on the internet are banding together to rebuild a village in Indonesia after earthquakes destroyed the village of a fisherman who saved the life of a political activist.

After being swept out to sea by a riptide while on vacation near Bali, Ryan Clayton was alone and treading water for 12 hours as he floated 6 miles away from the nearest island. He was then rescued by a fisherman named Pur, who brought him back to the local fishing village of Nipah in Lombok, Indonesia.

Rebuild Nipah Campaign
Rebuild Nipah Campaign

“It was a miracle that I was saved by Pur while floating alone in the ocean, lost at sea, from sunset to sunrise,” said Ryan Clayton, “Before I left Nipah, I told people in the village to please let me know if there was ever anything I could do for them. I had no idea that favor would be needed so soon.”


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One week after Ryan’s rescue, a series of 7.0 earthquakes hit Indonesia and leveled every home in Nipah. Aftershocks coming in waves over the last month make recovery difficult, the government has not sent any assistance, and international aid groups have not come into help. Nipah’s economy depends on fishing and tourism, both of which were affected by the quakes, so in addition to having their homes destroyed, many villagers are not able to get back to work.

“What we need now is water, clean water, and tents,” said Nipah Village Leader Mr. Daeng, “If we have US $1,000, if God will, we want to rebuild our homes, that’s it.”

Village in Lombok
Village in Lombok

With friends and fellow political activists, Ryan has started a campaign to “Rebuild Nipah” on Indiegogo, including a video that tells the story of Ryan’s rescue and shows the devastation of the earthquakes. The cost to build a new home in Nipah is approximately $1,000, so the goal of the #RebuildNipah campaign is to raise over $100,000 and rebuild every home in the village.

Harvard University Law Professor Lawrence Lessig took to Twitter to highlight the campaign, tweeting, “A friend was swept to sea by a riptide. 12 hours later, he was saved by a fisherman. A week later, the fisherman’s village was flattened by an earthquake. Help my friend raise the money to rebuild the village?”

Donations to the campaign are tax-deductible and funds will be transferred directly to the people of Nipah to purchase building materials and hire home builders. In addition, the Rebuild Nipah campaign is working with community leaders and volunteers on the ground to facilitate the building of sustainable earthquake-resistant structures and distribute basic needs to residents.

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