When I left Indo last summer, I came back to the US full of piss-n-vinegar, all riled up to get 4th World Love off the ground. And, I did. All it took was a little brainstorming with my brilliant boys on the ground over there and some time putting together a budget for Phase 1, and we were off. Just like that.
Once I got home and got my pal Lisa involved, before you know it, we had the website built, a killer contest in the works, and some fundraising 101 to keep us busy. Now, in less than three weeks, I'm heading back. A/ I Can't Wait and B/ I could never do this without the help of Mister Am and my good buddy Royal. Those two are the glue that binds the whole project together...they help me facilitate every single move we make in the village of Sembalun; they round up people and get them excited about learning; they go with the families of the babies who need cleft palate surgery to the hospital (staying with them as long as needed, and in Rako's case, it was 18 days in Bali); they help implement new ideas; they tool around with me on scooters; they plan things and get me inspired every single time we text or email; they organize Rinjani treks for me; they feed my belly; they make me part of their family and let me stay in their homes; they make me laugh til I cry....and they do it all for free, without complaint EVER. They just can't believe that I keep coming back, keep sending dinero and good vibes, keep helping out, keep showing interest in them, and keep making them see the sunshine on not-so-sunny days. What an honor.
Even as we speak, Am is with Baby Azi in Jakarta, helping organize all elements for his surgery and Royal is helping me organize getting a bunch of tools for Tindih so he can build a bunch of tables for our computer room and start a little wood-working business. Turns out Am will get the tools in Jakarta and haul them all the way back to SMBL cause it's way cheaper to buy them there. Help me, help you, help us all. I love it.
To plan Phase 1 of 4WL, we had a drink in a little cafe in Senggigi on my last night on Lombok (love that Bintang) and Am scribbled out a budget for all that we needed to do (my arm is slung around Royal and Am is on the left hamming it up--they love cameras). The plan came in no time and I cannot wait to go back over there, full of goodies that so many generous people have donated (meanwhile, how the heck am I hauling all this stuff?).
Phase 2 is coming up and in the meantime, check out this nice bit Ruth over at Reel Chicago did on 4WL. If you are in Chi this summer (mid-June), you gotta come to the fundraiser we're going to put together - it will make ya wanna jam to Indo STAT.
Here is the article and the link is here:
Tosh, Colangelo demonstrate 4th World Love
Producers head for Indonesia to help poor villagers
When Misty Tosh completes her reality show assignment in mid-March, the globe-trotting producer will spend a month of humanitarian work in the slim volcanic Indonesian island of Lombok.
There, in the tiny village of Sembalun, Tosh and her production partner, Lisa Colangelo, will resume their mission of providing English education and self-help programs to the island villagers.
The traveling filmmakers first went to Indonesia two years ago after working on back-to-back production projects, one of which had a profound effect on Tosh.
She had been the line producer traveling all over the U.S. as line producer on Oprah Winfrey’s “The Big Give” reality show, where the prize went to the persons who performed the highest number of philanthropic deeds.
On her first visit to Sembalum on Lombok, Tosh fell in love with the villagers and saw ways to help improve their lives. “They are very poor but very happy, beautiful people,” said Tosh.
On Tosh's first visit to Sembalun, she lived with a family and taught them English in exchange for their hospitality.
Soon they extended free English and computer lessons to eager guides and porters who escort tourists, most of them English-speaking, to Indonesia’s second highest volcano, a major tourist attraction and the village’s sole source of income.
By time Tosh returned for another work respite, the wheels were spinning. “Being the schemer dreamer I am,” she said, “I felt we could start a permanent English program for these people by hiring a bilingual teacher.”
To accomplish this, they formed non-profit 4th World Love last fall and raised $15,000 and made the community center a reality.
“We found a bungalow, opened the school, bought desks and hired teachers. Classes immediately filled up with five classes per day and 15 students per class,” she said.
During their March 16-April 16 return to Sembalun, the producers will start the next phase of their mission. “We want to bring in volunteers to teach organic farming and to create self-help program, such as sewing, where the people can sell the things they make,” Tosh said.
Towards this end, 4th World Love will hold a giant event this late spring or summer not only to raise cash, but to solicit donations of books, computers and printers and cameras for a documentary Tosh and Colangelo will shoot with the villagers assistance.
At the moment, Tosh and Coangelo are in Los Angeles for the post phase of the realty show, “Southern Belles,” shot in Kentucky for Endemol Productions, the biggest reality production company in the world.
The 10 hour-long series will debut the end of May on SoapNet, the Disney-owned cable channel.
“It’s been a blast,” said Tosh, who was line producer, Colangelo production manager, for the eight months total they will have spent on the show.
To find out how you can be part of 4th World Love, see www.fourthworldlove.org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. —Ruth L Ratny