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tsunami 2004

The Laga Handbags Story

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck from the shore of Southeast Asia a single day after Christmas, 2004, apparently killed over 285, 000 individuals of which 185,000 passed away inside province of Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia alone. Houses and nearest and dearest were swept away by the liquid.

In Orange, California, time trader Roy van Broekhuizen received a call from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Ca, asking if he'd lead tsunami relief groups to Indonesia to help with the relief efforts.

Roy came along with his 1st volunteer staff from chapel a few weeks after the tragedy.

The thoughts of lifeless systems, destruction, chaos, disaster, helplessness and much more will continue to be in his mind's eye permanently.

Sobbing over figures, bandaging the injured and working aided by the people to reconstruct tattered everyday lives, that very first day at Banda Aceh changed Roy’s life forever. He appeared back home from then on very first journey along with his suitcase packed with cashews, coffee-and other things he could consider to offer and boost more cash of these survivors.

Roy believed to wife, Louise, “Honey, i need to go back. I Need To return back.”

It had been on Roy’s travel in June 2005, to Banda Aceh that Louise made a decision to quit her work and join Roy within the relief energy. Amid the chaos and destruction, Roy and Louise worked together to carry relief anywhere and nevertheless they could. Thereon trip, Louise ended up being introduced to a little handicraft store filled up with gorgeous handmade bags and add-ons that had been stitched on old-fashioned treadle stitching devices, without electricity, embroidery that has been hand-guided with old-fashioned Acehnese habits that had been offered from one generation to another.

The story moved and grabbed her heart.

After returning house or apartment with types of bags sewn by ladies for the “Land for the Beautiful People, ” Louise presented property celebration August 2006 in their residence and invited 20 friends in an effort to share their tale and photographs she took on her behalf first day at Banda Aceh. She could boost sufficient funds to return and purchase more of these amazing works of art. There have been a few even more these types of home functions and, because of the overwhelming reaction to this work, Roy and Louise continued to carry back more handbags with every trip. Then your concept struck: this may be an ideal way to affect numerous lives both in Aceh province along with the usa and particularly the tsunami survivors these people were trying to assist. It had been after that that Laga Handbags was created.

“within the Acehnese language, Laga(k) means stunning.”

To their next trip back, Roy and Louise used the resources they lifted to rent a workshop for twelve ladies who had lost exactly what fateful December day. Their goal would be to assist them to rebuild their particular resides and their particular neighborhood – training them to produce quality bags and accessories that may be valued by feamales in america and worldwide.

Louise gave each bag a name that presents exactly what Laga way to the women in Indonesia. Harapan suggests “hope.” Damai indicates “peace.” Selalu means “always.” And minds sang when, years later, they launched Ria, which means that “cheerful!”

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