Jimi Hendrix once sang that the story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye: the story of love is hello, and goodbye.
People have often asked us, "So, what is the Chapter W story? How did you guys come about?" I cannot claim to speak on behalf of the other co-founders. Their stories are their own to tell. But I am certain that passion, being part of a cause larger than oneself, a feeling that there are many things in the world that are not 'right', and a desire to make a difference; all these elements would be the complex knots that would tie all our stories together.
My story began when a massive tsunami hit Aceh in 2004. I visited the place several times after the disaster. And I noticed that something was not right. Here is a place where an unimaginable amount of help was being given but many types of aid turned out to be unsuitable. I saw toilets for newly built homes being turned into store rooms. Nobody knew it was culturally alien for the Acehnese in rural areas to have toilets located within their homes. In the hustle and bustle of recovery, no one asked the Acehnese what they really needed. No one involved them. Yet, I sense a tremendous amount of restlessness, energy and resourcefulness amongst them. In one of the survivor's camp, I saw a woman turning part of her tent into a mini convenience store.