Why we do our Batam Builds

Posted by Nadim van der Ros on November 23, 2018
Nadim van der Ros

Tags: Brick by Brick

Just a ferry ride away from Singapore lies Batam city, where many escape for a weekend to luxurious places such as Montigo Resorts in Nongsa. These places cater mostly to Singaporeans and create jobs for the locals, but many still live in poverty, in homes built out of scraps.


How can it be that in the bustling island known for luxury resorts, there are villages where families live under tin sheets propped up by scrapwood or plywood boards? The shacks are not hooked up to potable water, electricity or toilets. They can also collapse during the monsoon season.

No parent should have to worry if their home is going to collapse on their children on a rainy day and this is why Be An Idea is headed to one such village in Batam called Kabil on November 24 with Habitat for Humanity — a non-profit that seeks to eliminate poverty housing worldwide — to build new homes for the villagers.

Of the 20,000 who live in Kabil, a staggering four in 10 live in these sub-standard homes.

At Be An Idea, we believe any community needs access to the basics. Having a safe and structurally sound home means parents don’t have to worry about their children if they are away at work during a heavy downpour. The comforts of electricity and sanitation mean the entire family can rest better, the children can study better.

These may sound small, but they lead to better performance at work for the adults, and better jobs for the children when they are grown. I know I wouldn’t be concentrating very well at work if I spent a hot, humid night sleeping under a tin roof with insects coming in from between the plywood walls, or if it rained and the house was leaking.

To help us help this community, Be An Idea needs donations that will go towards the cost for building materials so we can hit our target amount of $5,500. The funds go directly to Habitat for Humanity, but do take note that there is no tax rebate because the Batam Build is an overseas beneficiary. We’re grateful for any amount you feel comfortable donating.


This Batam Build is part of four initiatives under Be An Idea’s corporate social responsibility programme called Brick by Brick.

Start with Hello.