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 their 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 and Colangelo’s first visit to Sembalun, they 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.