The Ono Niha Foundation

Registration Number  : PEM-0003084ER/WPJ.26/KP.0603/2012
NPWP No.   : 31.498.355.2-126.000
Place / date of registration : Gunung Sitoli, Nias, Indonesia, 02 / 04 /2012

Who are we

We are small, not-for-profit organisation registered in Indonesia. Our full name is Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat Ono Niha Foundation, which means “Non-government organisation for the people of Nias”.

Where are we

 We are based in Hiliamaeta Village, which is near Lagundri Bay and the famous Sorake Beach surf break, in South Nias off the West coast of Sumatra. We have a support base in Australia, and our Foundation's project is registered with World Relief Australia (see Navigation/Links).

Our vision and our passion

To provide physical, economic and spiritual healing to the poor and disadvantaged of south Nias and beyond through a self-sustaining, locally directed and managed Foundation.

We are driven by Jesus’ love for the poor, the widowed and the orphaned. We desire to bring sustainable long-term improvement so that we are no longer needed because the poor and disadvantaged can now stand on their own two feet.

Our history

Channa and Ruby Senaratne (from Australia) lived in west Sumatra and the surrounding islands for many years, driven by the desire to help the local communities.  They returned to the Nias area after the 2004 tsunami and earthquake that devastated the region. They established the LEAP Foundation to improve local health and incomes of the poor communities on the islands. They developed small, village based virgin coconut oil and fiberglass fishing canoe businesses on one of the remote islands (Honako), and mentored several locals including Matius (Matt) Wau in business and community ethics and a passion for the poor and disadvantaged. They returned to Australia in 2010 to raise their growing family.

Matt’s passion to encourage local community development continued. He established Ono Niha Oil which now produces virgin coconut oil at its factory in South Nias. It provides much-needed employment and contributes 20% of its profits to the local community through ONF. He and his wife Reni continue to run ONF on a voluntary basis.

Patricia Breedon (special needs educator, Australia) arrived in Nias in 2009 as a full-time volunteer, and with Matt and Reni established the Ono Niha Foundation (ONF). Patricia worked as a full time volunteer at the Foundation base for about 3 years, providing English and computer classes from her small bungalow on the Foundation’s base. She returned to Australia in about 2013 for health reasons.

Peter and Jill Hofman started doing short-term aid trips to Asian and African countries in 2005. They first helped Channa and Ruby with their aid program in 2008, providing dental clinics around the islands of the Nias group. They have been hooked on Indonesia ever since, and return to the Foundation’s base for about two months every year. They manage the Foundation’s project registered with World Relief Australia.

Coincidences are interesting, or are they really coincidences! Independently in 2005-6, Channa and Peter had similar ideas about travellers giving a part of their holiday to help struggling communities. They both called this idea “Holidays with Purpose”. This is now a significant part of the ONF program.

We hope you enjoy reading about ONF and about our passion.   Maybe you will become part of the vision - who knows!

We welcome your comments. Please email us at, or visit our "How you can help" page.