October 6, 2022
JAKARTA – Known for their solidarity and philanthropy in times of need, the Indonesian fans of K-pop group BTS, who call themselves “ARMY”, have raised funds to help those affected by the Kanjuruhan Stadium tragedy, which occurred in Malang, East Java, on Saturday.
Using the Kita Bisa online crowdfunding platform, the group raised more than Rp 447 million (US$29,316) in just over a day, exceeding the first goal of raising Rp 75 million and Tuesday’s updated goal of reaching Rp 400 million.
The fundraising campaign, which opened on Monday and was originally slated to run for 13 days, has now been closed until further notice.
“The victims who died in the Arema versus Persebaya match on Saturday […] are not just a number. There are people who lost their spouses or children,” reads the statement by BTS ARMY Project Lombok on the fundraising page.
“No football match is worth human lives,” the page’s tagline reads.
The ARMY members said they would give the money directly to victims’ families as “business capital for those who have lost the provider of their family as well as educational compensation for the children they leave behind”.
The disaster occurred after fans stormed the field and police fired tear gas into the crowd and the stands. At least 125 people died and hundreds of others were injured in the ensuing stampede.
The BTS ARMY is no stranger to philanthropic causes. The South Korean boy band’s legions of fans around the world famously raised US$1 million for the Black Lives Matter movement in just a day in 2020, and the Indonesian branch raised funds for food aid for motorcycle taxi drivers in 2021.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo himself has also ordered that the victims’ families be provided Rp 50 million (US$3,279) each in compensation.