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IDEP Helping Aceh Victims Rebuild their Lives

IDEP Foundation – Helping Aceh Victims Rebuild their Lives

The Indonesian Development of Education and Permaculture (IDEP) Foundation was one of the first organizations to rapidly respond in the tsunami-affected region of Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Since the devastating December 26, 2004 earthquake, the organization has distributed over US $500,000 in aid and sent 200 international volunteers and staff to work on the ground in both the response and ongoing disaster recovery phases.

To help the displaced Aceh survivors rebuild their lives, IDEP -- an Indonesian non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that began in 1998 at the height of Indonesia’s severe financial and social crisis – is working on the long-term recovery phase through programs targeting the critical needs.

Below is a summary of programs IDEP has initiated over the past year as part of Banda Aceh’s ongoing tsunami recovery efforts.

Disaster Relief via the Endless Sun

In the first weeks following the disaster, IDEP partnered with other Asian NGOs to actively deliver relief supplies via the Endless Sun – a wooden, 40 meter, 700 ton custom-made shallow draft boat that brought aid to inaccessible, worst hit areas in Aceh.

The series of 12-week voyages delivered building materials, self-sufficiency items such as brick presses, mechanical, carpentry and fishing implements. The Endless Sun had delivered 87 tons of rice donated by the World Food Program to four isolated communities in Nias before it struck an uncharted coral reef and sunk.

Miraculously, all 20 of the crew and volunteers survived. Even more miraculous is that about 80% of the onboard aid was salvaged.

Community Based Recovery and Rehabilitation of Samatiga

IDEP is conducting workshops related to community-based enterprise and development. IDEP trainers help community members acquire skills in simple civil engineering, appropriate technology, bamboo treatment and construction, permaculture and solar cooking.

In Samatiga, one of the hardest hit suburbs, IDEP has three inter-related programs:

1. the provision of health services and health training;

2. sustainable livelihoods technology; and

3. community management disaster training.

IDEP built a modest bamboo clinic and counseling center where thousands of patients have been treated and given primary medical care and informal stress counseling. Serving some 1,500 patients a month, this clinic was built hastily in February to meet the post-tsunami needs.


As soon as funding is available, IDEP will build a Community Centre with a classroom, library, kitchen, staff quarters, toilets and a children's playground.

The Greenhand Field School Project

Another Aceh Recovery Program is the Greenhand Field School Project, a center where people from tsunami-affected areas obtain practical training in a live-in model village. Located 50 kilometers outside Banda Aceh, the school will provide instruction in food security systems.

The trainees, half of whom are women, will be taught such skills as sustainable village design principles, water and sanitation strategies, home garden food production, animal husbandry, year-round food security, small enterprise development, natural resource development, ecological repair and maintenance, shelter design and construction with found materials.

Local Disaster Preparedness Training

A well managed and prepared community is a key factor in saving lives and reducing suffering and loss of resources. To disseminate practical information, IDEP has developed a comprehensive, community-based disaster management (CBDM) kit for use in villages throughout Indonesia.

The simple kit contains a practical planning and action manual with over 50 practical self-help forms, 2 colored posters, 8 disaster comics and a community awareness leaflet. Communities can get practical information for saving lives and preserving infrastructure in the event of a natural or socially sparked disaster.

Helping People Help Themselves

Largely credited with introducing and spreading permaculture – permanent agriculture techniques that assist people to generate food security while practicing sound environmental principals, IDEP directly empowers communities by:

Introducing sustainable living solutions and innovative environmental education approaches

Pilot testing projects with local communities at the grass roots level

Developing models for micro credit cooperative programs

Constructing working demonstrations of small-scale organic food production and appropriate technology for waste management and wastewater treatment

Developing eco-literacy

Sharing knowledge through local NGO networks

Conducting media training & supporting local NGOs

Although IDEP has achieved much international and local support, generous donations from individuals, companies and foundations worldwide, it still needs more for the Aceh programs to run for 2 to 3 more years.

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