Relief getting through to Sulawesi earthquake victims
Relief getting through to those affected by Sulawesi earthquake
Two weeks on from the devastating earthquake and tsunami on 28 September that affected thousands of people in Sulawesi, Indonesia Save the Children and their partners are on the ground distributing hygiene kits, water and temporary shelters.
The disaster has affected more than 600,000 people, including at least 180,000 children. More than 82,000 people have been displaced in the worst-hit city of Palu, and around 67,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.
Many survivors are living in shelters made from salvaged wood and plastic in the city and surrounding hills, where they wait and wonder what will happen to them.
Save the Children, operating through its local partner Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik (YSTC), has provided hundreds of affected families in Sulawesi with life-saving relief including hygiene kits, fresh water, plastic sheeting and rope to build shelters. Daily distributions are planned over the coming weeks.
The aid agency is also ramping up its vital child protection work by establishing five safe child-friendly spaces in Palu city. The spaces provide children with an opportunity to play and recover while their families receive information on how to access services to rebuild their lives.
Temporary learning centres are also being established in affected areas to provide children with basic learning as well as a vital sense of routine and normality amid so much devastation.
Over 2,700 schools were severely damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
“Schools are such important spaces for children. Not only are they where children learn and develop new skills, but where they feel safe and supported in a nurturing environment. It’s heart-breaking to know that for hundreds of thousands of children in Central Sulawesi, they are returning to see their classrooms in ruins,” said Selina Sumbung, Chairperson of Save the Children’s partner in Indonesia.
“When I visited Palu on Sunday, I saw schools with walls that had completely crumpled in on themselves. Children want to go back, they want to learn, but they’re finding all their books on the ground, chairs broken, tables smashed.
“We support the Indonesian government’s commitment to get children back to school as soon as it’s safe to do so. School is the absolute best place for children in a crisis like this, and is vital for their emotional recovery.”
Save the Children NZ have launched an appeal to raise $250,000 to provide much needed aid.
Save the Children NZ Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee said, “This tragedy has affected many lives, and as always, children are the most vulnerable in disaster situations. We are working to assist wherever we can. We’d like to thank those who have already supported our appeal but more funds are desperately needed. If the people of New Zealand would like to help those affected they can donate via following link www.savethechildren.org.nz.”