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Indonesian earthquake - helping children and communities


Last month’s earthquake, which caused devastation to the town of Yogayakarta and the surrounding area of Southern Java, is now known to have killed almost 6,000 people. In its aftermath, the lives of the survivors have also been turned upside down the lives of the survivors.

The emergency relief programmes continue, but thoughts are already turning to the medium and long-term support necessary to rebuild lives and livelihoods.

SOS Children’s emergency efforts so far have been focusing on providing the survivors with temporary accommodation and bedding, medical care and medicines, basic food rations and water, as well as installing generators for electricity and water pumps. Approximately 600 people in the communities of Timoho, Bantul and Prambanan are currently being supported.

SOS staff have been working with these communities to try and bring back some kind of stability and order to the survivors’ lives. SOS Children is setting up specific activity centres for children, to help them overcome the trauma of experiencing the earthquake. There are now four such centres. An SOS psychologist is providing counselling to survivors, in particular the children, and activities such as painting, singing, dancing and storytelling. A number of educators have also been giving the children extra lessons, to stop them getting behind in their schooling whilst the school buildings are closed.

Families are also being supported to help regain their livelihoods and the clean up operation is well underway. Children who have lost or become separated from their families will be given a new home in one of the nearby SOS Children's Villages.

Relevant Countries: Indonesia.

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