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ChildFund helping children affected by disasters in Indonesia

ChildFund Indonesia is helping children in Sulawesi whose lives were devastated by the powerful tsunami and earthquake that hit the island in September.

Officials have confirmed that more than 2,000 people lost their lives and almost 80,000 people were displaced following a 7.4 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami on September 28.

The disasters destroyed villages, cutting off essential services like water and electricity, and leaving more than 46,000 children in urgent need of aid.

ChildFund Indonesia country director Bridgette Thorold said the generosity of international donors, including Australians, has helped ChildFund respond to the needs of children.

“In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake on Sulawesi, ChildFund in partnership with a local NGO is assisting children and their families affected by the earthquake through family kits to enable basic shelter, personal care and hygiene,” Bridgette said.

“This is very important in ensuring a sense of dignity and well-being.

“We are also establishing Child-Centered Spaces, which provide children with opportunity for recreational and stimulating activities. These are critical in providing a safe, supervised routine for social interaction that enable children to overcome psychological effects of the disaster.

“Volunteers who run these facilities are also being trained to recognise signs of psychosocial distress in children, to support children manage these behaviours and to refer for professional help when necessary.”

This assistance is already helping children like Nazwa, who found the support she needed at one of ChildFund’s Child-Centred Spaces.

Her village was overwhelmed by the disasters, and she arrived at the Child-Centred Space worried about her friends and neighbours. She was also concerned about her teachers. Her school was one of the 2,736 across the country that were damaged.

“I want to write and learn maths again,” she said. “I love maths.”

Generous ChildFund supporters are helping provide at least 10 child-centred spaces to children like Nazwa, affected by the earthquake and tsunami so they can continue their education.

With so many schools and communities damaged, Bridgette says this is a critical time for children.

 

Emergencies can force children to leave school, and the longer the recovery takes the less likely they are to return.

ChildFund is working with local communities to help children prepare to return to school with minimal disruption.

“Longer term, ChildFund plans to support transitional education – especially as schools are damaged, teachers displaced, and learning materials have been destroyed – so that children can still have some opportunities to learn whilst the education system is being restored,” she said.

Donate now to help children affected by the Indonesia earthquake and tsunami

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