ChildFund Indonesia is assessing the most urgent needs of children and families affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesians island of Sulawesi.
More than 800 people have been confirmed dead and almost 200,000 people are in need of humanitarian aid after a devastating tsunami left a trail of destruction in the heavily-populated Central Sulawesi’s region in Indonesia.
A 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit just after 6pm on 28 September, causing a tsunami that struck the coastal areas of Palu and Donggala, home to a combined 600,000 people.
On 1 October, Indonesian authorities confirmed at least 844 deaths and 632 severe injuries. These numbers are expected to rise steeply in the coming days, and government agencies have warned the toll could run into the thousands.
The series of earthquakes and the tsunami, which was the most destructive to hit Indonesia in almost a decade, have caused widespread destruction through Palu and Donggala.
Move over, Avengers. The world has a new band of super heroes and they operate out of a small village on Myanmar’s border with Thailand.
Zay and his friends have formed a ChildFund-supported group called the Super Heroes, whose role is to promote children’s rights and help protect children in their village.
“We chose that name because we are the super heroes to protect our village,” says 13-year-old, Zay.
Groups like the Super Heroes are part of a three-year child protection project in Dawei that aims to strengthen community-based child protection systems.
Myanmar has significantly high rates of violence against children. Zarni, who oversees the child protection project in Dawei, says much of this stems from a lack of awareness about children’s rights.
“Physical abuse is prevalent in Dawei,” Zarni says.
“The main reason behind the problem is awareness. There are two parts. The caregivers don’t have the awareness and the children themselves don’t have the awareness.”
The project aims to increase community understanding by conducting sessions about children’s rights and child protection, delivering pamphlets, and setting up posters and billboards.
ChildFund also provides communities with a list of relevant child protection service providers so people know who to contact when they witness or experience violence or abuse.
“It’s effective,” Zarni says. “There are more informants than before. And there are more identified child cases than before.”
In order to strengthen these community-based child protection mechanisms, Child Protection Groups (CPG) and Child Groups (CG) are formed in the target villages.