How Australians are supporting children affected by Indonesian disasters

Every child needs a childhood, but when emergency strikes children can lose everything.

The recent combined earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia destroyed homes and schools, leaving 206,494 with nowhere to live and 46,000 children in urgent need of assistance.

Ten-year-old Maya is living with her mother in a displacement camp. At first, the children there had no toys to play with and nowhere to go to school.

Maya wanted to go home to look for something to play with in the debris, but her family was too afraid of further collapses.

Since ChildFund supported the construction of Child-Centered Spaces in the camp, Maya can’t wait to go there to see the tutors and meet with her friends.

“I am happy that now there is a place for children near our camp, where I can meet with other friends and play with hand puppets,” she said.

“My favourite hand puppet is the purple pony, it is so cute.”

ChildFund supporters are helping provide places to play for children like Maya, whose family lost everything when disasters struck Indonesia.

These spaces provide a safe environment where children can play, express their emotions and receive necessary psychosocial support. Children are excited to restore some normality to their daily life with routine activities.

ChildFund Indonesia Country Director Bridgette Thorold said generous donors are helping ensure children do not fall behind in school once classes resume.

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

For families who have lost everything, these spaces are critical. Maya’s mother, Riyati, has seen a change in her daughter since she was able to play and learn. Thanks to her daughter’s improvement, Riyati is also less stressed.

“I am happy as my daughter has a space to play and do some activities,” Riyati said. “Before, Maya was just staying at the tent with nothing to do. This has helped us both cope with the stress.”

In the aftermath of emergencies, children are left vulnerable and at constant risk. With your help, ChildFund can make sure they have access to a safe place to play, the opportunity to resume their schooling and somewhere to access psychosocial support. Support children in Crisis today.

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