Stories

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.”

When disasters strike, families and communities can lose everything. And in the aftermath, children are left vulnerable and struggling to survive under desperate circumstances, at risk of hunger, cold, disease, and violence.

Cleony is nine and lived with her family in Sigi in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, before the earthquake and tsunami devastated her island in September.

She was at home with her mother and her two-year-old sister, Cleora, when the disaster struck. Terrified, they fled the house through the moving ground.

“Our belongings were falling and breaking, blocking our path as we tried to run out of the house”, Cleony remembers.

“Afterwards, we gathered with the other villagers in an open field where we stayed the night.”

The disaster killed 2,081 people and left 206,494 with nowhere to live.

Providing immediate assistance to children in Indonesia

Since the disaster struck, ChildFund supporters have been helping provide urgent aid to children like Cleony and Cleora.

In the earliest days, villages were completely destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from essentials like food, water and shelter.

“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,” ChildFund Indonesia country director Bridgette Thorold said.

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

Addressing water shortages in camps