Disaster Relief & Long Term Development

Indonesia Expert Recommends High-Impact Nonprofits To Support

Tsunami victims rush to get relief goods from a Indonesian military helicopter in Malakopak district in South Pagai island Photo Source: AFP/GETTY

On Monday, October 25, 2010, a 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake triggered a ten foot (3m) high tsunami off the Indonesia coast, devastating the Mentawai Islands. As of November 3, 2010, the death toll had risen to 428, and 74 people were still missing. 15,000 people have been displaced (20% of the population), and more than ten villages have been wiped out. The islands are remote, with few roads or functioning telephone lines even before the tsunami hit, making it difficult to get relief and aid to the victims.

BBC reported that one man, a farmer named Borinte from the island of North Pagai, said he lost his wife and children. He confirmed that people living in the path of the tsunami received little or no warning.

"About 10 minutes after the quake we heard a loud, thunderous sound. We went outside and saw the wave coming. We tried to run away to higher ground but the wave was much quicker than us," Borinte said.

"I'm so sorry that I couldn't save my wife and children as I panicked and didn't know what to do. I was swept away as well but I managed to survive by holding on to a wooden plank." Source

The vast Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the world's most active areas for earthquakes and volcanoes. In December 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake off the coast of Aceh triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed a quarter of a million people in 13 countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. Charles Ham, the Indonesia Country Director of Hope Worldwide recommended the following high-impact nonprofits that donors can support to help the victims on the Mentawai Islands.



Habitat for Humanity

Charles recommended Habitat for Humanity because of the great work they do on providing housing for people in Indonesia. Habitat began operating in Indonesia in 1997, and currently works in 13 provinces. Their largest program was rebuilding after the 2004 tsunami. As of December 2009, more than 5,900 families in Aceh had benefited from Habitat’s interventions. For this most recent tsunami, Habitat for Humanity Indonesia has been working on shelter solutions for low-income families throughout these affected areas of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Read more about their work in Indonesia here.

Website: http://www.habitat.org

Phone: 800-422-4828

Email: disaster_response@habitat.org


Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps brings clean water to communities, and is a great organization, says Charles. Despite dangerous storms, Mercy Corps has distributed critical supplies to tsunami survivors on the remote area of North Pagai of the Mentawai Islands where the most disaster-affected communities are located. Read more about their efforts in the Mentawai Islands here.

Website: http://www.mercycorps.org

Phone: 888 842 0842

Email: info@mercycorps.org


Catholic Relief Services

Charles recommend CRS because it is a large organization that has had a high impact in the past. CRS has been working in Indonesia since 1957. They provide supplies such as food and temporary shelter following disasters. Combining its expertise in multiple areas and working with its partners, CRS is helping communities identify their risks, prepare for emergencies, and better cope with them when they strike.

Website: http://crs.org

Phone: 888-277-7575

Email: info@crs.org


World Vision

Charles recommended World Vision because they are a large organization that works with children and are active in disaster relief. World Vision began working in Indonesia in 1957. World Vision's rapid response team immediately deployed to the site of the disaster, but high tides and strong waves kept the team from being able to access the affected villages on Mentawai Island until recently when the storms subsided. World Vision has pre-positioned emergency supplies like family kits (toothpaste, toothbrush, clothing, and blankets), baby kits (soap, diapers), tarpaulins, and collapsible water containers to distribute following disasters like these. In addition, the team in Java has dispatched a plane with 15,000 breathing masks to distribute on the ground to those families in evacuation centers. Read more about their efforts here.

Website: http://www.worldvision.org

Phone: 888-511-6593

Email: info@worldvision.org


Surf Aid International

Charles recommended Surf Aid International because they have done a lot of work over the last 10 years on the Mentawai Islands. Started by a physician and surfer, Dr. Dave Jenkins, Surf Aid International has delivered emergency supplies to villages, including shelter kits, hygiene kits, building kits, and conducted raid assessments to help assess the level of damage for this tsunami. The Indonesian Government' immediately requested that SurfAid take a lead role in the emergency response. Read more about their efforts on Mentawai here.

Website: http://www.surfaidinternational.org

Phone: 760-753 1103

Email: usa@surfaidinternational.org

We don't allow experts to recommend their own organization because of a conflict of interest; however, we feel it's important to share information about Hope Worldwide because of their extensive work and give you the opportunity to support this nonprofit, as well.

Charles Ham has been the Country Director of Indonesia for Hope Worldwide for the last 8.5 years. He first got involved with Hope Worldwide when he was a university student in Chicago, volunteering in inner city Chicago. When the Country Director for Indonesia resigned, he was asked to fill the position. As a Country Director, Charles has worked on disaster relief, development programs, and local capacity programs. He is a strong advocate of creating a sustainable plan for Indonesia which heavily involves the local community. Hope Worldwide Indonesia works with many local organizations, local donors, and also has a huge network of local volunteers.

Hope Worldwide <p>Hope Worldwide is an international nonprofit organization that has offices in Indonesia. Because of their huge networks of volunteers and local partners, HOPE worldwide disaster relief teams were on the ground immediately after the tsunami. </p> <p> In addition to disaster relief, Hope Worldwide focuses on empowering local communities to be better suited for responding to the next disaster. For example, they have trained 5,000 teachers over 3 years in different cities on preventative work. Charles believes prevention is paramount because better empowerment will lead to fewer victims in the end. </p> Charles also wanted to bring attention to the flood that killed 162 people in the West Papua region in Indonesia. On the morning of October 4, 2010, a flash flood killed 162, left 146 missing, injured over 3,000, and displaced up to 9,000 people. Charles urges donors to also help these victims because not much attention has been paid to the West Papua region. “There hasn’t been a lot of help provided by the government, and there haven’t been a lot of nonprofits on the ground.” HOPE worldwide has a small team based in West Papua region providing psychosocial services for children and parents at the camp site through various activities such as playing, art, and music. Read more about their work in Indonesia <a href="http://www.hopeww.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=317">here</a>.

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