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Our response in Indonesia: Helping children in crisis

Last summer and early autumn, a series of major quakes hit the Indonesian islands of Lombok and Sulawesi. One also triggered a devastating 20-foot tsunami. More than 2,500 people were killed and half a million people displaced.

Tens of thousands of children became homeless. Many were orphaned or separated from their families amid the destruction and confusion. They were left with nothing, stuck in makeshift camps which left them at an increased risk of disease and even trafficking.

Thanks to generous support from people like you, our local teams were able to provide thousands of people with hygiene kits, containing soap, toothbrushes and laundry detergent so that families could be clean and safe from disease. We provided families and children with clean water, materials for tents, blankets and nutritious food, too. We also set up temporary learning and safe spaces, so children could continue their education and play.

Reunification for lost children

Meanwhile, our teams worked around the clock to help children find their loved ones. The horrific scenes and chaos that follow a natural disaster can cause severe emotional damage to children, particularly if they’ve lost those closest to them. Our staff on the ground provided immediate psychological first aid in camps – talking, reading and singing with boys and girls to get them to gradually process what they’d witnessed.

But, for the people of Sulawesi and Lombok, the process of rebuilding their lives and homes has only just begun.

“It’s clear that affected communities will take months, if not years, to recover,” says Save the Children’s Director of Operations in Jakarta, Tom Howells.

There is so much more to do – but you can help us do it. Learn more about the situation and how you can help.


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