On 28 September 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia and triggered a tsunami. The effect was horrifying. Buildings collapsed, lives were lost, and huge waves swept away homes and vital infrastructure. Over 1.5 million people were affected, including at least 600,000 children. Families were exposed to the elements, without shelter or clean water.
Save the Children was one of the first agencies to gain access to Sulawesi, and we were one of the only agencies working in the remote region of North Donggala, which was almost entirely cut off by the disaster.
We initially focused on rescuing people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, reuniting separated children, and providing emergency water, shelter, and sanitation to families. We then moved to longer-term sustainable solutions, like building learning centres and delivering mental health and psychosocial support.