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2009.10.22

Urgent Report from Indonesia

It is a long time since I handed in my last report, I am sorry for this belated report, Constant rip to the fields disabled me to access the internet.  In the meantime, assessment and distribution have continued.  JEN will, in a few days, have finished distribution of tool kits and UNICEF sanitary kits to total 1600 families, living in 10 villages in Pariaman area. At the same time, the next project plan has been under consideration. Let me share with you the plan in this blog once it is finalized.

I would like to discuss some stories related to school.  Every time I visited villages for assessment and distribution, I found some schools, which were, in many cases, completely destroyed. School children, however, continued studying by bringing their desks and chairs into the broken school buildings, or setting them on street sides near their school. Some schools had built simple tents in the school yards.

At one of those schools, SDN INT'L 07 GUGUS III, Ms Marcia, the School Principle, came up to us and asked us to pay attention to her school situation.

There are totally 130 students from age 6 to 12. The earthquake, however, made it impossible for many students to go to school, and those students who did come to school could not concentrate on work and went back home without finishing lessons. The children often suddenly remember lost family members and the terrible earthquake, and often break down and cry.  Under such circumstances, school hours, which were from 7 to 13, was changed to 7 to 10. Many of teaching materials such as textbooks and notes, chalks, whiteboard, even clothes are destroyed and gone. People living in this area have lived their lives by selling rice, and their lives became much harder after the earthquake, they lost their houses and they cannot afford to prepare school materials again for their children. Ms. Marcia could barely purchase desks and chairs by spending her own money.  This is all she can do now for her school.

Ms. Marcia asked us to support her school so that all of her students could come back to school. She hopes to prepare such circumstances where children can forget the awful experiences of earthquake, but now, she does not know what to do. The earthquake hurt students as well as school teachers physically and mentally, and they lost the conditions to keep studying. Both students and teachers need effective programs and tools with which they can restart and enjoy learning. She also thinks it is necessary for her and school teachers to exchange information with school staffs who have experienced earthquakes. She wants to learn something effective for her school reconstruction from us Japanese people.

3 weeks have passed since the earthquake, and many support activities are in the final stage and public report by mass-media is already decreasing. Several supporting organization like JEN, however, have prepared them for the next step, considering that assistance to restore peoples' daily lives has just begun.  I would like to ask every person who read this urgent report to give warm support to the earthquake victims.

October 22, 2009 in Indonesia |