A 7.9 R.S. earthquake hit West Sumatra, destroying over one hundred thousand buildings and houses and killing more than one thousand people on September 30. In an emergency setting like this, more human resources are needed to give assistance for evacuation of victims, clearing of debris, food distribution and many other forms of assistance. The Indonesian government, foreign governments, private companies and international and national non-governmental organizations mobilized their resources to help in disaster areas.
Volunteers came from West Sumatra, as well as many areas in Indonesia, to help the emergency response. They each worked on behalf of a certain organization, contributing their expertise to the earthquake-affected community.
Fifteen volunteers worked on behalf of Church World Service running Fun and Educative Activities in Tents or FEAT and Psychological First Aid in Padang Pariaman District during emergency response. They also helped distribute non-food items to the community.
Oktarina Novianti was one of the volunteers who became a facilitator for the FEAT program in Pinjauan Village and helped in NFI distribution in Koto Bangko Village. “When the earthquake hit West Sumatra, my heart was moved by people's suffering in Padang Pariaman District. As a volunteer I have the opportunity to help my fellow Pariamanese,” said Oktarina. She worked with District Social Agency as social worker, so she used to facilitate advocacy programs in this district.
Rina is listing CWS' beneficiaries during non-food item distribution in Sungai Limau subdistrict
Warman (left) attentively paying attention during psychosocial training for volunteers
Suwarman, a geology student at the University of Andalas, voluntarily ran FEAT for Church World Service in Sibaruas Village. He stated that he had never volunteered. Warman, as people call him, learned from a friend that CWS needed volunteers. Warman expressed pride at the volunteers' level of interaction, working in the field and meeting beneficiaries of CWS on a daily basis.
Much of what CWS did, in psychosocial programs and NFI distribution in emergency response in particular, would not have succeeded without volunteers. On December 5, International Voluntary Day, CWS takes a moment to reflect on their contribution and to honor their work. Happy International Voluntary Day!