Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving
Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Local woman picks up food aid from ACT
Local woman picks up food aid from ACT

Since a series of devastating earthquakes and a tsunami struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province on September 28, 2018, our partners have been on the ground supporting survivors. From distributing emergency supplies to offering health care to supporting local journalism, their efforts—and the compassion of nearly 5,000 generous donors like you—have helped thousands of individuals in Central Sulawesi rebuild their homes, their lives, and their communities. 

Now, people in Central Sulawesi and across the globe must face a new challenge: overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this virus has impacted all of our lives, communities recovering from disasters are especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Thankfully, our locally-led nonprofit partners have already been helping their communities develop the resilience needed to survive this global crisis. 

After successfully building a school that will support the education of more than 100 students, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has pivoted its efforts to organize a Corona Crisis Center. The organization is providing education about the disease and managing the distribution of free food aid, personal protective equipment for health officers, masks, and hand sanitizer.

Yayasan Usaha Mulia established 50 business groups in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi. Representatives from each group had the opportunity to attend training workshops on entrepreneurship, management, and finance. Not only will these skills be invaluable in the face of the economic difficulties COVID-19 presents, but participants also have the foundation they need to build a successful business and support themselves and their families in the future. 

Bali Life Foundation has played a key role in ensuring that individuals in Indonesia have access to clean water and electricity by setting up generators, water tanks, and temporary shelters for schools and communities in the area. This infrastructure is all the more critical as health regulations have become increasingly strict. 

In just two short years, our partners in Indonesia have made incredible progress in supporting and rebuilding their communities. As our team celebrates their successes and  turns our efforts to alleviating the impacts of COVID-19 worldwide, we are now closing the Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Fund—and we have a favor to ask:

Now more than ever, we need your help to continue fostering resilience around the world. When you give to our Coronavirus Relief Fund, you provide life-saving support for heroic healthcare professionals and the communities and individuals that are most at risk across the globe. 

We can’t thank you enough for choosing to support community-focused, locally led organizations, especially during these challenging times. Together, we can continue to foster hope in the face of any obstacle. 

Stay safe and take care,

Nicole + the GlobalGiving Team

Family receiving support from Bali Life
Family receiving support from Bali Life
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Yayasan Usaha Mulia
Yayasan Usaha Mulia

On September 28, 2018, the series of earthquakes and following tsunami which struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province claimed more than 4,000 lives and led to economic losses of $1.3 billion. The vast majority of the damage occurred in the coastal city of Palu, where 68,451 houses were destroyed, forcing nearly 206,5000 people to seek shelter. 

Less than 10 months after the disaster, communities are building their resilience thanks to the dedicated efforts of local leaders and the endless generosity of GlobalGivers like you. By supporting grassroots activists who understand how to best support their community, you’re not only helping people today, you’re part of the movement to build long-term preparedness in the face of future disasters. 4,718 members of our community have given $613,070 to vetted nonprofit partners, allowing them to continue fostering hope and strength in Central Sulawesi. In this update, we’d like to highlight the dedication of two partners your donation has supported. 

Yayasan Usaha Mulia traveled to the most remote villages to support regions which rescuers hadn’t been able to reach due to continuing landslides and poor road conditions. Their efforts exceeded all predictions: they distributed long-awaited food, water, hygiene supplies, clothing, and educational materials to 2,500 families in the most far-flung communities of Indonesia. Yayasan Usaha Mulia also provided 1,000 solar lamps and water purifiers in the villages of Saloya, Amai, and Kaliburu, enabling people in these communities to continue supporting themselves long after the volunteers left. 

In addition to lifesaving supplies, Yayasan Usaha Mulia held support sessions to help people in these villages overcome the disaster they endured. The trauma relief program included discussion groups, relaxation techniques, and even yoga sessions to ease stress and promote wellbeing. 

Internews has continued its innovative approach to disaster resilience by supporting local journalists. Reporters with Kabar Sulteng Bangkit (KSB), a community-led news organization created shortly after the earthquake, are working to spread crucial aid information, put a stop to fake news, and hold regional government and aid officials accountable. 

In a recent article in The New Humanitarian, Internews activist Firmansyah Syamsi shared how KSB journalists take a unique approach to disaster reporting. “Usually, after a disaster, the kind of news that is published especially in Indonesia is just about blood and victims being put on display.” However, KSB knew this approach wasn’t in line with their goals or ethics. “So we promote the perspective of victims so that victims feel they are heard.”

By giving survivors the opportunity to share their stories, this grassroots news source will ensure that the rebuilding process is inclusive and accountable in the months to come. 

When you donate through GlobalGiving, you’re making the smart choice to support sustainable, community-centered change led by partners like these. As inspirational local leaders build resilience long after the disaster, we’ll continue to keep you updated—your generosity makes stories like this possible. 


Nicole Gieselman + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo from Yayasan Usaha Mulia
Photo from Yayasan Usaha Mulia

We now have the full picture of the impact of the Sep. 28 earthquake and tsunami on Sulawesi and the scope of the damage has expanded significantly.

The government of Central Sulawesi reported in January that in their final count, the disaster had claimed 4,340 lives—nearly double earlier estimates. Almost half of these deaths occurred in Palu, the coastal city where post-earthquake soil liquefaction resulted in widespread destruction. In total, more than 42,000 buildings suffered damage, including 3,683 that were completely destroyed.

In response, the generosity of GlobalGivers like you has continued to fund community-led relief and recovery efforts—4,347 members of our community have now raised $604,905 in support of our vetted nonprofit partners in Indonesia.

In this update, we'd like to share the progress being made by one of the partners your donation supported: Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM). They are an Indonesian NGO based in Jakarta that works to provide impoverished Indonesians with access to healthcare and education, as well as support for community development initiatives. When the earthquake struck, their staff shifted gears to join disaster response efforts.

Yayasan Usaha Mulia recently reported on their team's third visit to Palu and Donggala. They spent a week distributing food, water, hygiene supplies, clothing, educational materials, and three electric generators for communities still without power. Their team was able to visit a number of villages in the area over the course of the week, where they consulted with the community to assess needs and arrange support where possible.

In Biromaru, they organized a trauma healing session (pictured above) for 200 children living in camps for families displaced by the disaster. Their team distributed hygiene supplies, food, and 150 relief kits in Tanjung Padang, contributed $1,000 to the construction of temporary shelters in Sirenja, and provided clothing and food to families in Amal, a remote community badly damaged by landslides. They also made their third visit to Saloya, where they observed that refugees there had established a school in one of the relief tents and the YUM team organized activities for the camp's children.

Your donation has helped make stories like these shared by Yayasan Usaha Mulia possible. We're incredibly grateful for that support because, after a disaster like this one, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often underfunded. In fact, research has shown that less than 3% of global disaster relief funding goes to community-led nonprofits. This means some of the most vulnerable people affected by disasters get overlooked.

By giving to our Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, you’re helping change that reality. You can learn more about our unique approach to disaster relief by visiting the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving.

We look forward to sharing more stories of the ongoing recovery in Indonesia with you in the coming months.

With gratitude,
Will + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo from Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Foundation
Photo from Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Foundation

As reports began to spread of a massive 7.5-magnitude earthquake on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 28, it was hard to believe some of the first images that reached the media, like the cellphone video of a 15 foot-high tsunami sweeping through the coastal city of Palu, or the aerial photos showing how soil liquefaction triggered by the earthquake leveled Palu’s Balaroa neighborhood, destroying 1,747 homes.

In the days that followed, we started to comprehend the full extent of the devastation—the earthquake and tsunami had combined to claim 2,256 lives, injure 10,679, and displaced more than 206,000 people from their homes.

In response, thousands of generous GlobalGivers like you stood with the people of Indonesia in their time of need, donating more than $433,000 to fund community-led relief and recovery efforts by our trusted nonprofit partners. Here’s a look at the progress so far:

  • Yayasan Usaha Mulia has set up two emergency response centers—one in Palu and one in Donggala—to provide 1,500 affected residents with essentials like food, clean water, medicine, and shelter. Once this emergency response phase is over, they plan to transition to delivering psychosocial services to help people cope with the trauma they’ve experienced.
  • Yayasan Bukit Kehidupan Ungasan has been coordinating with local partners to distribute food, hygiene supplies, fuel, and first aid kits, and plans to rebuild and renovate a quake-damaged school.
  • Staff from Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Foundation participated in search and rescue missions and distributed food, water, tents, blankets, and hygiene supplies to survivors in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. They’re now partnering with local governments to build integrated community shelters that will contain classrooms, medical clinics, toilets, clean water access, and storage for humanitarian aid supplies.
  • Team Rubicon Global staff deployed to affected communities across Sulawesi to distribute emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies, as well as perform damage assessments through the use of drones.
  • In addition to food, shelter, and medicine, people need access to information they can trust in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Lifeline Energy is distributing emergency Polaris radio lights to survivors, which provide 24/7 access to broadcast news and information, a bright LED light, the ability to charge cell phones, and need only the sun or winding by hand to operate.
  • Internews is working with local reporters and the Association of Indonesian Journalists to rebuild one of the main radio stations in Palu and develop an emergency media center to connect quake-affected communities with recovery and relief services.
  • Circle of Health International is working with local partners for safe temporary housing, food, water, and transportation for earthquake survivors.

In the months to come, we’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress of the recovery. And thank you again, not just for donating to our relief fund, but for making the smart decision to donate cash, rather than physical goods. Giving money after a disaster allows for quicker and more efficient deployment of resources and supports, rather than disrupts, local economies.

Will Frechette + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from Team Rubicon Global
Photo from Team Rubicon Global
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Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

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About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

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