September 8 2009

SOS Children's Villages goes the extra mile for children affected by Indonesia earthquake

08/09/2009 - SOS Children's Villages has been putting up temporary shelters and organizing activities for the children at two locations near Bandung. Countless families lost their homes in the earthquake that shook the Indonesian island of Java on 2 September.

Photo: SOS Archive
Well-trained staff organise healing activities for the children - Photo: SOS Archive

SOS Children's Villages has set up camps at two locations in the village of Pangalengan in the Sidamukti district, distributing food packages especially prepared for the children and, with the help of local volunteers, have even made food to meet the needs of muslims  observing Ramadan.

In an effort to minimise the long-term psychological effects of the traumatic experiences many children have been put through in the disaster, the well-trained co-workers of SOS Children's Villages Indonesia  have been organizing activities for up to 233 affected children, including those currently staying in the camps run by SOS Children's Villages as well as those from other camps.

Photo: SOS Archives
More than 200 children are involved in the activities - Photo: SOS Archive

The famous SOS mobile library with its rich collection of books in particular is the object of fascination among the children. As one of the children said, "the mobile library has many good story books, tomorrow I will read some more." The SOS mobile library makes daily rounds to designated places in the camps and offers books to the children. Patria Banteng, the SOS Children's Villages co-worker organizing the activities there, pointed out that it wouldn't be long before the SOS play-bus began making its rounds with toys and games, too.

Photo: SOS Archive
SOS Children's Villages has set up two shelters in the village - Photo: SOS Archive

Due to the harsh weather conditions that are predominant during this time of year - sweltering days and cold nights - many of the children have fallen ill, and thanks are owed to the doctors of Ahmad Yani University currently staying in the camps and making a special effort for the children. SOS Children's Villages staff from Lembang and Yogyakarta are also ensuring proper sanitary conditions to maintain a healthy environment.

Thousands of people lost their homes in a 7.0-magnitude quake which hit the region on 2 September 2009.  More than 400 people were injured and at least 65 people killed; 32 are still missing across Java.