International Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Challenges Jakarta Business Community “To Go The Distance” To Combat Poverty Housing In Indonesia
April 7, 2008
Visit To Yogyakarta Includes Post-Earthquake Habitat Project & Meeting With Provincial Government
Ron Terwilliger, board chair of Habitat for Humanity International, with Henry Feriadi, chair of the HFH Yogyakarta affiliate outside the Habitat-supported community hall in earthquake-hit Kralas, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
JAKARTA, 7TH APRIL 2008: Corporate donors were challenged to “go the distance” and support Habitat for Humanity as it created decent homes for families in need in Indonesia.
An estimated eight million Indonesia families are waiting for homes, a backlog that is growing by half a million families a year as the private and public sectors struggle to meet the annual demand for 800,000 new homes.
“The need is great. Serious efforts are required.
Partnerships are key. In addition to initiatives by governments, individuals, non-government organizations and especially corporations should partner together to make a difference,” Ron Terwilliger, chairman of Habitat for Humanity International’s board of directors, told representatives of local and multinational donors at a reception in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
Indonesia was the second leg of Terwilliger’s nine-day Asian tour, taking in Thailand as well as Vietnam.
Terwilliger joined forces with the founders of Habitat for Humanity Indonesia and its board of trustees to issue the challenge to an audience of prominent business people that included leaders from Microsoft, Monsanto, Shell, Marriott and L’Oreal.
The function was held at the JW Marriott hotel, whose staff and executives are strong Habitat supporters.
Wearing a special local batik short, Ron Terwilliger, board chair of Habitat for Humanity International, challenges the Jakarta business community to go the distance for Habitat in Indonesia,
Following the dinner reception in Jakarta, Terwilliger travelled to Yogyakarta, in the east of Java island, where the local affiliate has led a rebuilding program following the 2006 earthquake.
Habitat has provided permanent, earthquake-resistant “core” houses made of reinforced concrete frames and bricks. The affiliate team assisted victims with funding, building materials, “know how” and equipment for construction. The 18 sq. m. core houses provide immediate safe shelter for family members and also for their belongings while they await government support.
Terwilliger visited two families from the Kralas village, in the district of Bantul, Yogyakarta, to better understand how they perceive their new houses. Both home owners, were proud of their new homes, had already added to the core house provided by Habitat, often more than doubling the original size.
One of the two home partners – Slamet Diarjo – was busy putting the finishing touches on his home, where he lives with his wife and two sons. The construction laborer noted Habitat’s commitment. “Habitat came in from the start, working with the village to develop house plans, providing training workshops, building expertise and even monitoring of progress,” he told Terwilliger.
Homeowner Slamet Diarjo, HFHI’s communication manager Michele Soh, and Tanti, Yogyakarta affiliate program manager, outside his home
In all, the Yogyakarta affiliate has built more than 1,125 houses and served an additional 486 families in its disaster-response program.
Earlier in the day, Terwilliger and the HFH Indonesia team met a high-level team from the provincial government. The government team expressed strong interest to partner with the Yogyakarta affiliate to look at medium-rise homes as a housing solution and, secondly, to provide low-cost housing for its employees.
“The meeting certainly exceeded expectations. The visit from Habitat’s international board chairman was an important platform to communicate Habitat’s goals to a significant government partner,” said Tri Budiardjo, national director of HFH Indonesia.
While in Indonesia, Terwilliger spoke at the Sunday services of a local church and an international church.
HFH Indonesia has served more than 7,800 families through affiliates in Java, north Sulawesi and Batam. In addition to the Yogyakarta earthquake response, HFH Indonesia helped repair 1,000 homes after flooding in Jakarta. In Aceh, Habitat continues to work with families affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Some 4,725 homes have been rehabilitated and built to date.