HFH Indonesia Completes 200 Core Houses For Earthquake-Hit Families In West Sumatra; More Planned

Habitat Aids 98 More Families Affected By 2009 Earthquake in West Java

JAKARTA, 1st September 2010: Habitat for Humanity Indonesia has completed a total of 200 core houses in the first phase of a project in West Sumatra for families who were affected by last September’s earthquake.

Artini (back row, left) and her family are glad to leave their tent for a Habitat house in Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra.

Christian Aid Ministries’ volunteers with families andstudents in Padang Pariaman.

Volunteers from Kwangwoon University helped to build two houses in Padang Pariaman.

Ai Kartini (back row, middle) with her children outside their Habitat house in West Java.

The core houses, which are built to withstand earthquakes, each measure 21 sq. m. and come with a latrine.

Funding support through HFH Singapore and HFH Australia will enable another 275 families to be helped. Construction has already begun at a new site called Pasie Laweh.

In addition, 263 houses have been repaired in West Sumatra under a material grant program.

Habitat for Humanity Indonesia is piloting a material grant repair methodology in partnership with the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and U.S.-based philanthropic organization Ware Foundation.

Under the concept, families who repair their own houses receive construction materials from HFH Indonesia. The quantities are calculated by the families themselves advised by Habitat’s construction staff.

The aim is to give affected families greater involvement in and ownership of the rehabilitation process. It also maximizes the use of recycled materials which cash-poor families may have already collected.

Meanwhile, a junior high school is under construction in the badly affected Kudu Ganting village. Local students are currently using nine classrooms which were built or renovated earlier by HFH Indonesia in Kudu Ganting. HFH Indonesia has also rebuilt two classrooms destroyed in the earthquake, a library and a laboratory in Kudu Ganting.

Strong volunteer support played a key role in the completion of the 200 core houses in West Sumatra. For example, Ohio, U.S.-based non-governmental organization Christian Aid Ministries sent 185 volunteers to work in Padang Pariaman district.

From January to July 2010, the CAM volunteers worked alongside Habitat home partners and skilled construction workers to build a total of 97 houses, out of the 120 houses which Christian Aid Ministries funded.

South Korean volunteers were also a regular presence. In July, 16 students from Kwangwoon University worked in Padang Pariaman to build two houses.

One of the first two homes built in Padang Pariaman with the support of HFH Indonesia and its partners went to Gumbus and her three children. Gumbus’s new core house, which can be expanded and extended later, was built in Kudu Ganting village, V Koto Timur sub-district in Padang Pariaman after her old house was destroyed by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake on 30th September 2009.

Another Habitat home partner Artini and her family of four had earlier survived an earthquake in Padang Pariaman in 2007 with slight damage to their home. However, the earthquake last September which rocked West Sumatra flattened their house.

Since then, Artini, her husband and their two children have been living in a makeshift tent made of palm logs and plastic roofing. The family, residing in Kudu Ganting is glad to leave their tent for a core house built by HFH Indonesia.

Donors for HFH Indonesia’s reconstruction effort in West Sumatra range from overseas banks to local corporations to Habitat programs in other parts of the world. Among the donors were General Electric, Maersk, Singapore-headquartered OCBC and DBS banks, Ernst & Young, Nokia, Christian Aid Ministries, Indonesian companies FNGW and UIC.

Meanwhile over in West Java province, on one of Indonesia’s main islands, HFH Indonesia has completed 98 core houses for families affected by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake at the beginning of last September. Funding support came from HFH Korea, PT Roda Mas, Nutrifood, Marathon Oil Company, DOW Chemical, Lumbung Yusuf, Tempe Foundation and other Indonesian companies.

Construction on two schools in Pangalengan district, south of West Java’s capital Bandung, is underway with completion expected in October 2010. Each school comes with 16 classrooms and a teacher room. The schools are funded by PT. Roda Mas, Nutrifood, Shell and Rajawali Corporation.

Earlier, more than 100 university volunteers from South Korea joined their Indonesian counterparts to build eight of these homes in Pangalengan. Supported by Korean steel giant POSCO, the international volunteers worked hard to dig foundations, mix cement and build brick walls.

Other volunteers who built with Habitat in West Java included teams from Singapore bank OCBC, Jakarta Korean International School, insurance company CIGNA and professional services firm Palladium Group.

Asid Rosmana, who works as a tea plantation laborer, his wife Ai Kartini and their four children were living in a tent after the earthquake destroyed their house. When the weather turned cold or rainy, they had to rent a house though they could barely afford to pay the rent on the family’s meager daily wages of 40,000 to 50,000 rupiah (US4-US6).

Safe and warm in their new Habitat core house, Asid’s family can now plan for their future. “We cannot give anything in return to repay the kindness of the donors except to pray that God will always protect them in their work and activities. We are thankful to Habitat too for changing our lives.”

HFH Indonesia aims to reconstruct a total of 2,500 houses and three schools in West Sumatra. Habitat will assist another 1,000 families in West Java where it will also rebuild two schools.