Aid to Indonesia

Indonesia is no stranger to natural disasters; it has experienced a lot of destruction throughout the years. A major natural disaster occurs in Indonesia almost every year in the form of tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Christian organizations are planted internationally in order to minister and bring aid to those in need. World Vision Ministry is one such organization that has been in Indonesia since 1960. Here is a look at World Vision’s aid to Indonesia.

World Vision’s Foundation

World Vision in Indonesia is based on a vision of a world that is committed to the well-being of children. The organization strives to build thriving communities where peace and justice can prevail with security, opportunity and contentment. This is accomplished through its relief, development and advocacy work. World Vision has become one of the world’s largest charities with annual revenue reaching more than $1 billion. It has ministries in 90 countries, focusing on children.

In the 1970s, World Vision Indonesia initiated a community development approach that provides more integrated support toward the empowerment of the poor communities and their children. Its involvement improved basic education, health, income generation and basic infrastructure for Indonesia. In 1998, World Vision raised 14 million to aid the poor in Jakarta, Indonesia. As a global humanitarian organization, World Vision’s ministry is dedicated to continuous aid to Indonesia whether it be a food crisis or assistance to victims of natural disasters.

Programs to Empower

According to the ministry, World Vision introduced the Area Development Program (ADP) approach in the 1990s to create an effective and lasting transformation in the lives of people in poor communities. The organization describes the ADPs as nurturing an inclusive approach to tackle poverty across extensive areas, normally involving several villages and communities. World Vision’s aid to Indonesia through the ADP approach has led to more sustainable developments and impacts through longer intervention and lifetime concentrated programs.

Today, World Vision has a partnership with Wahana Visi Indonesia, which supports around 50 ADPs in aid to Indonesia’s North Sumatra, Jakarta, East Java, West Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, North Maluku and Papua. World Vision in Indonesia has helped to save lives in many ways, but it is most effective in its emergency response.

Emergency Relief and Support

World Vision has administered emergency relief support to those affected by natural disasters or communal conflicts for many years. In 1963, World Vision supported the victims of Mount Agung eruption in Bali and then provided aid to Indonesia in the resettlement of displaced people in West Kalimantan, Maluku among other sites in the 1970-80s. The ministry remained Indonesia in 1997 and 2009 following the drought from the El Nino weather phenomenon, severe economic crises, earthquakes and the major tsunami in Aceh province.

In December 2018, World Vision provided aid to Indonesia when the Sunda Strait tsunami struck Java and Sumatra, resulting in more than 300 deaths. The ministry distributed hygiene and household items to families who lost their homes and provided safe places for mothers to feed their young children.

Margie Siregar, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs Director with World Vision, spoke with NPR’s Ari Shapiro while she was in Jakarta, Indonesia. “We had 30 aid staff already in the place before the earthquake happened and now we are providing some public kitchen and children feeding,” Siregar told NPR. The workers of World Vision also provided the children with a child-friendly space where they could play and recover from the trauma. In Central Sulawesi, an estimated 460,000 children in four districts were affected according to World Vision Indonesia.

Combatting Poverty

Each fiscal year, World Vision raises around $20 million from donors and sponsors in various countries to combat poverty and bring lasting transformation in the lives of the children to facilitate their communities. In 2018, 86 percent of World Vision’s total operating expenses went to aid Indonesia by establishing programs that benefited children, families and communities in poverty.

Parents in Indonesia are being empowered to care for their children through education on child protection and disaster risk reduction thanks to World Vision’s aid to Indonesia. Those who are interested in aiding the families affected by the recent tsunami may donate to World Vision’s Indonesia tsunami relief fund.

Carolina Chaves
Photo: Flickr

world concern
World Concern is a nonprofit organization devoted to transforming the lives of deeply impoverished people. Founded by pharmacist Jim McCoy and Doctor Wilbert Saunders in 1955, the organization was intended to provide resources to hospitals and clinics overseas.

In 1976, the functions of World Concern shifted dramatically when they realized that sending medicines and medical supplies was not enough to aid countries affected by a variety of crisis. They began sending passionate volunteers and expert to work on the ground with people living in the targeted community.

In addition to long-term support, they offer emergency relief support to countries that have experienced earth quakes and tsunamis among other situations. Their most recent contribution to relief was after the devastating earthquake.

World Concern is revolutionary because they work in some of the world’s most diseased and dangerous places. Some of these locations include Darfur, Myanmar, Somalia, Ethiopia and Rwanda. In some of the countries World Concern works, literacy rates are as low as 25 percent. A committed staff of approximately 900 people work on behalf of World Concern’s mission to aid poor communities.

In addition, 90 percent of the donations World Concern receives go to their programs abroad. They are transparent with their fiscal information to ensure that money is being maximized where it is most effective. Fundraising takes up only 5.2 percent of all expenses and promotions. 4.7 percent goes to management and general administrative duties.

World Concern is devoted to providing clean water to communities. Clean water is pertinent to maintaining the health of the people living in the community. They bring in wells and latrines to facilitate better hygiene and access to clean water.

Another service they provide is bettering children’s access to education. Many children in these poor communities have to walk for miles and the classes are usually held is sub standard conditions either outside or in very informal settings.

In poor communities of developing countries the way that most people earn a living is through farming. These forms of subsistence living are vulnerable to food insecurity; reliance on environmental conditions and floods and drought greatly affect the income stability.

World Concern is devoted to the long-term solutions to working out solutions in some of the world’s poorest communities. They foster a sense of hope through providing access to education and clean water.

– Maxine Gordon

Sources: CRISTA Ministries, World Concern
Photo: World Concern

Since World War II the rate of humanitarian crisis around the world has been drastically increasing. This trend is likely to continue or even get worse, considering the effects climate change, population growth and urbanization will have in the decades ahead. Humanitarian aid agencies and organizations continue to stretch their capabilities and resources to the limits in their efforts to respond to the rush of conflict zone and climate driven crises emerging worldwide.

One example of this is the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in November of last year. The wave of destruction brought by the storm affected 14 million people and put relief organization into high gear.

In collaboration with the government of Philippine, aid organizations and the U.N. provided much needed emergency relief services in the form of water, food and sanitation. In a massive deployment, U.N. and other aid personnel were able to clear over 500 miles of road and provided temporary shelter to over 550,000 families.

Even as media attention has moved to other crises, aid workers continue to work behind the scenes bringing emergency relief services to all affected people. Beyond the small portion of aid work that makes the headlines, aid work provided by the U.N. and other aid agencies is complex, multifaceted and long term. The U.N.’s aid network “forms the backbone of the global humanitarian response system.”

While the U.S.’ aid network remains strong, according to Richard Brennan, the World Health Organization’s Director of Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response, aid agencies have been working at their maximum capacity for several years. This is cause for concern, since it allows vulnerable people to fall trough the cracks.

But it is not all gloom, there are things that can be done to change the course. First and foremost, aid agencies need the necessary funding to do their job well. So far, many aid initiatives remain severely underfunded, despite continuous calls from the U.N. and other organisms for support. Governments, non-governmental organizations, private businesses and individuals all have a stake in making these contributions happen to reach the necessary funding goals. This cannot be a one-sided effort, and it is in the best interest of everyone to protect those in the most vulnerable situations.

Secondly, the international community should be more attentive to the well-being of aid workers. These workers risk their lives to provide much needed services to the most precarious and devastated places on earth. It is our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being, so that they can continue this valuable task.

And last but not least, strengthening the humanitarian system cannot only be a function of responding to crises; it is imperative to include prevention as a main objective of humanitarian aid. It is much easier and more cost effective to construct communities that can identify and avoid risk, or at least to be more resilient in the face of disaster, not to mention that it considerably reduces suffering as well.

The global humanitarian aid system is large and strong, but it can only do so much without the support of governments, businesses and individuals. It is our collective responsibility to support this system and to ensure that its members are able to continue bringing emergency relief to those who are suffering.

– Sahar Abi Hassan

Sources: Diplomatic Courier
Photo: Diplomatic Courier

Who Is Mercy Corps?
Mercy Corps is a non-profit organization that was started in 1979 and based in Portland, Oregon. Their mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. They aim to help people grappling with hardships survive by turning crisis into opportunity.

Mercy Corps is structured on a set of core values, which include belief in the intrinsic value and dignity of human life, and the belief of all people to thrive. Additionally, they believe that all people have the right to live in peaceful communities and participate in decisions that affect their lives. Mercy Corps members strive to be stewards of the Earth’s health, as well as stewards of the financial resources entrusted to them. Mercy Corps strives to use its resources to achieve peaceful change.

Mercy Corps is staffed by individuals who speak the local languages, know the culture, and understand the challenges of each community. Most of the time, their representatives are from the countries where they work. This enhances the sense of community and allows community members to help lift their neighbors from poverty.

The type of work Mercy Corps is involved in focuses on places in transition where conflict, disaster, political upheaval and economic collapse are present. The organization strives to provide emergency relief and to move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks. They work to support community-based initiatives that are community-led and market-driven. And finally, Mercy Corps seeks to use innovation to fight against poverty in the places they work.

Mercy Corps has established programs in forty-six countries. Their programs have many different themes including agriculture and food, children and youth, conflict and governance, disaster preparedness, economic opportunity, education, emergency response, environment, health, innovations, water, and women and gender.

An example of an agriculture and food initiative Mercy Corps works with is in Timor Leste, one of the newest, poorest, and most poverty-stricken countries in the world. Mercy Corps is working with 4,500 subsistence farmers to improve their crop production, increase their income and diversify their diets. The goal of this project is to create a solid foundation for sustainable development in the country.

Access to freshwater is a serious problem for many communities in the developing world. In Yemen, Mercy Corps is working with local water vendors to accept vouchers to provide families with 20 liters of drinking water a day. Additionally, they have trained community members on the importance of hygiene practices such as hand washing, and they have installed a 5,000-liter plastic tank to store washing and general use water closer to people’s homes. This initiative has given over 1,000 people better access to water, greatly improving health in the communities.

Mercy Corps relies on donations and fundraising to sustain its programs. They encourage people to attend their events, donate, and volunteer with their organization. For more information, visit their website here.

– Caitlin Zusy
Source: Mercy Corps