|Survivors trying to salvage items
from their ruined homes in Ulee Lheue
|Uri Tadmor and Anisah Kortschak delivering aid
to an IDP representative at Bireuen, Aceh Utara
Sumatra Disaster Update
On December 26, the Indian Ocean region was struck by a natural disaster of horrific proportions. The worst hit area was the province of Aceh in northern Sumatra, where over 200,000 have perished, and over a million have been left homeless. After receiving credible reports that aid was failing to reach a large number of survivors, a group of Indonesians and foreign friends of Indonesia decided to organize a relief effort to deliver aid to survivors who were not receiving aid from the government or from other sources. For this purpose we have established a network called FORUM BANGUN ACEH.
One volunteer team organized in the city of Medan, south of Aceh. They purchased food, medications, and other necessities, and proceeded to Aceh in rented vehicles. A second team was dispatched directly to Banda Aceh, whose center was destroyed by the tsunami. This team brought large amounts of medications from Jakarta, and purchased food and other items locally. After delivering aid to many groups of refugees within the city, this second team proceeded down the coast, and met the first team half way, in the district of Pidie. Our teams were able to replenish their stock in local markets, enabling them to deliver tons of food, medications, clothes, mats, and other basic items to large numbers of refugees.
In addition to delivering material aid to survivors, our team included a physician, a dentist, two psychologists, and several community development specialists, who were able to offer medical, psychological, and practical advice to the refugees. We were also able to evacuate seriously ill refugees to hospitals. On January 15, the Jakarta team returned home, while our Aceh team is continuing our efforts on location.
During our trip, we identified one community with whom our group will continue working in the coming months and years. These are the survivors of the fishing village of Ulee Lheue, located 4 km from Banda Aceh, which has been totally obliterated by the tsunami. Of 4,500 who lived there before the disaster, only about 700 survive. However, the survivors have reorganized themselves in an exemplary fashion, and are eager to start rebuilding their community. We will be working together with them and providing them with assistance as they build temporary shelters, find foster families for their orphans, acquire new fishing boats, and rehabilitate their lives.
Click here for a visual presentation of the Forum Bangun Aceh and some of their work done so far in the devastated province.
TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SENT CONTRIBUTIONS, PLEASE ACCEPT OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.
If you would like to get involved with our efforts, please contact Uri Tadmor at <uri at cbn.net.id>. To avoid your message being treated as spam, please include the word ĎACEHí in the subject head. Thanks!
Contributions can be made to the following account:
Yayasan Bumi Kita - Forum Bangun Aceh
Account Number: 103-0004247942
Swift code: B E I I I D J A
Bank Mandiri KCP Menteng
Jl. Gereja Theresia no.45
Menteng - Jakarta Pusat
Alternatively, you may send it by PayPal to our US contact person, Lera Boroditsky (Stanford University), at <lera at psych.stanford.edu>
Another option is to mail a check to Uri Tadmor's US bank account:
First Hawaiian Bank
2764 Woodlawn Dr.
Honolulu, HI 96822-1841
Name: Uri Tadmor
Account number: 44-314886
Special note to ALT and ISMIL participants
Finally, a special note to participants in the upcoming international conferences in West Sumatra (ALT VI and ISMIL 9). The areas where the conferences will be held have not been affected by the disaster, and we fully intend to hold the conferences as planned. This will show our support to the people of Sumatra in their time of need, and will also give a small yet meaningful boost to the islandís economy.
Padang supports disaster relief activities (pictures)