Indonesia: Child and Community Centre
Children at risk post Tsunami Indonesia
The troubled province of Aceh, on the northwest tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, suffered the full force of 'the Boxing Day Tsunami' on 26 December 2004.
Nearly a quarter of a million people died or simply disappeared during that single day. The disaster compounded a long-standing and brutal civil war between the Acehnese and Indonesian authorities. Communities were destroyed, uprooted, survivors forced together in makeshift groups and thrust upon existing villages and towns, leading to inter-communal tensions.
Emergencies such as this disrupt children’s lives, removing them from the routines that make them feel safe and secure. Many children experienced the death of a loved one and others were separated from their families. Without the guidance and protection of their families, children became victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking, discrimination and other abuses.
Since 2004 many children have now been reunited with their primary caregivers, but there are still approximately 2400 orphaned and vulnerable children that have been identified in the Aceh region of Indonesia.
Reconstruction of towns and villages has been ongoing, but equally essential is the reconstruction of communities and individual lives. Indonesia is an ethnically diverse country and is also plagued by recurring political and inter-communal conflict. Forced relocation caused by the tsunami has resulted in many of these rival communities living alongside one another. Whilst buildings have been reconstructed, the work to heal the divisions of war and natural disaster has taken longer. A ceasefire has held since 2005.