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Caritas team remains in Padang offering kits to help build temporary shelter, food packages, kitchen items, a mobile medical clinic, schools kits, creative activities for children and trauma healing Credits: Conor O’Loughlin/Trocaire

Caritas team remains in Padang offering kits to help build temporary shelter, food packages, kitchen items, a mobile medical clinic, schools kits, creative activities for children and trauma healing
Credits: Conor O’Loughlin/Trocaire

The earthquake that hit Padang in Indonesia on 30th September, didn’t last much longer than 30 seconds, yet in that time it managed to rip up roads, flatten whole villages and result in the deaths of over 1,100 people.

Rebuilding roads, school, bridges and people’s homes will take months, if not years. And that’s without considering that people have to return to their jobs – if they still exist, markets have to be re-established and people will have to feel safe enough to restart their lives without the fear that another massive earthquake will take everything away again.

The Caritas initial response was rapid: first teams went immediately to assess the damage, then member organisations started to send through staff and items such as tents, tarpaulins and food.

Caritas has increased the amount that it is appealing for to US $ 2,302,321.88 ( EUR 1,535,308) to help 110,000 people with shelter, 43,000 with food, and 105,000 people with access to clean water.

Caritas is working through Caritas Indonesia (known locally as Karina) , and Caritas members and their local partners including Caritas Netherlands (CORDAID), Caritas Ireland (Trócaire), Caritas Czech Republic, and CRS (a Caritas member in the US).

Caritas Indonesia has delivered food packages already to 6,200 homes and provided temporary shelter to 8000 families. The aid includes kits to help build temporary shelter, food packages, kitchen items, a mobile medical clinic, schools kits, creative activities for children and trauma healing.

Caritas is currently preparing to raise more money for this longer period in which people try to rebuild their homes and their lives. In the meantime, Caritas staff will be with people of Padang during their difficult journey back to normality and won’t be going away. Caritas volunteers sent us these series of reports in their own words

I wasn’t afraid, just worried
“Up to now, I feel worried if I’m left alone in the living room. I am not ready for the aftershocks. I don’t know when it will happen. It’s like a nightmare,” said Rosmaini. Read more…
Volunteers are meaningful 
“For the first time in the history of Caritas in Indonesia”, said Father Raymond OFM.Cap, Manager of Caritas Joint Program (CJR) of the Padang’s Earthquake Response. “Volunteers from various Diocesan Caritas in Indonesia arrived. Many kinds of aid were offered to help the affected people. We should record this in Caritas Indonesia history”.
Read more…
“I can’t move half of my body, but I survived.”
“We have nothing left. Just after the quake, we spent the night under the umbrella. It’s cold and dark outside. I could feel the rain and aftershocks on my bare feet. I wouldn’t go inside (our house),” said Suwardi, a 55 year old man. Read more…
Local culture in an emergency situation
“We always coordinate in accordance with the structure of government and community leaders. If the Wali Nagari and community leaders do not agree to help, we will refuse. This is for security”, said Aburahim. ”We do not want people to get upset because of political interests or Evangelization issues”, he added. Read more…
Keep playing and stay alert 
“The quake makes me stay alert. When the ground trembles very hard, I’ll bring my sister outside right away. My mother will bring my youngest sister. She is 2 months old now. I will give more attention to her.” Read more…

Question time: Caritas Indonesia Director Fr Sigit 

“Our biggest challenge is how to help the population of West Sumatra return to their ‘normal’ lives, to the ones they lived before the earthquake,” says Fr Sigit Pramudji, head of Caritas Indonesia. Read more…
Building a house, building a new hope 
“Luckily we were safe. Properties can be rebuilt. The important thing is that we are still healthy, able to work, and able to enjoy food.” Rosidin said. Read more…
Sumatra quake: Behind the scenes
“We must be ready at any time needed. One time, we had to get up at four in the morning to unload emergency aids from truck”, said Saptono, a member of Caritas Logistics team in the Padang Joint Response (CJR). Read more…
We are ready to help 
“I joined the Caritas volunteers a few days after the quake. It’s very tiring and challenging because CJR is mandated to cover remote and abandoned areas. Not many women who are interested to join as volunteers. Perhaps they don’t want to ruin their makeup. I enjoy this work. Traveling to different places is fun. Glad to see the survivors directly.” said Sriaty, one of the volunteers. Read more…