|Volume 4 - Issue 07 JULY 2006||
GIFTS OF LOVE AMIDST DEATH AND DEPRESSION IN INDONESIA
The story of how the Sai volunteers reached out to the survivors
In addition, over 15,000 people were injured, 83,683 homes were completely destroyed and an additional 314,865 houses damaged. An estimated half a million people were rendered homeless.
So many lives are shattered beyond repair as many survivors cannot walk or work. There is so much need to infuse self-confidence in them, provide them with all necessities and rebuild their lives. The World Bank has projected the financial damage at a massive 3 billion dollars – more than both the Gujarat and Pakistan earthquake figures of 2001 and 2005 respectively - due to the large amount of infrastructure destroyed. So that is, in brief, the extent of damage in the island of Java.
Sai Devotees Rush to the Scene
Into this scene of death and devastation came the Sai Organization – dozens of devotees ready to work tirelessly for their brothers and sisters who had lost everything. Heart2Heart was privileged to receive details of the work undertaken by the Indonesian Sai Organisation and we share with you an overview of their tireless toil.
On the day following the disaster, four teams including senior office bearers went to the stricken areas to make assessments. They visited Dr. Sarjito Hospital, located in Yogyakarta, and Cakra Husada Hospital, located in Klaten. Medicines were distributed at these two hospitals, including thousands of antibiotic doses, thousands of syringes, bandages and other necessary medical items. The distribution of food, clothes and stoves was carried out in other afflicted areas.
On the second day after the quake, they distributed emergency supplies such as 40 tents, and hundreds of pieces of clothing.
On the third day, 3 lorries full of supplies (consisting of over 3 tonnes of rice, 1000 bottles of water, clothes and other essential items) reached the area for distribution.
On the fourth day, two mobile medical teams began making house to house visits supported by another stationary team, helped by 10 youths who also started setting up kitchens.
By the fifth day two public kitchens began feeding the hungry, as more supplies arrived, including one and a half tonnes of rice and more household supplies.
In a short while three hygienic public kitchens were set up in the areas of Klaten, Imogiri and Gunung Cilik, to remain open till 29th June 2006. Fresh vegetables were supplied daily to the base camps from the Sai Center in Yogyakarta. The sevadals, with the help of the local villagers, worked round the clock and served with love three meals a day for thousands of people.
Bibi, a little girl of 7 years from Bantul, tells us how vital the supply of food was:
Over the next few days, 6 medical teams were working to aid the survivors; over 2 and a half tones of rice were given out; 50 stoves and many essential food and household items were distributed; tools and volunteers arrived to help in rebuilding homes; the materials to make 20 brick furnaces were arranged (the bricks will be used to build 80 new homes); and thousands of items of clothing were distributed including a company run by devotees dispatching 10,000 pieces of clothing and 2,500 blankets. (This is a very small picture of the massive efforts that went into collecting, delivering and distributing the earthquake relief supplies. The tables above gives you a glimpse of the Seva that was done).
The logistical efforts were carried out with the knowledge that their labors were feeding the starving, giving medical aid to the injured (by 14th June as many as 1,070 victims had been medically treated by Sai volunteers), providing shelter to the homeless and clothing those who had nothing. It was and still is a massive undertaking, bringing out the best in the devotees in these life and death situations. The comment below depicts one example of the rebuilding work achieved by the devotees.
The devotees not only brought supplies and equipment but gave their physical strength too to help rebuild lives. As a pilot project, the Sai Organization will provide the finance and human resources for 9 houses in the district of Bantul. They also gave much needed emotional support to the traumatized, such as listening to accounts of personal suffering, playing with children and singing songs to uplift people, as one boy, Hevin, of 12 years from Bantul, recounted to a devotee -
So that is the difference that the Sai volunteers in Indonesia have brought to the lives of their brothers and sisters in distress. One can never describe in words how the love and emotional support, apart from the material support, from the Sai devotees really reenergized the people who thought that they had nothing and that nobody cared for them. The work in Indonesia is still going on and Heart2Heart prays that all the dedicated devotees receive His love, grace and blessings, now and forever.
– Heart2Heart Team
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Vol 4 Issue 07 - JULY 2006
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