News by emailDonate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Palu-Central-Sulawesi-Indonesia-quake_article_image.jpg
AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana
World News

Christian charity supports thousands left homeless one year after earthquake

The Christian relief and development agency has been responding in the region since the earthquake and tsunami hit, delivering life-saving aid and helping people build new homes and businesses. 

4,300 people were killed and 190,000 were left in need of assistance when the earthquake hit, which triggered not only a tsunami, but also liquefaction, a phenomenon which caused whole villages to be swallowed up by the earth.

It is not known how many bodies are still unaccounted for, but flags placed among the rubble indicate where those still not recovered may be buried deep under the rubble and mud. 

Now a year on, 57,000 people are still homeless, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresecent (IFRC). For survivors like Suparjo, aged 60 and his wife Ina, aged 64 , who escaped with only their lives and each other, recovery has meant an entirely new start.

The couple fled Palu when their house was destroyed by liquefaction following the earthquake. They have since been living in a temporary shelter in a camp in Pombewe, surviving on food donations and in March joined Tearfund's cash programme, receiving funds to start a small business making banana chips, which with they are selling in Palu and in nearby kiosks.

They are now earning enough to support themselves and saving to repair their house. Suparjo said: "We lost everything but we want to continue living. Me and my wife, we only think about surviving.  Banana chips may not bring a lot of profit, but it is a steady income".

Tearfund has supported over 30,000 people in Sulawesi, with thousands having received help through cash programming and food donations, hygiene kits and emergency healthcare. Tearfund is building built new permanent homes and is training masons to ensure they are skilled in earthquake-resistant construction.

"Recovery is gradual. So much of the city's infrastructure has been destroyed. Many people are still homeless," Tearfund's Disaster Management Lead for Asia, Sanjeev Bhanja told Premier.

"We have 48 homes under construction and through these building projects Tearfund is training masons to be equipped with the skills to build earthquake resistant homes and be able to earn a living now and in the future. 

"People are continuing to live with the trauma of what they experienced and the pain of losing family members and friends.

"Tearfund's partners are providing ongoing psychosocial support to those affected. We are also providing training to help improve community preparedness in the event of future disasters."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate