Many of you have seen the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia last weekend. So far, more than 1.5 million people have been impacted. The sad truth is that the destruction, displacement, and death toll is likely to rise as rescuers get to areas that are currently inaccessible. It’s tough, too, because of a series of earthquakes in Lombok (near Bali) earlier this year, which has stretched Indonesia’s disaster response resources.
I’ve been fortunate to travel to Indonesia often over the last eight years as an international educator and work with amazing Indonesians from all across the archipelago. One of our colleagues is from Palu, one of the cities hit hardest.
She’s working with a number of small community-based groups to coordinate supplies like tents, solar chargers, masks, food for infants, water filtration systems, and other items that are urgently needed by folks on the ground. Funds from this campaign will go directly to our friends and colleagues in Indonesia and be passed to the community groups.
These are grassroots organizations and community networks that are working directly with people who have been impacted. With basically no overhead or administrative costs, I can’t think of a better way to get aid to people who need it urgently. They are making great efforts to be transparent about donations and post donor lists, amounts, and what they purchased on a community Instagram account. They are also working to fill gaps in the government or larger relief organizations' efforts and are responsive to needs on the ground as they shift. In the long-term, aid might be best coordinated through larger groups, but those take time to set-up operations. In the meantime, the hope is that support, even small amounts, can help save lives in the immediate aftermath of this devastating natural disaster.
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