On Tuesday, 6 Nov 2018, Anugrah Team departed from Jakarta at 02:45 am, heading to Palu. Three doctors, 2 nurses, and 2 facilitators; I am the Team Leader. This trip marked the beginning of our solidarity movement for what had happened in Palu, Sigi and Donggala, part 2. Now that there is no more help from Hercules, we cannot bring too many things from Jakarta. Our total baggage is about 215 kg in the form of medicine and other supporting equipments. Cargo price is around Rp. 37,000/kg. Thanks to Airforce Marshal Lukas Parmadi, who had helped us in our operational part 1, by giving Hercules facility, so we could send 5 tons of goods, and cut down a lot on our cargo cost.
As it was a red light flight, I had a good opportunity to have a good nap for about 2 hours. Palu’s scenery always fascinated me, even this time. I was really wandering how the city would be about one month after the disaster. Prior to landing, we can see that the city is much cleaner, from above, we don’t see much of the debris like our first visit. And this is what I saw as the aftermath after one month.
Upon arrival in Palu, we were purchasing more goods that we need. Then our team headed to Balaroa Refugee Center.
There are approximately 400 families there who have become permanent refugees. The Refugee Center looks like a little village in the middle of a dessert. They live in tents, complete with public toilet, temporary school, and simple playground.
On the first day of our operation, we have distributed Relief Supplies to more than 130 families, and approximately 225 patients received medical help.
You can see the condition of the refugees from the pictures I send.
When we arrived at Balaroa Refugee Center, I was taken back because of these facts:
1. These are the people that permanently lost their houses, their homes, and now they are forced by the circumstances to become permanent refugees. I heard there is a possibility that they will have to live in the Refugee Center until the next one to three years, or until our government is ready to relocate them.
2. Not all of them were poor before. I met Mr. Nawawi who is a government officer, working for Home Affairs Department. The value of the house he lost was around 700-800 Million Rupiah. A house with this price in Palu would be a considerably comfortable house in the standard of most people. Now he has to live in the Refugee Center. “Fortunately, I didn’t lose any of my family members,” he said. He lost about 40 close friends who lived around Balaroa neighborhood though, all died in the natural disaster.
3. Some people lost more than one family members during the disaster. I met Mr. Rickman who lost nine of his family members, all at once: his wife, 2 children, 2 children in law, and 4 grandchildren. He is one of the local elders, and now he has to live in the Refugee Center in his old age.
4. They need continuous support from Social Foundations and Humanitarian Organizations to keep coming. Yesterday, we gave them Free Medic and Food Supplies. But I also took the time to interact with them. This is good to comfort their soul, to help them with their physiological healing, when we show them that they matter to us, and that we care for them. What we are doing is actually encouraging them to rise again and to move on with their lives as soon as possible.
This afternoon, 7 Nov 2018, we will be heading to the Petobo Refugees Center. Thank You for every support and trust given to us. God bless!!
In His Service,
Ps. Daniel Hendrata & all Anugrah Ministries team in the field
This post is also available in: Indonesian