MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Fri 19-Oct-18 12:44:48

Guest Post By Iris Van Deinse, Communications delegate, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: "Indonesia Tsunami: Women, children and families are suffering the most.”

Tens of thousands of Indonesians have been displaced by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The Red Cross need your donations to help treat survivors and to rebuild their communities.

Iris Van Deinse

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Posted on: Fri 19-Oct-18 12:44:47


Lead photo

Women, children and families often suffer disproportionally during a humanitarian emergency like this.

In the city of Palu, I saw families living in tents. The streets were full of traumatised survivors who were too frightened to return to their homes amid the aftershocks, or who had no homes to return to, after tens of thousands were destroyed.

The survivors are the ‘lucky’ ones. Entire communities here have been decimated and families torn apart. With 2010 people already confirmed dead, more than 5000 are feared missing.

Women, children and families often suffer disproportionally during a humanitarian emergency like this. They can be particularly vulnerable in the aftermath. It is women who usually take on childcare responsibilities. They show great resilience in their determination to survive as best they can, even when they have lost loved ones and have their kids living under a tarpaulin.

Fazrianti lived in one of the hardest hit areas. I found her underneath a tree where she is now living with her young child because their home was so badly damaged. She explained that she just had time to grab her daughter and run, so now they have nothing left except each other and the clothes on their backs.

Fazrianti and her young family are among the 200,000 survivors who are in urgent need of assistance. Thousands of families are in desperate need of food and drinking water, and tarpaulins to make emergency shelters as well as medicine and medical help.

Red Cross doctors, working out of mobile health clinics, say they’re mostly treating women and children. Many are suffering from open wounds, broken bones and bruises, as well as stress-related high blood pressure and illnesses such as diarrhoea, stomach problems and flu, brought on by lack of clean water.

Your donations will contribute to the combined relief effort, led by Indonesian agencies and local branches of global organisations, and will help devastated people rebuild their lives.

I met a distraught mother who had brought her four-year-old daughter to the Red Cross health clinic for emergency medical help as she was feeling extremely sick and dizzy. The mother was still traumatised by the tsunami and very worried about her little girl. Her husband was working away from home, so she had been left alone to care for their daughter in unimaginable circumstances. The stress was taking its toll on her.

In Sigi, central Sulawesi, I spoke to the father of two 15-year-old girls who had both been attending a bible camp when the tsunami hit. He had spent two days searching through the rubble with his bare hands, but he knew that with each passing day, the chance of finding them alive was diminishing. When I found him, he was standing in the mud of the tsunami with two pictures of his children: he just stood there beside the rescue workers and cried.

The survivors don’t just need short-term aid. A tsunami hits at 400mph, but it also kills slowly, over time. The survivors, particularly the children, will need long term protection and support to help them to process the emotional impact of the events that they’ve experienced. 

DEC member charities and their local partners are working closely with the Indonesian authorities to support survivors. As the full scale of the disaster unfolds, they’re ready to do even more, to help these devastated communities rebuild their lives. 

The Indonesian Red Cross has been on the ground since immediately after the tsunami hit. More than 600 volunteers are providing medical care, distributing relief and evacuating survivors from the disaster zone. It has already treated 2,100 patients across its three medical clinics, and will continue to support those affected for as long as is needed.

The Red Cross is also working to bring in psychosocial support to help people cope with the crisis, and its Restoring Family Links team has started to reunite families who have been separated during the chaos. Other agencies are starting to set up safe spaces for women, children and the elderly, which will help to restore a sense of security and normality, and help people to cope and recover.

Your donations will contribute to the combined relief effort, led by Indonesian agencies and local branches of global organisations, and will help devastated people rebuild their lives.

Help women, children and families by donating to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal

By Iris Van Deinse

Twitter: @irisvandeinse

Redkeyboard Fri 19-Oct-18 20:13:46

Thank you for posting this.

OvaHere Fri 19-Oct-18 20:26:45

Thank you for highlighting this. I will donate.

noraclavicle Fri 19-Oct-18 20:44:36

Done - thanks for posting. Sadly, the fewer Western tourists involved in an awful disaster like this, the less it enters our consciousness.

QuietContraryMary Fri 19-Oct-18 21:01:21

On this topic attitudes to grief/victims are very different.

This boy's mother died.

The President came to visit the area and met the boy. The President took him to his car and the boy asked him if he was going back to Jakarta in the President's plane. The President gave him some biscuits and told him to be a good boy and go to school, to which the boy replied that his school was destroyed, so the President said they would rebuild the school.

After that some journalist interviewed the boy, who is six, and the boy said:

'My mum is dead, but I'm not allowed to cry, I have to be brave. My mum is already very high. If I had gone in the plane you couldn't see mum any more. My mum is already high above the mountains. '

Then a second adult questions him 'Where is your mum.'

'My mum is in heaven but I'm mustn't cry, I have to be brave. I have to study so I can make my mum proud. If I cry my mum will cry as well.'

scepticalwoman Fri 19-Oct-18 23:21:07

Such an awful tragedy and shameful that we seem to have have so quickly forgotten about this.Thank you for posting.

Fionz Fri 19-Oct-18 23:33:21

Is this aid money going to mysteriously disappear like the Grendfell Tower aid money?? 🤔


Fionz Fri 19-Oct-18 23:37:18


stillathing Sat 20-Oct-18 06:58:35

Thank you for posting as well. And yes as PP have said, the fewer the western casualties, the more likely that it slips from the consciousness. I can't imagine how terrifying this must have been.

I am so torn over charity aid donations though. I need to know I am not paying money to a charity which acts as a cloak for abusive men. My previous large charity recipients were both implicated in scandal. They also do amazing work.... And yet perpetuating male violence anywhere in the world only deepens suffering and further entrenches inequality.

Fionz Sat 20-Oct-18 08:21:35

166,667 people need to donate £3 just so Red Cross' CEO gets paid!! That doesnt include their expenses either! Exactly how much of your money reaches these people??
Charity is just a corrupt business. They take ALOT of money and do a little good work.
For 20 years, they have been building wells in Africa... If you add up all the donations in that 20 year period, millions and millions of pounds and there still aren't enough wells??
Cancer Research UK - have enough money they could buy Belgium! Decades of research and still no cure, yet every so many years they announce a new breakthrough which never ever materialises into anything much. However, drums up attention to the charities need (want) for more of your money!
Do people really think they would announce that they found a cure?? What happens when this happens?? Don't need the charity anymore, nobody donates cause no need for any more research!! Really?? A huge business (which is what charities are) is not going to say "we sold enough products, let's shut down now"!!
Don't get me wrong, there are genuine charities out there. They tend to be the smaller, lesser known ones. I used to work for charities, I would never give them a penny!! I'd rather cut them out and donate direct. It's funny how people hand over their money, knowing it's going in some fat cats pocket, or dodgy investments, just for a pat on the back!!

QuietContraryMary Sat 20-Oct-18 09:16:53

"166,667 people need to donate £3 just so Red Cross' CEO gets paid!! That doesnt include their expenses either! Exactly how much of your money reaches these people??"

Fuck off with this. The US CEO's salary of Red Cross has literally fuck all to do with money going to the Indonesian Red Cross which is a separate organisation and legally constituted in Indonesia.

" I'd rather cut them out and donate direct. "

How do you propose to do that in Palu? Do you even know where Palu is? Fuck off with this shit.

Fionz Sat 20-Oct-18 11:01:27

You actually think all your donations go straight to those who desperatly need it?? And i was referring to charity corruption in general and used that as an example!! Oh, but im sure red cross in Indonesia is an exception lol Mug!!

QuietContraryMary Sat 20-Oct-18 11:10:27

This thread is about earthquake victims in Indonesia. Unless you have some better idea about how to help them I suggest you shut up.

Fionz Sat 20-Oct-18 11:33:17

No it isn't. It's an advert to give money to to the red cross, using the poor victims of the disaster as a rouse. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure some money does go to help those people and I'm sure the aid workers at the site are genuine. (Except in Africa where red cross aid workers were caught using the charity as a means to rape victims). And don't be so naive, of course there are smaller, far more genuine charities out there helping!!

QuietContraryMary Sat 20-Oct-18 12:38:03

Did you even read the original post? They are asking for money for the DEC Palu appeal. It is not for, or on behalf of the Red Cross.

sansouci Sun 21-Oct-18 21:56:24

I used to work at the IFRC in Geneva. Glad to see that the federation's excellent work continues.

KatVonGulag Mon 22-Oct-18 08:05:25

So sad

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