Maryati: From IDPs to Coordinator


Maryati (center) attending a meeting of barrack coordinators and Yakkum Emergency Unit. She gets more experiences in IDP Camp Management (picture by Abang Rahino).

Hargobinangun, Yogyakarta, Indonesia – 29/10/10 – 21.00 West Indonesia Time. Being an IDP (internal displaced people) is surely far from having a comfort as in normal life. But as Maryati experiencing to be an IDP from the eruption of Mt.Merapi on 26 October 2010, then appointed to be a Barrack Coordinator, she gets another facet of life.

Maryati had just finished her ironing work and planned to do her Maghrib prayer at about 18.35, on Tuesday, 26 October 2010. So did with her two daughters, Oki – grade ten in accountancy vocational school, and Andini – goes to grade two. They live in Boyong sub-village, Hargobinangun, Sleman, Yogyakarta, which lies about eight kilometers from the peak of Mt.Merapi, one of the most active volcanic mountain in the world.

It was not until they finished their prayer, when the siren from the disaster warning system loudly roared. Nothing to wait she thought, and directly ran to the main road to watch to the North to where the Mt.Merapi peak is. What she saw was enough for her to decide to evacuate her family members.

Huge roaring pyroclastic already shown up its threat from the North above Maryati peaceful sub-village of Boyong. Merapi’s eruptions have been accompanied by pyroclastic flows, or nuées ardentes, which are clouds of superheated gases and incandescent solid particles. Because of its appearance, local people called it in local language referring to a group of running sheep with their thick fur.

In the eruption of Nov. 22, 1994, the release of a pyroclastic flow killed 64 people. Other major eruptions were those of 1006, 1786, 1822, 1872, 1930, and 1976.


Even though she lives in IDPs barrack during the eruption of Mt.Merapi, Maryati needs to feed her cows sometimes late evening. Most of citizens in Boyong sub-village, Hargobinangun, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, make their living from milking cows (picture by Abang Rahino).


Maryati quickly asked her brother Marijo to guide their mother Juminah sat on the back seat of their only motorcycle, and Maryati herself speed it up to the closest mosque. Juminah was once had stroke and since then suffered minor paralyzed. There were some people on the site already, for Boyong community made it as a meeting point before they were evacuated to the safest place.

When Maryati returned back home, Oki and Andini already on their way to evacuate, accompanied by their uncle. All of them then being evacuated about three kilometers away to Disaster Oasis, a disaster training center established and operated by Yakkum Emergency Unit or YEU. They had nothing to bring, for panics situations spread out the whole sub-village.

The place to where Maryati, Oki, Andini and the rest of the family and another 63 people from Boyong were evacuated, as what Oki told, is very good place and comfort though. Food and some other daily needs are well prepared by YEU. And yet Disaster Oasis is designated to be a training center with complete healthy spaces even though simple.

But Maryati’s mind is on her four cows and their two calves. It has been years as what most people do in Boyong, Maryati raised money from selling fresh milk to a local coop. She needs to milk twice a day, at five AM and two PM. She also needs to cut grass from a piece of land she rents to grow it. Since her husband left her and their two children to marry another woman, Maryati has to do most of the things dealing with their cows. Her brother Marijo and their father help her also.

Oki also concerns about her schooling. She is currently on her mid-semester test. Sometimes she needs to find a quiet place to study, away from the so many people who live together in seven barracks under Disaster Oasis supervision.

From the seventy IDPs (internal displaced peoples) from Boyong on the first day, those seven barracks is now packed with 495 IDPs from Boyong and another neighboring sub village of Kaliurang Selatan. While Oki studies hard having her mid-semester test, Andini feels happy with the psychosocial activities for children carried out by YEU through games, learn together, and interactions with peer groups.

“I enjoy to have more friends here. Those brothers and sisters also mentor all of us the children here, to study lesson materials from schools” as Andini – Maryati’s second grade daughter – said.
As they live in Disaster Oasis shelters, Boyong citizens appointed Maryati to be one of the seven Barrack Coordinators. They trust her to coordinate about seventy seven IDPs in her barrack. As to do this duty, she needs to work together with another six Barrack Coordinators, under the supervision of YEU.

Experiencing to be a Coordinator, Maryati feels happy to have chance in helping another people during difficult time.

“As I’ve never had such an experience like this before, being coordinator provides me chance to learn IDPs Camp Management. I like also to have chance to help other people. This is really meaningful to me. Yes, even though it makes me busier as I still need to feed and milk my cows at home. Back and forth from here to home several times including to transport my two daughters to schools, is really a tiring works. But I’m happy to do this”

Maryati is yet an inspiring person in the mid of difficult times such as disaster in Mt.Merapi, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Prepared by Abang Rahino, for Yakkum Emergency Unit).


About oaseindisasters

Oase in Disaster - Yakkum Emergency Unit This blog is official blog of Yakkum Emergency Unit Member of ACT Alliance and Member of Humanitarian Forum of Indonesia. The contents of this blog covers the YEU's activities related to emergency responds activities in Indonesia. Currently, we are working in emergency respon in three different areas; to respond Wasior flash-flood affected people in Manokwari, West Papua, tsunami-Mentawai affected people in Mentawai, West Sumatera, and Merapi Volcano Eruption in Central Java and Yogyakarta. At the national level, we are coordinating within the network of Humanitarian Forum of Indonesia (HFI) and at the International level we're coordinating with Global Network for Disaster Reduction and ACT Alliance. Email: Follow us in twitter @yeu2001
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