It is not Hotel Rwanda as you see in the movie. The facilities are much simpler. No political tension oppresses the management and staffs. No horror pictures displayed and squize your emotion to the edge, except the fact that very active 2.980 m Volcano is standing 15 km northern to this place and has killed 32 people on his first eruption on 26 Oct 2010 evening.
Two hundreds people seek for shelter due to Merapi volcano eryption, enjoy each other, they are doing normal life: praying, laughing even having conflicts, returning home at 3-4 am to feed the cattle and harvest milk every morning and afternoon. Here, they discuss with relax and enthusiastic, how they arrange their daily meals, places for sleep, cleaning schedule, daily programs to attend and activities they like to keep sense of “normal life”.
Those 200-500 people from Merapi affected area are accommodated in the Disaster Oasis, a training center for disaster management, in Yogyakarta. Like her motto, a pleasant and peaceful area in the midst of plight, Disaster Oasis built by YAKKUM[i], run by emergency unit of YAKKUM (YEU[ii]) and supported by EED[iii] , is aimed at creating different alternative perspective of disasters. When designed in 2008, it was envisioned by our beliefs (through years of experiences in disaster management throughout Indonesia and Asia) that disasters always provide opportunities to transform our life, to make something good and promising, out of chaos and misery.
Alternatives designs for houses erected for specific types of hazards, skills appropriate for securing life, different models for educating disasters to children, and more to explore and learn in this accommodation. Disaster oasis has been facilitating more than 1000 people to learn about disasters in different perspectives, from school teachers, students, medical personnel, NGOs staffs, ex combatants, government apparatus up to academician. Most of them are disasters survivors from different areas in Indonesia.
Not only that, Disaster Oasis is also planned and set up as evacuation center for people living in this Mt Merapi[iv] zone, one of the most active volcano in Indonesia and the world. We bring barrack models from Aceh tsunami experiences in 2005 here to see today that it is now indeed used for sheltering volcano survivors. Our facilitators of Disaster Oasis train disaster preparedness for people organization in Maluku how to erect and manage barrack for temporary displacement post in 2008 and this week they indeed set up barrack and tents for the volcano survivors.
Other facilitators at Disaster Oasis train village volunteers from earthquake affected areas about psychosocial support for children back in 2008 and the very moment after Merapi erupted this week, they mobilize the volunteers to stand with the children and play with them so they keep sense of normality despite of being displaced from home and schools awhile.
They sit with woman whose trauma and hysteria after strong eruption last night of being apart from her beloved husband. Food distribution system involving and being managed by the disaster survivors are practiced since day 2. Conflict management is practiced among the disaster survivors and caregivers who have been exhausted after long days and nights working along the clock. Coordination among disaster stakeholders is exercised with all common struggles to be solved.
SPHERE Standards, people participation, humanitarian accountability in HAP framework are not something to be talked, it is something to work on and reflect with. Both care givers and disaster survivors are living and learning together here in Disaster Oasis. We are grateful to see that the vision of disaster for transformation is taking a shape today (arshinta, oct 30 2010)