Children In a IDPs Camp, Story From Mt.Merapi Eruption



lHargobinangun, Yogyakarta, Indonesia – 02/11/10 – 00:55 West Indonesia Time. Garul and Fajar are among more than forty children that gathered on every event designed by the psychosocial team in Yakkum Emergency (YEU) IDPs Camp in its training facilities, Disaster Oasis at Hargobinangun village. Both Garul and Fajar needed to be in the IDP camp due to the Mt.Merapi eruption. They both come from Boyong sub-village, three kilometers from the camp.

Paijan, the father of Fajar, earn money from working as sand miner along Boyong River close by their village. Sands from Mt.Merapi are very popular over three provinces in Java for concrete constructing. Subiyanti, her mother, is a homemaker. Garul’s parents have two milking cows, four goats, and some tens of chickens. They also run a small shop in front of their house.



Both parents of Fajar and Garul incomes have been abandoned because of the disaster occured this last one week. Boyong River is forbidden from any mining activity, while uncertain feeding for cows due to the less grass caused less milk production. Fajar and Garul are both do not know and understand on how their parents have money during the disaster course.

“Probably they have kept some amount of money as saving”, said Fajar.

Fajar, a girl of grade five and Garul a boy of grade two, both go to the same school, Banteng Elementary School. The school has been suspended since a day after the first eruption on Tuesday, 26 October 2010. They both miss the school and their friends. While Fajar enjoys art, science, and Indonesian language lessons, Garul favors to math, Indonesian language and English.

“I sometimes study during in this refugee camp. On that barrack, yes … even it is crowded, but I can study well” Fajar told how she get in touch to her school materials during the school’s off.

Garul never review his lessons. He had no chance to bring his books when people evacuated him on Tuesday, 26 October. 

“But they give us lessons also. You see, Uncle Bunder teaches us while we play. I love to be here. They invite me and other children to play and learn. At home, I never had this kind of activities”, Garul said as he mentioned Bunder, a nickname for Heru, the Psychosocial Team Leader.

Heru designs the psychosocial interventions for children under the theme of environmental issues (read also ‘Simply to Help’). He and his team introduce animals, plants, His team also introduce simple English to children.

Garul and Fajar are all enjoy being at the IDPs Camp run by YEU at its training centre Disaster Oasis. Both said that the place is a good one for playing.

“We like to be here as for playing. There are a lot of friends here, while at home fewer friends. Uncle Bunder and his friends also kindly accompany us always, with stories or lessons …Yes I think so, all of the children enjoy being here” said Fajar.

What Fajar and Garul told regarding their comfort to be in the refugee camp, represents the success of the psychosocial intervention for children survivors from Boyong and Kaliurang Selatan sub-villages facilitated at YEU’s Disaster Oasis ( 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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