Sumatra quake: Distributing aid to the grassroots

Credit: James Alcock/Caritas Internationalis (c) 2009.

Centre at St Francis of Assisi in Padang Baru distributes Caritas aid. Photo by James Alcock/Caritas

By Tim O’Connor, Caritas Australia

The centre at St Francis of Assisi in Padang Baru is refilling with aid as fast as it can be distributed. Fr. Agus is involved in coordinating the team of 25 volunteers here who are warehousing and distributing to needy families.

“The aid is coming from the community as donations. Water, noodles, tarpaulins, rice, biscuits, sarongs, all manner of things which people are in desperate need of,” said Fr Agus. “We have already distributed 3.5 tonnes of rice in this Parish and a total of 19.5 tonnes across the whole of Padang.”

Dui, 16 years old, has been volunteering here since the first day of the quake. “I had that feeling that I just had to do something” he said. “In my family we were lucky and there was no one injured and our house was okay but I wanted to help those who have lost so much”.

Chris, 17, is stacking the boxes of noodles and the packs of rice. He offers a similar sentiment. “I have the feeling that we have everything and others have lost everything. I must do something to help them,” he said.

Paulina has been assisting the Parish Secretary Yustin in logging the aid and the assessment team notes to verify those most in need.

“On days when I’m working at the bank, I come in after work. The days when I’m not working there, I come in all day,” said Paulina.

Yustin tells us that more than 250 families have been assisted in their efforts so far by the centre.

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Filed under Asia, Conflicts and Disasters, Emergencies, Indonesia

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