About half of all Indonesians live on less than two dollars a day. Employment growth has been slower than population growth. Public services remain inadequate by middle-income standards, and health indicators are poor. The island is also one of the most disaster-prone nations in the world.
- Economic opportunity: Providing technical assistance, training and financial services to microfinance institutions throughout the country and helping spice farmers earn more income
- Health: Raising awareness and supporting mothers to practice and promote exclusive breastfeeding
- Water: Improving sanitation and hygiene in crowded urban areas with a mobile sludge removal service
- Disaster preparedness: Identifying and mapping areas at risk and helping those communities plan, train and practice how to respond when disasters occur
- Emergency response: Maintaining a response team ready to quickly deploy and provide immediate relief to survivors during the critical first months after a disaster strikes
Indonesia: Lasting change
Behavior is hard to change. I know. I’ve tried. Even with support, it’s still extraordinarily difficult to change. To learn new skills. To give up character flaws. To be a better person.
Indonesia: Can you spare a square?
I didn’t expect my first blog post from the field to be about sanitation. I thought maybe microfinance or agriculture programs or mobile commerce. Something unique, innovative, life changing. But sanitation? Toilets? Hand washing? What could be less cutting edge?
Indonesia: Landslides make isolated Indonesian villages resemble 'lost continent'
Two weeks after the earthquake, my colleagues and I got on motorcycles and headed north out of Padang and up into the mountains around Bukit Tinggi. We were going to check out an isolated area that we had heard was badly affected by landslides and had barely been reached.
Indonesia: Doing the (sometimes) heavy lifting
The trucks arrived at night, pulling up at our warehouse one by one. They had driven for four full days from Jakarta, pausing only to sleep from 1 A.M. to 5 A.M. in the truck on the side of the road.
Indonesia: The team behind the emergency response team
This morning when I arrived at the office, I got a call from one of my team members, Hasdi — a Community Facilitator for our Community Development Program here in Banda Aceh. He’s one of the members of Indonesia Response Team (IRT) in Padang, as a volunteer from our office.
Indonesia: Lake Maninjau
Indonesia: Lead them to a better future
I started my day with a cup of tea while reading a local newspaper, Padang Ekspres, this morning. The headline for today’s edition read “70 percent of the business economy is destroyed.”
Indonesia: Three countries, seven cities, one call
Especially during the first several days in the aftermath of an disaster, a diverse group of Mercy Corps staff comes together for phone conferences to coordinate and discuss what's happening on the ground.
Indonesia: How can you help earthquake survivors?
Today I visited Ulakan village for the second time and, again, I saw many worried faces among the survivors in earthquake-affected communities. Tents fashioned from tarpaulins and plastic bags are still standing in front of their houses, makeshift homes for entire families.
Indonesia: Searching for answers in Padang
I feel like my heart stopped for seconds when I watched the news on TV that afternoon. Once again, Padang had been shaken by a massive earthquake. And this time it was really destructive.