CWS Asia


6x4 Indonesia_Tana Toraja

In the primary school in Lembang Rano, Tana Toraja, even as they wait for help to improve their school, 70-plus teachers and student students just came together to hear from District Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) and CWS staff about the Safe Schools concept and to learn the basics of what they themselves can do to make their school safer and, importantly, what they must do to protect themselves in the event of a disaster. Photo: CWS


With some basic information-sharing and education leading to better home gardening and chicken-raising, Simri and his family now have a better diet and a little extra money from selling eggs. Photo: CWS

Therapeutic Feeding Center (TFC) - West Timor

Benedicta Mone holds her 15 month old daugther, Indriyani, while CWS nurse, Agnes Eva Liunokas (right), feed her a special milk formula outside the Therapeutic Feeding Center (TFC). The TFC treats malnourished children in the rural Timor Tengah Selatan District of West Timor, Indonesia. Operated out of the local hospital, CWS nurses provide care around the clock: administering medicine, establishing frequent feeding schedules and education for the parents to prepare nutritious food once back at home. Photo: CWS

CWS teams first served the people of Indonesia through the Communion of Churches in Indonesia in the 1950s. Then following decades of humanitarian and development work, and a brief hiatus in 1997, CWS partnered significantly with the U.S. government through USDA and USAID Title II funding after a series of crises, both natural and manmade, caused a dramatic increase in food prices and pervasive poverty, as well as alarmingly high malnutrition rates among young children.

As the economy has stabilized, many people’s lives and livelihoods have improved. However, there are several remaining areas of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, so CWS continues its original work through our signature Timor Zero Hunger initiative in partnership with UMCOR. This work also significantly funds CWS-led initiatives for the continuing response to the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear disaster.

Also in Indonesia, CWS partners with UNHCR to protect and support refugees and asylum seekers from across Asia and eastern Africa. Additionally, we partner with Act for Peace to promote school and community safety in areas prone to inclement weather and climate-related disasters.

Latest News

CWS Team and Partners Join Indonesia’s National Day for Disaster Preparedness

CWS Indonesia | May 18, 2017

Recently, SOLIDARITAS project teams in Tana Toraja and West Timor joined three events for the National Day for Disaster Preparedness organized nationwide by Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB). All three events, though quite different from each other, highlighted progress through the project, which is funded by the Australian government through ACT Alliance member, Act […]

Another West Timor Family Moves To a Healthier Diet and Toward a Better Life

CWS Indonesia | May 13, 2017

Orance Nenoliu lives with her husband Yakobus Tualaka and their two children in Saenam village, West Timor. With support from CWS, 33-year-old Orance is learning about home gardening and raising chickens so she and her family have more food and a more diverse diet for better health. Along with others in her village, Orance has […]

It Was a Long and Difficult Journey … I Feel Much Safer Now

CWS Indonesia | May 7, 2017

Aziz* is from Afgooye in Somalia, and his story echoes that of many other boys who flee their country to get away from a militia trying to make them join their ranks. Also, like many others, after a long journey through Malaysia, he arrived alone in Indonesia and found his way to the United Nations […]

“I hope to build my good future”

CWS Indonesia | April 11, 2017

Feisal* has no memory of his parents and siblings because he was barely one year old when they were killed in their Somali home, and his grandmother fled with him to safety and to raise him on her own. Then, a few years ago, when he was 20, tragedy struck again. “One day, the only […]

“These Children Need Very Special Care”

CWS Indonesia | April 8, 2017

The Community Health Center (Puskesmas) in Oekam village, West Timor, in the only clinic for people from 10 villages in Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS) district, and Vera Kuli has been working there for the past six years. Part of her role is monitoring children’s nutritional status in all 10 villages; and, in this role, she […]

Building Disaster-Resilient Villages, One Volunteer At a Time

CWS Indonesia | April 5, 2017

“Before I joined a gathering in my village, I didn’t know anything about disaster risk reduction,” said Deki Baker from Noemuke village in West Timor. “I only knew that my village floods every year, and that floods affect our community badly”. Today, Deki is a disaster resilient village (DESTANA) facilitator in the CWS-supported SOLIDARITAS project […]

A New Home in Jakarta Opens for Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Girls

CWS Indonesia | March 18, 2017

Protecting Urban Refugees through Empowerment – PURE – efforts in Jakarta have grown again with a fifth group home exclusively for girls and young women recently opened. With support from the Australian Department for Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and in partnership with the UNHCR, the home opened with a festive ceremony on February 21st […]

A Profile in Courage, and Hope: A Somali Refugee Girl’s Story

CWS Indonesia | March 14, 2017

Nafyar* was 12 when men from the Al-Shabab militia entered her hometown in Somalia, killing her parents and older siblings. Nafar survived by hiding until the militia left, and then a kind-hearted neighbor helped her escape to Kenya. After living in Kenya for two years, and after a long journey by ways of Malaysia, Nafyar […]

Village Disaster Response Team Helps Save a Child’s Life

CWS Indonesia | March 10, 2017

Saenam village in West Timor, Indonesia, is prone to a number of disasters, from drought to flash flooding. For remote villages like Saenam, though, there are limited services available when an emergency hits, at least early on. It is largely up to the community to mitigate disasters and to get through the initial response. With […]

Two journeys, 25 years apart

Leslie Wilson | March 8, 2017

Recently, I spent a few energizing hours with two dozen teenage girls who, after an astoundingly circuitous journey from East Africa to Indonesia, have found themselves in the care and protection of Church World Service. The girls each left home on their own in search of safety and asylum, and none of them has relatives […]

If at first you don’t succeed …

CWS Indonesia | February 24, 2017

When 14 farmers from Fetomone village established their Farmer Group in March 2016, members agreed that they would cultivate corn together on a new plot of land. But because of some mistakes about the land’s arability and, especially, the lack of proper attention to the plot from group members, things did not go as planned […]

Many Villagers Are Their Own First Responders

CWS Indonesia | February 19, 2017

In Indonesia, a Village Disaster Preparedness Team is a group of volunteers who facilitates all activities related to disaster prevention, response preparedness (readiness) and any response needed. Lembang Paku village in Tana Toraja province is in a mountainous area about 50 kilometers from the nearest town. Landslides are a common occurrence in this part of […]

Ingredients for a new life

CWS Indonesia | January 25, 2017

Toward the end of December 2016 a group of 14 unaccompanied asylum-seeking boys from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Somalia gathered in a large kitchen in south Jakarta for an intensive, three-day baking course. This was a welcome break from the long, routine days and weeks the boys spend in their CWS-supported group homes. Since […]

A Government Ag Extension Worker Expands His Own Knowledge to Help Others

CWS Indonesia | January 15, 2017

Benjamin Rao is an Ag Extension Instructor in Noebeba sub-district in West Timor – an area that is highly food insecure, partly because of limited access to water. Mr. Rao has been living on Oebaki village with his wife and children for just over a decade and, in recent years, he has been involved in […]

A ‘Near Miss’ Of Landslide Damage Reinforces the Need for Community-based Disaster Awareness Activities

CWS Indonesia | January 9, 2017

A recent narrow escape from disaster by students and teachers in the primary school in Lembang Rano, Tana Toraja, is a timely reminder of the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) projects. In October 2016 Lembang Rano village was hit by a landslide that cut off road access, disrupted the water supply, destroyed seven houses […]

An Afghan Refugee Makes the Most of His Time While Waiting for Onward Asylum

CWS Indonesia | December 28, 2016

Muhammad* and his bicycle are a familiar sight around the CWS-UNHCR Refugee Center in Jakarta. Twice a week for the last two years the 56-year old has been attending English and computer classes at the Center – though most of his classmates are not older than 20. To save what little money he has, Muhammad […]

CWS helps others to the recent earthquake in Indonesia’s Pidie Jaya district in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province

CWS Indonesia | December 15, 2016

CWS, as the convener of the ACT Indonesia Forum, coordinated the submission of a Rapid Response Fund (RRF) request to the ACT Alliance, and the request was approved on December 14th. Nearly $60,000 is now available to Indonesian ACT member YEU to partner with fellow ACT member NGO, Pelkesi, to ensure essential assistance for 1,000 […]

CWS and our ACT Alliance partners stand ready to respond to the needs of the Indonesian people affected by the earthquake in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province

CWS Indonesia | December 8, 2016

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck Indonesia’s Pidie Jaya district in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province at 05.03 local time on 7th December 2016. Assessments are ongoing, and Indonesia’s national disaster management agency (BNPB) has reported that close to 100 people have died and more than 600 have been injured. Around 200 buildings have either collapsed […]

Facilitators Start to Support Destana (disaster resilient village) Program with a HVCA Workshop

CWS Indonesia | December 3, 2016

Mr. Om Nuban is a member of the disaster-risk reduction (DRR) Forum in Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS) district in West Timor. The 41-year-old has 15-plus years work experience with Indonesian NGOs, is among the initiators of the DRR forum in TTS, and has been an active participant and supporter of the SOLIDARITAS project. Most recently […]

An Afghan Asylum Seeker Volunteers Her Time and Talent To Help Others

CWS Indonesia | December 1, 2016

Zakera, who is one an asylum seekers whom CWS supports in Jakarta, studied mathematics at Kabul University and taught at a private school there. As a woman of Hazara ethnicity, Zakera was not completely surprised to receive death threats in her homeland because her Hazara people are greatly persecuted there. After another Hazara colleague and […]

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