Building a House into a Home

CWS Indonesia | October 25, 2019

    Delti working to build her new home. Photo: CWS

    Delti watched as her house crumbled to the ground on September 28th in 2018 as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. While running to find safety, all Delti thought about was how her life would change completely – if she even survived the disaster. Delti was one of about 212,000 people displaced immediately following the disaster. She and her neighbors lived in makeshift tents until late November (2018), when they could finally return safely to their homes. Since Delti’s home was mostly debris, she used a tarpaulin attached to one safe house wall to live under. During that time, Delti thought she would never have a proper home again. However, the new year brought good news. In January 2019, CWS staff were able to tell Delti and 48 of her neighbors that they would be supported in building transitional (T) shelters – small steel or wood framed, two-room houses – to get them out from under tarps and away from the ruins of destroyed houses.

    Since January, when immediate, lifesaving response activities started to slow down and transition to recovery, CWS has focused on upholding the dignity of women and vulnerable people displaced by the earthquake and land liquefaction by prioritizing them for T shelter support. For months now, CWS has supported more than 320 families to build their own T shelters with CWS and partner technical support, starting with construction training so families could be active in construction. “I am happy to have learned how to help my own family”, said Delti when asked about building her new house.

    Of course, CWS, our donors and partners are grateful for the thousands of Indonesian families like Delti’s with whom we have worked during the past year. All who were able have joined in their own recovery and rebuilding. This makes everyone hopeful for the likely success of our continuing shared work toward future resilience.

    (For more information please contact mkoeniger@cwsglobal.org )

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