09 April 2012

Aceh after the 2004 tsunami

Eight years ago, in 2004 , a catastrophic tsunami devastated the coastline and communities of West Aceh. The initial influx of international NGOs and government relief efforts responding to the immediate emergency has largely receded;  however survivors are still faced with rebuilding their land and lives.

One organisation still actively assisting at the grassroots is Yayasan Bumi Sehat. Based in Ubud, Bali, and mainly known as a gentle birthing centre, Bumi Sehat recently received world recognition when founder Robin Lim was named 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. Less well known are Bumi Sehat’s activities responding to disaster in Haiti and  Aceh, and their work developing the vocational and communication capacities of young people — the parents of the future.

Rotarian Gabe Monson, who recently traveled to affected areas of Aceh, and Bumi Sehat volunteer Jen Richardson present images, stories and a vision for the youth of Meulaboh, the ‘ground zero’ of  2004.

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