Dubai’s Indonesian community rallies to support relief efforts for tsunami victims
On December 26th soon after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami ravaged the Aceh province in north Sumatra, 3 Indonesian cabin crew based in Dubai watched CNN in shock as events quickly unfolded with reports depicting rocketing death tolls and entire villages disappearing across the region. Areas close to their own homes.
That same night, they decided to help. Tri Windiarti, one of the 3 cabin crew shares the decision they faced: “From our knowledge of Sumatra, we knew that getting supplies to the survivors in the Aceh region was going to be one of the biggest challenges of the global relief efforts, since there are no major airports anywhere in the vicinity”. The problem was, and still is, getting badly needed medical supplies and food packages to a people completely isolated from the outside world.
The next morning, the 3 girls mobilized and called friends and colleagues around Dubai and in parallel, initiated dialogue with KONTRAS Indonesia (The Commission for missing people and victims of violation), and together developed the Aid Centre for Indonesia. Utilizing their direct contacts in the victim camps, their aim from the start has been to provide priority donations to priority victims. Tri elaborates; “Our aim has been to collect the most badly needed items for mothers, babies and injured victims, whilst minimizing middle men.” The priority donations in question are medicines, including immodium, pain killers, sanitary towels and syringes. In addition, the camps need ready to eat baby food and equipment for victim evacuations such as rubber gloves and boots. Evacuation teams are currently working with bare hands and feet within heavily flooded areas. These materials are in least supply amongst the donations currently being assembled.
Tri concurs; “The local response to our efforts has been nothing short of amazing, we now have dedicated cargo holds being flown via Jakarta to the Aceh Province, but many items are still horribly in short supply”. The relief efforts still badly need general public support via donation or assistance in collection of the materials in least supply.
The movement has now grown beyond the 3 original girls and outside the Indonesian community to include hundreds who have contributed either donations or personal assistance with the efforts. Recently they even gained support from the Ambassador of UAE for Indonesia; Mr Yousef Al Sharhan, along with the manager of the Red Crescent Dubai, Mr Mohd. Abdullah Al Hajj Al Zaroni amongst others.
To support the “Aid Centre for Indonesia” relief efforts for the Aceh Province, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The team will reply to you asap.