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Indonesia Quake: First Task, Clean Up

Habitat Staff and Volunteers Join Village Recovery Team

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Supporting hand: volunteers from Cargill donated tools and services to Habitat for Humanity to help residents of Kelegen clean up earthquake damage. (Left to right) Cargill-sponsored volunteers Hadiwinoto and Tavip present tools to Henry Feriadi, board chair of the Yogyakarta affiliate; Jusuf Arbianto, board chair of HFH Indonesia; and Antonios Tanan, vice chair of the national Habitat organization.

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First task: neighbors and Habitat volunteers salvage materials and clear debris from a damaged house in Kelegen village, south of Yogyakarta.

YOGYAKARTA, 5th June 2006: One week after an earthquake ripped through Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces of Indonesia, Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers worked alongside villagers in Kelegen, Bantul, to salvage building materials from the piles of rubble that had been their homes.

They were joined by volunteers from the local operations of Cargill, the international agricultural, food, financial and industrial products group. Cargill is a major supporter of Habitat’s work in Asia and around the world.

The volunteers cleared the debris from house foundations and made piles of bricks, timbers and clay roof tiles, which were sometimes intact when a roof structure had not completely collapsed.

The Cargill volunteers from the firm’s animal nutrition division in Jakarta, came to lend a hand and donated tools and a generator.    

Said Jusuf Arbianto, retired banker and chairman of the HFH Indonesia national board, “These villagers have lost so much, and they don’t yet know how they will go on. We want to help them and to show that someone cares.” Donning hard hat and gloves, Jusuf joined a line of volunteers and villagers passing chunks of concrete hand to hand.

Among the volunteers doing manual labor were HFH office staff from Habitat offices in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, along with others with skills in engineering, architecture, community organizing and construction management. When the community is ready to rebuild, they will be ready to contribute their professional expertise to the tasks of community mapping, planning and co-ordination.