Habitat for Humanity Indonesia
Habitat's work in Indonesia
Indonesia News and Stories
Habitat for Humanity started in Indonesia in 1997 and currently works in 13 provinces. Its largest program was rebuilding after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami with more than 8,000 families helped. The increase in capacity enabled Habitat for Humanity Indonesia to respond to other disasters as well as reach out to more families in need through “I Build My Indonesia” campaign. Habitat aims to galvanize resources to provide an additional 60,000 Indonesian families with decent homes by 2018.
Housing needs in Indonesia
Indonesia is the world’s most extensive archipelago with more than 17,500 islands. Despite significant economic growth, more than 28 million Indonesians are living below the poverty line, according to World Bank data. These families face greater hardships in times of an economic downturn or a natural disaster. Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions with droughts, flooding, and mudslides expected to worsen due to climate change. Currently, nearly 70 percent of low-income housing is built by the families themselves rather than by the government or private developers. Almost 25 million families live in urban slums with many others settling along railway tracks and riverbanks, and on streets.
How Habitat addresses the need in Indonesia
HFH Indonesia strives to provide housing solutions which also address the collective needs of a community such as health and education. In disaster-hit communities, Habitat not only rebuilds homes but also trains people to prepare for and lessen the impact of future disasters. Habitat’s partners include international and local non-governmental organizations, government agencies, corporations, microfinance institutions, cooperatives and faith-based organizations. International and local volunteers contribute time and labor while families also help build homes with their own hands.
Housing for low-income, displaced families
In Indonesia, Habitat houses usually range from 25 to 30 square meters in size. Concrete blocks and plywood with wooden frames are used in the houses which have cement slab foundations and clay-tiled roofs. With Australian funding, Habitat has also built 231 homes with water and sanitation facilities for internally displaced families in Bitung. Another 120 houses are under construction
Disaster response and preparedness
Habitat taps on the expertise built after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to respond to disasters. Responses included the January 2013 flooding in Jakarta, the tsunami in Mentawai islands, off the coast of Sumatra, and the eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java in October 2010, the earthquakes that struck West Sumatra and West Java in September 2009, and Yogyakarta in May 2006. Homes are not only rebuilt but communities are trained to be prepared for disasters and to reduce such risks.
Housing microfinance partnerships
HFH Indonesia works with partner microfinance institutions to help low-income families gain access to decent housing.
The MFIs give out affordable loans for building houses while Habitat provides technical expertise. In 2013, about 600 lowincome families received financial education to help them realize their housing goals.
Engaging with volunteers
In 2013, global volunteer teams came from Australia, South Korea, USA, and Japan. Local volunteers from corporations, international schools, and Indonesian universities also lent a hand at large-scale events such as the CEO Build, Habitat Youth BUILD, National Women Build, 28uild, and Building Beyond Faith. Due to its proximity to Singapore, HFH Indonesia’s branch on Batam island hosts a constant stream of volunteers from the republic who take part in Batam Builds over a weekend.
Meet a Habitat family
For Nerlin Napitupulu, 35, a flash of lightning or a thunder clap was a sure sign that she had to quickly move the family’s possessions to a room, the only dry spot in her old house. She and her family used to live in a 24-square-meter house with dirt floor and wooden walls. The house leaked badly during heavy rain. Even when she was eight months pregnant, she had to do the heavy lifting to protect the few belongings she had from the rain.
In February 2014, Nerlin and her husband Parlindungan, 40, said goodbye to stress when they moved into a new Habitat house with their seven children. The Habitat house in Belawan Sicanang village, Medan, has a new roof and earthquake-resistant structure.
Sources: CIA World Factbook, World Bank