Families served in 2016: 3716
- Population: Nearly 256 million (July 2015 est.)
- Urbanization: 53.7 percent lives in cities (2015 est.)
- Life expectancy: 72.5 years (2015 est.)
- Unemployment rate: 5.9 percent (2014 est.)
- Population living below poverty line: 11.3 percent (2014 est.)
- Access to improved: water sources: 87.4 percent (2015 est.)
- Access to improved: sanitation facilities: 60.8 percent (2015 est.)
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Indonesia
Habitat for Humanity started in Indonesia in 1997 and currently works in Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Batam and Bitung. 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 the “I Build My Indonesia” campaign. Habitat aims to galvanize resources to provide an additional 60,000 Indonesian families with decent homes by 2020.
The housing need 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.
Decent housing for vulnerable families
In Indonesia, Habitat houses usually range from 25 to 30 square meters in size. Concrete blocks and cement board 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 in 2014 included the eruptions of Mount Kelud, East Java and Mount Sinabung, North Sumatera, and flooding on Manado, North Sulawesi; 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. Such partnerships helped about 150 low-income families to realize their housing goals in 2015.
In 2015, 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 (now known as Habitat Young Leaders Build), National Women Build, 28uild.id, and Building Beyond Faith. Over at Batam island, HFH Indonesia hosts a constant stream of volunteers from Singapore who take part in weekend Batam Builds.
Meet a Habitat family
Puloh, a 45-year-old laborer, had lived a good part of his life in Sentul, West Java, but he did not have fond memories of his old house. Whenever the tiles on the roof were broken, his family would cover the gaps with zinc sheets. But that could not stop the rain from coming in. There was hardly any protection from the winds and insects which came in through the holes in the woven bamboo wall panels.
With three children aged between nine and 26 years, Puloh and his wife Asih would worry about the impact on their health. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia marked a decisive step for him. He could look forward to a decent, healthy home. When Puloh and his family took over their Habitat house in March 2015, he said: “Now I can focus on work and not be bothered by problems with the house.”