Individuals served in 2017: 13,795
- Population: Over 260.5 million
- Urbanization: 55.2 percent live in cities
- Life expectancy: 73 years
- Unemployment rate: 5.6 percent
- Population living below poverty line: 10.9 percent
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Indonesia
Habitat for Humanity started in Indonesia in 1997 and currently works through branches in Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Batam. 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 Indonesia to respond to other disasters as well as reach out to more families in need through the “We Build Indonesia” campaign. Habitat aims to galvanize resources to help more than 24,800 families improve their housing conditions 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
Habitat works with its partners to build, repair and rehabilitate homes, and improve water and sanitation and educational facilities. Besides rebuilding homes after disasters, Habitat trains people to prepare for and lessen the impact of future disasters. Habitat Indonesia also aims to help 24,200 families through supporting its partners to increase products, services and financing for affordable housing. By 2020, Habitat Indonesia aims to mobilize 20,000 volunteers in raising awareness of the need for adequate housing.
Decent housing for vulnerable families
In Indonesia, Habitat houses usually range from 25 to 30 square meters in size, with two bedrooms, a living room and a bathroom with toilet. 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 351 homes with water and sanitation facilities for internally displaced families in Bitung.
Disaster response and preparedness
Habitat taps on the expertise built after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to respond to disasters. Following the December 2016 earthquake in Pidie, Aceh province, Habitat built much-needed water and sanitation facilities, provided hygiene training and distributed rubble removal kits. Previous responses included helping affected communities after earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and flooding in places such as East Java, Central Java, North Sumatera, North Sulawesi and Yogyakarta. Homes are not only rebuilt but communities are trained to be prepared for disasters and to reduce such risks.
Housing microfinance partnerships
Habitat Indonesia works with partner microfinance institutions to help low-income families gain access to decent housing. The Institutions give out affordable loans for building houses while Habitat provides technical expertise. Through such partnerships, Habitat Indonesia aims to help 24,200 families by 2020.
In 2017, global volunteer teams came from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and USA. Local volunteers from corporations, international schools, and Indonesian universities also lent a hand at large-scale events such as Habitat Young Leaders Build and 28uild.id. Over at Batam island, Habitat Indonesia hosts a constant stream of volunteers from Singapore who take part in weekend Batam Builds.
Meet a Habitat family
After getting married in 2016, Misbah and his wife Mega lived in cramped quarters that they shared with his parents and his elder brother's family. Water leaked in through the roof and walls and the dirt floor was not hygienic. Living in such conditions, the couple could not plan for the future. That changed in February 2017 when they partnered with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia to build a decent, secure home in Bojong Koneng village, Bogor, West Java. Shortly after moving in, Misbah, 24, and Mega, 22, started a home-based business making cassava snacks that they take to the town to sell. "Once you have your own home, it builds your passion to do this and that. Now we want to focus first on the cassava business while continuing to produce ‘cobek’ (mortar)," Misbah said.