Individuals served in 2018: 34,155
- Population: Nearly 264 million
- Urbanization: 55.3 percent live in cities
- Life expectancy: 73.2 years
- Unemployment rate: 5.4 percent
- Population living below poverty line: 10.6 percent
Source: World Factbook, World Bank
Habitat for Humanity in Indonesia
Habitat for Humanity started in Indonesia in 1997 and currently works through branches in Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Batam. Habitat aims to galvanize resources to help more than 40,000 families improve their housing conditions and provide access to housing in the next two years. Habitat Indonesia aims to reach 100,000 families served by supporting through housing, market development, water and sanitation, and open defecation-free programs 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, about 26 million Indonesians are living below the poverty line, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics. 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.
Safe, secure homes
Habitat Indonesia typically builds houses that have a reinforced concrete structure, brick walls and a lightweight steel roof. Each house is between 26 and 28 square meters in size, with two bedrooms, a multipurpose room as well as water and sanitation and waste disposal facilities. Complying with national housing quality standards, Habitat houses are made of durable, non-hazardous materials and located at a safe distance from disaster-prone areas.
Disaster response and preparedness
Tapping into its expertise in responding to the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Habitat Indonesia has helped families who were affected by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and flooding in East and Central Java, North Sumatra, North Sulawesi and Yogyakarta. Not only did Habitat rebuild homes but it also trained communities to be prepared for disasters and to reduce such risks. Following tsunami and earthquakes in Lombok, Central Sulawesi and Banten in late 2018, Habitat built much-needed water and sanitation facilities, distributed rubble removal kits and emergency hygiene kits, and built transitional shelter.
Housing microfinance partnerships
Through market development, Habitat Indonesia is better able to understand and influence the functioning of markets to meet affordable housing needs. Toward that end, Habitat aims to help at least 20,000 families in Indonesia access decent, affordable housing by 2020. In Indonesia, Habitat works with microfinance institutions in developing housing improvement and water and sanitation loans. Habitat also partners with housing developers, government, and other organizations to provide affordable housing products and services.
In 2018, global volunteer teams came from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Canada, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Spain. 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. 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
In the early years of her marriage, Elisabet, now 30, had felt the strain of living under the same roof with six other people in a cramped house in East Java. Her husband Sudarsono, a 35-year-old factory worker, decided they would move out and lived in a bamboo hut that belonged to his parents. While pregnant with her first child, Elisabet had to relieve herself in nearby fields in the middle of the night because there was no toilet in their hut. Due to the poor living conditions, her firstborn child Jason often fell ill. After Sudarsono and Elisabet built a new home in Wringinanom sub-district, Gresik regency, with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia, they saw positive changes in their lives. The couple has increased their family income by cultivating corn and by starting a home-based snacks business. Their son Jason, now aged 9, is healthier and doing better in school. Currently expecting her second child, Elisabet says her home gives her comfort. She wants her children to be highly educated and be able to build their own home. “Home is everything,” Elisabet says.