Giving for Disaster Relief

We’ve had a couple of inquiries from friends about where to send donations to quake victims in Indonesia.  So far, we don’t know of any institutionalized clearing house for donations specifically for this calamity, but we do know that the Red Cross/Red Crescent is very much involved.  (Since Aceh is entirely Muslim, it will be going through the Red Crescent, but it’s the same organization.)  So, if you want to give some money to help disaster relief for quake/tsunami victims, you can go online here and do just that.  You can choose to donate specifically for the quake/tsunami, but not specifically for Aceh.  But any bit helps.

Here in Jakarta there are tons of ways to donate.  Political parties have people lining the streets with boxes for donations to help Acehnese and Sumatran victims.  The immigration office in South Jakarta had its own boxes out.  Members of the People’s Consultative Assembly have pledged to donate one month’s salary, and TV stations are donating all of their advertising revenue during news programs this week.  It’s quite extraordinary; it reminds us of post 9/11 when half of all Americans tried to donate blood.

The issues that they are facing in Aceh include the massive costs of identifying the dead, the need for rapid clean-up to avoid disease, and reestablishing destroyed infrastructure (water purification, electricity, fuel supplies).  They also need to establish shelters for the newly homeless–unlike elsewhere in the region, Aceh felt the effects of the actual quake itself, so many buildings even far from the water have been destroyed.

Our trials with immigration continue.  We will not be discussing them until we are sure that they have been resolved, though, so wish us continued luck!