School & Play Therapy in West Sumatera
On October 9, HOPE worldwide
Indonesia’s disaster relief team set up a school tent in the Public Primary School SDN 16 in Ulakan Tapakis. The school desperately needed the tent to accommodate at least a class or two. Ten days later, the team started to mobilize community-based psychosocial support to the area's children.
The school was filled with students the first day we visited. Some
classrooms were severely damaged. There was no greeting from the
children, just confusion. We started by introducing ourselves and
explaining our purpose in coming to the school. Slowly, the atmosphere
changed with friendly and smiling faces. Songs and games became our
bridge of communication. There was excitement we sang and danced. Doing arts and crafts activities helped them release all
the fear and burdens caused by the earthquake.
Smiles and laughter
eventually filled up our days.
“I was greatly shocked and afraid when the earthquake struck the island of Sumatera. But when you came here, my fear suddenly disappeared. Thanks for cheering us up!”
~ Tegar Ananda, one of the students
“I am so happy that you came here. All of us are so happy as long as you are here. Thanks for coming here!”
~ Risa Meirina, another student from SDN 16
Through the psychosocial program, their strange expressions have changed to friendliness. They are no longer hesitant in the play therapy session held three times a week. All the children even arrive one hour early each time.
Informational flyers about simple health education and risk reduction were distributed to teachers and students, to prevent casualties or damage in possible aftershocks and mitigate the impact of the earthquake.
Close to one month after the Shock, Ronald McDonald came and visited the students. They had a fun time with Ronald; answering questions, playing games, sharing about school, as well as being educated about earthquake preparation. Around 150 students, teachers and volunteers enjoyed Ronald's visit.
Besides spending time with Ronald, McDonald's also donated 150 bags of toys, 10 “Tas Siaga” for the teachers, books for the School Library and books for Mobile Library to HOPE worldwide