Stories of Change

As Treasurer of her community's Disaster Preparedness Team, Elisabeth is helping her village to be able to better mitigate the effects of emergencies like landslides. Photo: CWS

CWS efforts in Indonesia positively impacted 21,212 people in 2016.

Preparing for the Unpredictable

Elisabeth is a farmer from Bo’ne Buntusisong village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Her village, like many others in Indonesia, is prone to disasters and especially landslides.

Following a particularly damaging 2016 landslide that destroyed farm land and road access – effectively cutting the village off for a number of weeks – CWS worked to further mobilize Bo’ne Buntusisong’s residents through a Safe Schools, Safe Communities initiative that had begun the year before – with Elisabeth as a keen participant from the start.

Since then, Elisabeth has been elected Treasurer of the Disaster Preparedness Team and was chosen to represent Bo’ne Buntusisong in a recent CWS Disaster Emergency Response Training facilitated. “We learned important details about the different types of disasters that we already know from experience; we also learned about early warning systems and what an effective emergency response involves. We practiced evacuations in simulations, and we learned First Aid,” Elisabeth remembers. “In my opinion, the training was really important because community members and village officials alike don’t really know much about what to do in the event a disaster. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this learning and sharing event, and I will share my new knowledge and skills with others on the Disaster Preparedness Team in our village so we can share it forward with the whole community.”

NOTE: Community-based disaster risk reduction and basic response readiness are a key focus for CWS in all of Southeast Asia, where there are some of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world. Currently, there are initiatives underway in Myanmar as well as Indonesia, and planning is under way with a Japanese technical partner for similar work in northern Vietnam.