The 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Central Java on 27 May left an estimated 6,000 people dead, up to 57,000 injured, and thousands homeless. In its aftermath, disrupted distribution systems in Yogyakarta and surrounding areas hindered relief efforts.

While many Rotary clubs and districts have responded to the disaster by donating necessary supplies, more assistance is needed. To address this need, District 3400 (Indonesia) has established a disaster relief fund to assist those affected.

By Tonya Weger
Rotary International News

Photos courtesy Rodolfo Balmater, district governor of District 3400

6 June 2006

The first phase of the project will address the immediate emergency situation by focusing on the basic daily needs of survivors and coping with the overflowing hospitals.

According to Rodolfo Balmater, district governor of District 3400, Rotarians have been quick to offer aid. For instance, he says, "At the moment of need, our Rotarians in Bali alternatively flew to the disaster site bringing blood to the hospitals."

Meanwhile, in Bandung city, which is about 180 miles from earthquake hit areas, more than 50 Rotaractors were trained in 24 hours to support Rotarians in Yogyakarta. They contributed by "caring for the wounded and distributing food and blankets to far flung places," Balmater says.

The second phase, however, will involve restoration and rebuilding of the community with the neediest of its residents in mind.

Balmater notes the quick response of Rotary International leadership in assuring Rotarians in the stricken area that material and financial support will be available for quake survivors.

"With this assurance, our Rotarians become confident and motivated to identify several projects related to schools, clinics, and libraries, as well as livelihood programs for the poor," he says. "And, once again, demonstrating to fellow Rotarians that the value of the organization is the vast network it has created in the world."

To donate

Checks may be sent directly to the district made payable to "Rotary International District 3400," PT Metrodata Electronics Tbk., Wisma Metropolitan 1, 16 th floor, Jalan Jendral Sudirman Kav 29-31, Jakarta 12920, Indonesia, Attn. Andreas Sindudharma.

For more information on where to arrange for an electronic transfer, contact the club's 2006-07 president, Andreas Sindudharma, Rotary Club of Jakarta-Gambir, Tel.: 62 816894192 (mobile), 62 21 2524555 (office).

For donations-in-kind inquiries, contact the club's past president, Rudy Hudin, Rotary Club of Jakart-Gambir, Tel: 62 811132507 (mobile), 62 21 5740545 (office).

This article is © 2005 Rotary International and is provided for the non-profit use of Rotarians worldwide; commercial use is prohibited. The article may be quoted, excerpted or used in its entirety, but the information should not be changed or modified in any way. Read more information in the RI copyright notice.