Follow Us

FH Kids Clubs Help Children Flourish after Disaster in Indonesia

FH Kids Clubs Help Children Flourish after Disaster in Indonesia

Share this Story

WRITTEN BY Robbie Peterson

Thousands of children and their families were affected when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Cianjur in West Java, Indonesia, last November. The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) reported there were 602 deaths, and 114,683 people were evacuated from their homes. In all, 67,504 houses, 281 places of worship, and 18 health facilities were damaged or destroyed.

Among the many children affected by the deeply traumatizing earthquake were Adlina, 9, and Salsa, 10. For days they were terrified by the strong aftershocks that followed the quake, convinced it was starting all over again.

When the dust settled,  Salsa’s family was living in a tent they received from emergency workers. They were also given water and some food to eat, and they shared a temporary toilet with other families because their house had been heavily damaged and was not safe to enter.

Adlina’s family was a little more fortunate. They were able to stay in their house since it was only lightly damaged. They still had access to clean water and toilet facilities of their own.

Food for the Hungry (FH) worked closely with the Christian Community for Disaster Mitigation in Indonesia to serve large numbers of children like Adlina and Salsa and their families who were affected by the Cianjur earthquake. They provided emergency supplies, health services, and constructed WASH facilities and longer term shelters.

FH Kids Clubs Help Children Flourish after Disaster in Indonesia

Schools Damaged and Destroyed, But Children’s Education Continued

The earthquake also damaged or destroyed 701 schools in the area. FH worked together with Tearfund UK and The HEAD Foundation to help children who were affected by the earthquake continue to learn as their communities were rebuilding. This  disaster response project was called the “Tent for Emergency Playing and Learning (TERPAL).” The project was designed to stabilize both the emotional health and education of the children by providing a safe and fun environment.

FH implemented a fun learning method for children to play and study in regular meeting sessions of Kids Club. It centered on a digital learning application designed to provide children in remote or challenging areas with access to quality educational content.

Adlina and her mother
Adlina and her mother. She is holding up a FH Kids Club lesson book.

The lessons are interactive, incorporating educational games and engaging videos. FH staff and volunteers offered support to the children, encouraging them to continue their studies so they could flourish amid adversity.

FH’s support has a significant impact on the children, providing both educational opportunity and psychosocial support to help them recover from the shock of the disaster FH Kids Clubs gave the children a safe place to play, while preventing them from falling far behind in lessons covering basic literacy and numeracy.

Adlina and Salsa are two of the 463 children who attended the Kids Clubs. Adlina’s family said the experience made her more enthusiastic about returning to learning and confident about being around others again. Staff remarked that Alina was generous about sharing her toys and food with the other children.

Initially, Salsa was slower to interact. She was still scared and sad about losing her home. But soon, she was playing and studying with others in Kids Club, and she particularly enjoyed drawing. She told staff members it made her feel less afraid.

Thank you FH Indonesia
Salsa holds up her drawing that says “Terima kasih FH Indonesia”, which means “Thank you FH Indonesia”.

Families Continue Forward

Both girls are now back at their schools and reunited with their friends. Their families say the TERPAL project revitalized their interest in learning and gave them a renewed enthusiasm for education. They are looking to a brighter and more resilient future after overcoming the challenges of disaster.

When disaster strikes – whether hurricanes, droughts, fires, famines, epidemics, or wars –  people of all ages are devastated, leaving them unable to meet their basic needs for food, clean water, and shelter. They often also need medical, mental, and social health support.

FH is well-known as a first responder to crises whether natural or manmade, with relationships and systems in place to quickly respond when a crisis hits. Your support of FH Emergency Response efforts helps us be crisis-ready and able to quickly mobilize relief when earthquakes like and other natural disasters strike.


You are about to embark on a new FH Donor Experience

If you need assistance, please contact us at donorhelp@fh.org or 866-307-3259.

Subscribe to Email Newsletter at FH.org
Subscribe to Email Newsletter at FH.org

Get inspiration delivered to your inbox!

Get inspiring news, free e-books, fun activities and more.

Gift Policy:
You may send small, flat paper-based items that can fit into a standard #10 size envelope, have a value of less than $5 dollars and weigh less than 4 ounces. We ask that you send small, flat items of this size because shipping is expensive and even small gift items can cause issues clearing customs.
You can send postcards or photographs, however, we ask that you visit here for more details about culturally appropriate guidelines for photos and other images. Please write the child’s ID # on the back of each item that you enclose with your letter to ensure that it reaches him/her.
Best gifts to send your sponsored child:
  • Paper dolls
  • Postcards
  • Pictures of yourself or family
  • Sports cards, individual cards (baseball, soccer, football)
  • Stickers (flat, paper-based, only a few at a time)
  • Paper-based simple bookmarks, stationery, drawing, or writing paper (single sheets)
  • Coloring pages (single sheets, not books)
  • Please do NOT send:
  • Monetary gifts
  • Liquids, candy, or food
  • Batteries or magnets
Please note, all items should be compliant with airline transport and safety regulations. Gifts that don’t meet the gift policy will be donated to a local Christian non-profit organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that works with low-income families. We will not be able to return them.