SOS Indonesia Emergency Response Update

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

More than 2,000 people have died and an estimated 70,000 people have been displaced due to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, families living around the coastal city of Palu have been devastated. Many people have lost their homes and have nowhere to go. At least 20,000 children have been displaced and an estimated 5,000 unaccompanied children are living in makeshift camps.

Access to safe drinking water, adequate shelter and sanitary facilities, food, educational activities, psychological support and safe spaces to play are just some of the pressing needs facing children and their families.

SOS Child Friendly Space in Indonesia

SOS Indonesia’s emergency response team, including psychologists, educators and social workers, is currently working with local authorities and partner organizations to address the urgent needs of children in displacement camps.  

Upon arriving on the island of Sulawesi, the SOS team opened a Child Friendly Space that currently supports 37 children in a camp that houses 44 families. Many of the people in these camps have lost their homes and are suffering from trauma caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

Smiling girl at SOS Child Friendly Space in Indonesia

Since schools are still not operational and there are limted safe spaces for children, programs like SOS’ Child Friendly Spaces — where young people can play, learn and feel safe — are critical.

The SOS Children’s Villages emergency response includes:

  • Establishing Child Friendly Spaces for children ages three to 15 so they have a safe place to enjoy educational and recreational activities
  • Providing food to the children attending the child care space to minimize incidents of malnutrition
  • Helping to ensure that children have access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities

Indonesia emergency response infographic

Five additional Child Friendly Spaces, with a capacity for 250 children, are being planned after the arrival of additional SOS staff and supplies.  

“Aside from the immediate needs of food and shelter, internally displaced children will need support for many months to come,” says Gregor Nitihardjo, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Indonesia. “Children are particularly vulnerable during humanitarian emergencies. In such situations, we put the protection of children and their families at the centre of our actions.”

Donate now to help respond to current and future emergencies through the SOS Mayday Emergency Relief fund.


Canadians wishing to help vulnerable children are encouraged to sponsor a child, sponsor a Village or make a one-time donation. Your support will change the lives of orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. Please help today.