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Stories from Aceh 10th Tsunami Commemoratation

This is a story from visitor who came to PMI booth during expo in Blang Padang, December 26 - 28, 2014 for tsunami commemoration activitie

Mr. Hiro from Japan

Mr Hirotaka once a member of Japanes Redcorss during his school time and his intention to visit PMI’s booth because he want to asked where he can pay his respect to the tsunami victims. He himself is a tsunami survivor; he and his two kids survived the tsunami in Phuket on Decd 26 2014, the same tsunami that hit Aceh.

Zatin, a PMI member, with full support from Mr. Poli, DM head of division of PMI Aceh, quickly express her willingness to accompany to visit Mr. Hiro to several mass graves around Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar. With the direction from Mr. Poli, they decied to visit tow mass graves in Ule Lhee, Banda Aceh and in Lambaro, Aceh Besar, light candle in each of those mass grave.

Hirotaka Futumura, Japanese¸ Engineer for Evacuation Building

Mr. Hiro highly appreciates PMI willingness to accompany him, even his no longer an active member of Japanese Red Cross since now he working as technical engineer on construction of evacuation building. “Sir, once a redcross always a redcross, we would happy to accompany you since youu are the same like us,” said one of PMI member in the booth.

  1. Ibu Agustina, Teacher of Junior High School 3 Banda Aceh.

“Can I take the picture of these ID cards?” asked Ibu Agustina to PMI Volunteer nearby. “I want to use it as my teaching material in my school, SMP 3 Banda Aceh,”she continued. Mr. Poli, head of DM Division of PMI Aceh quickly raised an approach her and said, “Off course, by the way I also graduated from that school”. Beside of ID cards picture, Ibu Agustina will have disaster animation movies from Terre De Home which will help her to explain about the disaster to her student along with several animation and movies on Red Cross.

  1. Ibu Imah Peukan Bada – 0651 46304

“I would like to know the name of this ID Card bearer,” said Ibu Imah pointed to 1 ID Card. “I think he is one of my family that lost during the disaster”. She explained that one of her relatives told her they found 1 body with an ID card in its chest showing the name of her relative. Two days later when finally she managed to come and check, the body with his relative ID Card have gone to one of many mass graves. She really needs to have something to memorize her missing relative. Since the ID Cards display is locked at that time, one of redcross promised to check it and share the ID Card’s information through the number given by her. The picture turns out not one of her family member.

  1. Syarifah Rugayah, Sigli with missing family in Lingke, Banda Aceh.

“We have to ensure to pass the information about this tsunami to generations after us, so they will not have to expereince what we have now,” she said. “I am sure hundreds years ago tsunami have hit Aceh, but somehow that information have not been passed to our generation, that is why we have a lot of victim when tsunami hit Aceh on Dec 26, 2004.”  To hear that statement from this woman, which is now at her 70, is kind of surprise for Fadhil, CRC, who attend the booth since what she said is usually only being heard from facilitators, scholars etc not from household’s woman. “Some of the areas like Simeuleu actually have a way to pass that information through song called Smong” said Fadhil, “That is why in Simeuleu the tsunami victims are relatively low compared to Aceh’s main island”. The woman agreed on the explanation, she also said that she heard from the elders that tsunami signs could also dectectd by looking at animal or pet’s behaviour after the earthquake.When PMI request to take picture of her and her daughter, her daughter surprise since her mother agreed to it. “I am agreed to it since Im sure my picture and my statement somehow can be usefull to strengthen the necessity on ensuring what happens in our generation must be passed to generations after us,” explained her to her doughter.

  1. Sebastian P Boret; Assistan Professor, Phd, Oxon (Social Antropologist) France nationality, stays / works in Japan.

Sebastien collects NGO’s reports on tsunami response, gathered in one place to ease up the access to those reports. He just enlighted by Zatin about PMI’s strength and capacity which not just limited to blood donation and health services. Zatin explained that PMI Aceh have works with more 300 communities all over Aceh with support from Participating National Societies (PNS) which are redcross and red cresscent societies outside of Indonesia on disaster risk redution, psichosocial supports,  psychosocial support, water and sanitation, restoring family link etc.

“The ID cards, the missing person list, and the “I am Save List” in this PMI booth is part of restoring family link which one of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement expertise. Not just for disaster but also for conflict area all over the world,” explained on of redcross members in the booth. 

  1. Kamarullah, Lambaro, Aceh Besar

“Can we track where they burried the bodies based on the ID cards shown in this display?” Kamarullah asked the PMI Member that then explained that actually at the momment, most of volunteer involved on this activity only focus on retrieval and burrial of the dead and since the activities are coordinated with different stakeholders where different party handles the burial of the dead, the tracking is not possible. It is a good lesson learn  to cope with future disaster however, said Rudianto, the head of PMI Aceh Province.

  1. Dedi Irawan, Aceh Besar.

“Do you remember this person?” asked him to his wife while pointing his finger to an ID shown in display. “He is our friend that I have lost contact after the disaster hit Aceh on 26 Dec 2014. I just found his ID now.” I always knew he is affected by tusnami but only now I found information to confirm it”. His story shows how important to have information of the deceased to allow the people to rest their thought on their missing friends, relatives, and family member.

  1. Remembering the disaster and volunteer who answering the call for help.

One of the people focuses on PMI booth is short video program called GAPURA made by RCTI. This movies described how volunteer from Indonesian Army, PMI, and other entities works hand in hand to retrieved the bodies and burried them. It really shows how high volunteer contribution to the affected people in Aceh.

Several visitor really interested to have the copy of this movie which then accomodated very well by PMI staff since the spreading of this movie is also to spread on volunteerism.

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