30 December 2009

Indonesia: World Vision helps to ease the burden for Riza’s family

  1. Riza’s home and school were both severely damaged by the earthquake in West Sumatra, which killed at least 900 people on 30 September 2009.
  2. Riza, 7, stands with her siblings Siska, 12, and Zikri, 5, inside the ruins of their house that was destroyed by the earthquake in West Sumatra on 30 September 2009.
  3. World Vision has provided Riza’s family with a family kit including a tarpaulin, blankets, mattresses, and hygiene kits after their home was destroyed in the Indonesian earthquake.


Seven-year-old Riza was playing outside when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Kota Padang, where she lives with her family, on 30 September.

“I was playing outside when it happened. I was so scared, I ran straight to our house. The house had collapsed,” she said. Fortunately, none of Riza’s family members were inside at the time.

“I was crying, I found my parents immediately. There were many aftershocks, I couldn’t sleep. I cried every time it happened,” said Riza.

Riza’s younger brother Zikri, five, was also playing outside when the earthquake struck. “I was crying, I was afraid. The land was moving and I was so scared,” he said.

Riza’s school, where she is in second grade, was severely damaged by the earthquake. An entire wall was reduced to rubble leaving school books spread across the classroom. Many windows were broken and other classrooms were damaged. It is one of over 500 schools in West Sumatra that were damaged or completely destroyed by the earthquake.

“I don’t know when we will go to school again because the building has collapsed,” Riza said.

To provide a safe place for children like Riza to play, share their experiences and learn in an informal environment, World Vision has set up a Child-Friendly Space. These spaces are designed to provide special support to children after a disaster or conflict.

Said Riza of the Child Friendly Space: “I was happy because there were a lot of friends. I would like to come again tomorrow if there are more activities? Is it going to be open on Sunday? I want to learn on the weekend.”

Riza and her family slept out the front of their house after the earthquake. They have now received a family kit from World Vision including a tarpaulin, blankets, mattresses, and hygiene items. The family has strung the tarpaulin up to create shelter for sleeping.

“We are grateful for these supplies, but now we need help to rebuild our house,” said Kadir, Riza’s father. “We built this house ourselves, together as a family.”

Kadir explained that the family would start to rebuild their home: “We are going to clean away the collapsed building and rubble. Then we will ask others to help us build our house from cement and wood. So we will make it stronger in case there is an earthquake again. The wood will help to make it stronger.”

You can read more about World Vision’s relief efforts in Indonesia and see a video of a Child Friendly Space in action.