Christians are helping in teacher training in Indonesia

By October 4, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — While it’s been more than nine months since the tsunami hit Indonesia, the after affects are still being felt. Those after-effects will be felt for years and maybe even decades to come. Without help from the outside, it’s uncertain how long it will take to recover and rebuild.

Education is a part of the rebuilding effort. Food for the Hungry is helping Meulaboh in this effort. Rose Ann Marchese just returned from the region. “A lot of the teachers there lost family members and students in the tsunami. Their schools were destroyed. Supplies were swept away. And, also, in the area of Meulaboh where we work, it’s said that over 230 teachers were lost in the tsunami.”

At the request of local government leaders, FHI is now holding retreats to help what’s left of the teaching force. “Some of the things that they requested was trauma counseling for themselves as well as techniques that they could use for their students. We also did some English as a second language training.”

While helping these teachers to be better equipped was top priority, reaching out wasn’t the top priority. Not yet. “Most of the teachers that came up were Muslim. It’s understood that we’re a Christian organization, but our main thing is you meet people’s physical needs primarily, and then you’re able to minister to their spiritual needs through that.”

Food for the Hungry is also developing agricultural training, livelihood restoration projects, and micro-enterprise lending to help rebuild Meulaboh.

Prayer and funding are needs right now, says Marchese. “We’re talking about decades of rebuilding.” Many are still in temporary camps as homes have yet to be rebuilt.

Leave a Reply