An Opportunity to Save the Children

An Opportunity to Save the Children

Our first-hand account of Save the Children’s emergency response work in disaster-hit Indonesia


Our visit to Central Sulawesi was led by Group Chairman Heinrich Jessen (sixth from left).
Our visit to Central Sulawesi was led by Group Chairman Heinrich Jessen (sixth from left).

Feb 2020- With global headlines dominated almost exclusively by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to forget that there are many other emergencies in dire need of attention too.

At Jebsen & Jessen, we hope to support one of the largest organisations dedicated to humanitarian crises, Save the Children, through a ‘Partner of Preference’ agreement.

Before we do, however, due diligence was in order.

In February 2020, before pandemic-related travel restrictions were in force, we made a trip to Central Sulawesi, Indonesia to see, first-hand, how Save the Children is making a positive impact on the communities that were hardest hit by the September 2018 earthquake and tsunami. The areas in and around Palu and Donggala bore the brunt of the natural disaster in which more than 4,000 people lost their lives.

First response

Save the Children was among the first emergency relief agencies to reach the disaster area back in 2018. Visiting almost 18 months after the disaster struck, we saw how Save the Children’s work extends well past the initial three to six months, which are focused on relief efforts. After rebuilding homes and schools, the organisation also strives to rebuild lives.

Save the Children has developed evacuation routes, and trained teachers and students to conduct evacuation simulation exercises every three months. Beyond that, it supports children and families with child protection, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihood, as well as shelter and food security initiatives. We visited training centres that were set up to equip community members with livelihood skills ranging from motorcycle repair to tailoring, cooking, bridal make-up and computer services.

We were particularly impressed with the ‘Posyandu’ programme, which provides integrated health services for children, and how the organisation has built a place for pregnant women, nursing mothers and toddlers to receive nutritional guidance from health workers.

The work that Save the Children does is commendable, and delivered in a caring and encouraging manner. The community’s resilience and desire to move forward, too, is equally inspiring.

The trip gave us an in-depth understanding of how Save the Children operates.
The trip gave us an in-depth understanding of how Save the Children operates.

Meaningful partnerships

The agreement that the Group is exploring with Save the Children will see us establishing an emergency response fund, which the organisation can access in ASEAN within 24 hours of a disaster. This would be a valuable resource for Save the Children to help address the most urgent needs in the very early stages of a crisis. The Group is currently evaluating the partnership.

Save the Children is a non-profit organisation committed to championing the rights and interests of children worldwide by responding to major emergencies and delivering innovative development programmes.

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